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Comparison of the tragedy, sadness and loss in Tennyson's 'Morte D'Arthur' and 'The Lady of Shalott':

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Introduction

Stephan Seiler English Coursework Mrs Short. Word count: 1,128 January 2nd 2003 Comparison of the tragedy, sadness and loss in Tennyson's 'Morte D'Arthur' and 'The Lady of Shalott': 'Morte D'Arthur' and 'The Lady of Shalott' are tragic poems full of sadness and loss because they have a tragic story line, a tragic mood and atmosphere created by Tennyson's use of language and form. 'The Lady of Shalott' is tragic because she is cursed and dies without experiencing love. 'Morte D'Arthur' tells the story of the passing of a great king mourned by the faithful follower Sir Bedivere. Both poems are connected to the Arthurian legends, which contain ancient magic, mystery and romance. 'Morte D'Arthur' has a tragic storyline because it is the end of an era and many soldiers' lives have been lost: "Man by man, Had fallen in Lyonnesse about their Lord," The King is also in his final hours: "The King is sick and knows not what he does" Also, because Sir Bedivere is the last knight alive, he needs to do the final deed of throwing King Arthur's sword "Excalibur" into the lake. ...read more.

Middle

For now I see the true times are dead." 'The Lady of Shalott' also has a tragic storyline because she is locked away from the world and she sees the world at second hand through a mirror: This also portrays sadness: "Four grey walls, and four grey towers, Overlook a space of flowers, And the silent isle embowers The Lady of Shalott" She is very lonely and she often sees: "The knights come riding two and two" However, this upsets her very much because, "She hath no loyal knight and true." We also see the beginnings of passion, the stirring of emotions stronger than the fear of the curse. At the end of part two after seeing the two lovers, "Lately wed" She says, "I am half sick of shadows" When she says "half sick", she means that she is fed up with looking at life through a mirror and she wants to see the world through her real eyes. She is overcome by the dazzling display that Sir Lancelot makes and leaves the artificial world. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the lady were without a curse, then they would have been together. Tennyson's use of language in both poems adds to the effect of tragedy and loss. In 'Morte D'Arthur' Tennyson succeeds in creating a mysterious atmosphere through descriptions of the scenario, King Arthur and Sir Bedivere, for example, "That stood on a dark strait of barren land. On one side lay the ocean, and on one Lay a great water, and the moon was full." This is a sad setting because it is the ruins of the battle, "dark" and, "barren" explains how desolate it is. Similarly, 'The Lady of Shalott' has a tragic mood and atmosphere throughout the "Silent nights." Tennyson also uses Enjambment. This is where the lines flow into each other. This emphasises the Lady flowing down the stream tragically in the boat. In conclusion, both poems have elements of tragedy, sadness and loss. 'Morte D'Arthur' is sad throughout the poem; whereas, in 'The Lady of Shalott,' the first three verses are calm, peaceful and bright. But the mood in part three onwards becomes violent and alarming as the peace is shattered, and there is a sense of sadness, tragedy and loss. ...read more.

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