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Compare and Contrast the Atmosphere in The Lady Of Shalott and Morte d 'Arthur by Lord Tennyson.

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Introduction

English Essay

Compare and Contrast the Atmosphere in The Lady Of Shalott and Morte d ’Arthur by Lord Tennyson

In both poems Tennyson uses a number of different devices to portray a strong atmosphere-landscape, loneliness, pathos and colour are all used. As both poems end in tragedy pathos appears very prominently to create atmosphere. Mystery, weather and sounds all contribute to providing The Lady of Shalott and Morte d ‘Arthur with the atmosphere appropriate to each poem.

Landscape is used in each poem to create a different atmosphere and effect. In The Lady of Shalottlandscape is used to enhance the atmosphere by reflecting the mood of The Lady Of Shalott in the landscape. She starts the poem contented with her life.

“Long fields of barley and rye”

This line shows the pleasant world outside, the carefree atmosphere with the fertile land. The poem starts out not indicating that it will have a tragic ending. However the mood of the poem changes when the curse comes upon The Lady ofShalott.

“Pale yellow woods were waning”

This line shows the change between the bright pleasant landscapes before the curse, to the now mournful dark landscape appropriate to the death of The Lady of Shalott. Once again her sad mood is reflected in the landscape.

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Middle

“Lying, robed in snowy white”

This is an example of how the colour changes from the bright colours before the curse to the now mournful haunting images.

In Morte d‘ Arthur Tennyson uses colour when describing the sword Excalibur.

“Myriads of topaz-lights, and jacinth work of subtlest jewellery”

The reader can imagine what the sword looked like and what Sir Bedivere would have to throw away. The colours help to build up the picture, which helps the atmosphere become more charged. The reader can see what Sir Bedivere was throwing away and why he was so against doing so.

When the King dies like in The Lady of Shalott colour is used to provide a dark mournful atmosphere. It is also used to describe what both people looked like when they died.

“His face was white and colourless”

Sound is used to evoke atmosphere in both poems. In The Lady of Shalott sound is used to show along with colour the cheerful atmosphere outside on the way to Camelot.

“And music went to Camelot”

In Morte d ‘Arthur however sound is used to provide the poem with the haunting chilling atmosphere that it needs.

“The sea sang shrill, chill with flakes of foam”

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Conclusion

Morte d’ Arthur, pathos is also used, as this is the end of the Christian Britain that was Arthur and the Knights.

“Of Camelot, as in the days that were.

I perish by this people which I made,”

His own people have turned against him.  Pathos is also used when Sir Bedivere disobeys Arthur as the reader feels for Arthur.  Arthur used to be powerful and in control, he had respect from everybody but now he has none.

“Authority forgets a dying King”

This line concludes what is happening to king Arthur, he has lost all authority and the England that was is now no more.

“So like a shatter’d column lay the King;”

This line sums up what King Arthur has become, the atmosphere therefore becomes very sad and full of pathos.

The atmosphere all the way throughout Morte d ‘Arthur is very sad and full of pathos. This atmosphere is appropriate to King Arthur dying. However the atmosphere in The Lady of Shalott starts with a happy atmosphere as the lady of Shalott is content with her life. When the curse comes upon her the atmosphere changes and becomes more like Morte d ‘ Arthur. Throughout the poem the atmosphere is reflected in the mood of the characters.

Eleanor Simms

10T

14.12.03

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