• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why does Alfred Lord Tennyson Make Arthurian world look like the Golden Age?

Extracts from this document...


Why does Alfred Lord Tennyson Make Arthurian world look like the Golden Age? In this essay, I will talk about five poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson, and how he makes them reflect upon the Victorian period. The five poems are: "Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinnevere," "The Coming of Arthur, " "The Lady of Shalott," "Sir Galahad," "Morte d'Arthur." I will debate how Tennyson speaks badly of this age throe those five poems. "Sir Galahad" is a poem about a knight who belongs to the Knights of the Round Table and lives in the Golden Age. This poem describes the perfections, and imperfections of an ideal knight. Alfred Lord Tennyson speaks of the duties that a knight has as very hard and that every knight should go through a rough time in his life. This poem describes Sir Galahad as a perfect knight, because he does not follow his heart or soul, but follows the command of his King, and shows loyalty and honour to his country. Sir Galahad is a virgin, who can avoid the temptations of losing his virginity: "Nor maiden's hand in mine." By acting in this way, we can see that Sir Galahad is spiritually trapped because he has committed himself to serving the king. However, Tennyson also shows us the suffering that this knight is going throe, as we get the impression that his should is trapped in his body. ...read more.


Here, we possibly could say that the Lady of Shalott is missing out on the Golden Age and wishing that she could be amongst those enjoying the Golden Age. This brings the connection between the Golden Age and the Industrial Revolution in Victorian Britain. Tennyson may be saying here that the curse that is on the Lady of Shalott, could be the same curse that was on Victorian women at that time which was not to be allowed to go out of the house that often and made only to do housework. The Lady of Shalott imagines her fate: "A funeral with plumes and lights". On the other hand, she sees her desired way of life: "Came two lovers lately wed". From this we see that the Lady of Shalott dreads her fate but wants a miracle to save her from that fate. The miracle comes in the third part when Sir Lancelot is introduced into the poem. We see Sir Lancelot as quite a different knight than how he was in the poem "Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinnevere" yet he is still a little similar. Firstly, we see him as a bold person and that he has a heroic description in "The Lady of Shalott", He rode between the barley-sheaves". In "Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinnevere", he is shown as a more blissful character. However, there are some similarities between that characters because in "The Lady of Shalott", he is the lover we imagine will save the Lady of Shalott and is the lover of Queen Guinnevere in "Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinnevere". ...read more.


Tennyson also makes his Arthurian world look similar to the Industrial Revolution in Victorian Britain in which Tennyson lived in by the fact that in both times, it started a new era of good things. However, Tennyson also looks to the Golden Age in a negative view when he talks about Sir Galahad and the Lady of Shalott. He shows the burden some knights such as Sir Galahad have to go through just to become a loyal knight to their king and must resist all bliss that tempts them. He also may be describing his feelings towards the way Victorian women had to live. He shows this through the Lady of Shalott and how she is trapped in a tower of Camelot with a curse of not being able to go out and how she is missing out on the Golden Age. In the same way, Tennyson is saying how the Victorian women missed out on the Industrial Revolution because they had to say at home doing the housework. Some people, who enjoyed the Golden Age such as Sir Lancelot, forgot all about religion for Tennyson hardly talks about religion in "Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinnevere". Here he may be connecting the fact that the attendance of Church in the Industrial Revolution fell and saying how he felt about the loss of religion in the country when something good happens. The good thing about Tennyson poems, is the fact, that he writes in the style that makes the Golden Age identical to the world he lived in. All the aspects of those poems can be compared to life we live. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Alfred Lord Tennyson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Alfred Lord Tennyson essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Lady Of Shalott Feminist Reading

    3 star(s)

    The two characters are presented as antitheses to one another as the Lady of Shalott is described as living in "shadows" and "silence" whereas Lancelot is linked with colours of royalty and wealth such as "purple" and compared with the cosmos such as "meteors".

  2. Marked by a teacher

    A later poet said 'Old men ought to be explorers'. What do you think ...

    3 star(s)

    Therefore the poet would have probably approved, although he may have chosen the way he phrased it specifically as it is still the choice of old men to do as they wish but ideally, exploring is what they should do.

  1. Peer reviewed

    "What are the poetic skills Tennyson uses in his narrative poems?"

    3 star(s)

    In 'The Lady of Shalott' the lady dies after breaking the curse. In 'Mariana' the lady wishes to be dead and in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' the brigade enter "the valley of death" and die. There is also a contrast between 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'Mariana','The Lady of Shalott'.

  2. The Use of the Female Persona in Lady of Shalott and Mariana.

    The woman repeats the refrain of the first stanza. When the moon lies low at night, the woman looks to her white window curtain, where she sees the shadow of the poplar swaying in the wind. But when the moon is very low and the winds exceptionally strong, the shadow

  1. The Lady of Shalott - a feminist reading When considered from a feminist ...

    The metaphor of the 'bearded meteor' perfectly captivates Lancelot's presence and influence over Camelot. He is described as otherworldly and vividly contrasted to the 'still' Camelot on the following line. In Stanza twelve Lancelot's overwhelming influence on the Lady becomes apparent as he occupies her space in the stanza, whilst every stanza ends in 'Shalott', this ends in 'Lancelot' instead.

  2. Comparative Essay: Frost and Tennyson

    The repetition of the last seems to be his resignation of the very fact that he can't indeed stop going, on must continue on. The individual's in "Ulysses", by Tennyson, on the other hand is different, because he wants to shirk his responsibilities and leave.

  1. "The Lady of Shalott" - review

    she is imprisoned and if she stops weaving a curse will be put upon her, therefore she cannot go outside and subsequently cannot enjoy herself.

  2. Alfred Lord Tennysons In Memoriam contains many theological elements debating the confusion between science ...

    to pieces when he immediately changes tack and despairs that "Behold, we know not anything; I can but trust that good shall fall." This stanza gives the impression that the beginning of the canto was a mockery of a foolish and dead belief system.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work