Themes in Arthur Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’
A critical analysis of ‘The Lady of Shalott’ focusing on the themes of the poem and how they are presented by the poet.
This paper begins with information about the poet Arthur Lord Tennyson and outlines his other works. It then goes into a detailed analysis (almost line by line) of ‘The lady of Shalott’ and looks closely at poetic technique and language using the relevant terms. It looks at the themes that occur within the poem and how the language and poetic techniques such as imagery help to convey the themes. The writer also includes some relevant quotes.
Alfred Lord Tennyson was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire on August 6, 1809. It was his father, Reverend George Tennyson, who initially educated him and recognized his poetic abilities, whilst he was still in his early teens. Tennyson wrote, The Devil and the Lady, when he was just fourteen. The atmosphere in which Tennyson was raised was one of bitterness and relative poverty. Tennyson lived an extremely troubled life; the death of his friend Arthur Hallam shocked him most profoundly. This grief led to most of his best poetry being written, including In Memoriam. It was the success of this and other poems that led to him being appointed as Poet Laureate in 1850. He was finally established as the most popular poet of the Victorian era and wrote more than a hundred poems before his death in October 1892. In this essay I intend to look closely at his poem The Lady of Shalott.