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Compare and contrast the Lady of Shalott with In Westminster Abby

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Compare and contrast the Lady of Shalott with In Westminster Abby Consider * The context * The depiction of the women * Form * The poets' use of language * Your response Both of the poems are about a woman. From the outset the two women appear very different, but when you study them more closely and we can begin to discover similarities. I think that both the woman in The Lady of Shalott and the women in West Minister Abbey are prisoners in some way or form. It is maybe more obvious in The Lady of Shalott where she is actually imprisoned inside a tower which is on an island and more than that she is also imprisoned by a curse which is upon her. The woman in Westminster Abbey is imprisoned by her lack of connection with reality and is so out of touch with the real world that I would say she is a prisoner within her self. The main difference between the two women is that one of them knows she is a prisoner and eventually in the end breaks away (even though it kills her) ...read more.


The lady then realizes that there is something unsubstantial about her life and proclaims "I'm half sick of shadows" In Part three Lancelot appears and she sees his attractive reflection in the mirror, it appeals to her so much that she stops her work and looks out through the window at him. SHOCK the mirror breaks and the curse has come upon her. We can see how the lady almost becomes a mirror in herself with the glassy expression on her face. In this 'chapter' the rhyming pattern changes when Lancelot appears, usually every verse ends with the word Shalott but one of the verses ends with Camelot instead. This is symbolic of how much devastation he actually causes, the whole form of the poem alters when he appears. In part four she wonders from the tower down to Camelot. And down the river's dim expanse -- Like some bold seer in a trance, Seeing all his own mischance -- With a glassy countenance.... These lines tell of the lady's trance like gaze possibly cause by thoughts of passion and desire (Lancelot). This could indicate that she is not responsible for her own actions. ...read more.


I.e. helping the war effort and going to church 'when ever she got the time'. The poem ends with her having to leave for a social occasion- "A now dear lord I cannot wait, Because I have a luncheon date" She is a snob and she thinks God is one too, instead of praying to him in her local church she comes all the was to Westminster because she thinks God will view her prayer as more important. The end line of every verse deflates to what she has said (exposes the selfishness). The poet uses irony to show her up so you can't help laughing because you become almost astonished by the things that she says. The woman's actions don't co-inside with her words and the language doesn't fit. This makes her seem like a walking contradiction. I think there is great contrast in both the context and styles of these poems but there still are similarities. They are both poems with a message; the message in The Lady of Shalott is that if you strive for more freedom you might end up dead. The message in the second poem is that we aren't always aware of our faults etc. but they are always there. Created by Tori Anderson 4H ...read more.

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