The Lady Of Shallot Essay, Research Paper
In Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot”, Tennyson describes the dispirited story of a reclusive woman, the Lady of Shallot, bound by a curse to weave a never-ending web. The curse includes the Lady of Shallot being forbidden to glance at the town of Camelot. Tennyson portrays the “magic web” that she weaves and relates them to images of seasons. The poem contains images of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Most of the images occur in the second part of the poem. Spring relates to images such as, “two young lovers” and “plumes and lights”. Summer relates to images such as, Sir Lancelot. Autumn relates to images such as, reapers. Winter relates to the images of death. In Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot” the seasons relates to many different images in the poem.
Tennyson relates spring to images in the second part. Tennyson makes a relationship between “two young lovers lately wed” and spring. The “young lovers” symbolize beginning since they just got married. Spring is the when everything begins to grow or give birth, and the young lovers are beginning their new life together. Tennyson uses plenty of bright images that relate to spring. Since spring is sunny and green, it is considered bright. Tennyson uses images such as, red, crimson, and plumes. A plume is a bright feather that is used as an ornament. Tennyson uses a bright image to describe something that is usually solemn or gloomy. Tennyson uses many young people images. A page is a young messenger, and a damsel is a young maiden. They both symbolize birth and beginning. They have not married yet. Sir Lancelot is also an image of spring, for he is one of the main reasons for her breaking her curse. He causes the Lady of Shallot to start a new beginning. It is the birth of her new life without the curse.
Tennyson relates summer to images in this poem. He relates Sir Lancelot to summer. Sir Lancelot can be considered as related to summer, for he is described with such bright and descriptive dress. When Sir Lancelot rode up the sun began to shine through. He must be virtuous and good. A “yellow” field is mentioned. A field that is yellow is growing, but it is probably not ready to harvest yet. It is not new though. It is in the middle of its ripeness. His shield “sparkled” that means the sun is shining for it to cause some sort of reflection. The sun is associated with summer. He also rode in “blue unclouded weather”. That weather would probably relate to summer, for it is unclouded and spring usually has showers. Autumn is not associated with a blue sky.
Autumn relates to images in the first part of “The Lady of Shallot”. The main image is the reapers. They are people who work in fields and harvest the crops in autumn. The reapers are the only people who hear the Lady Shallot. The Lady of Shallot relates to the reapers, for she is as close to death, or winter, as possible. However, she is not dead, for the reapers still hear her.
Winter relates to images in “The Lady of Shallot”. Winter mainly relates to the images of death in the poem. The image of the “funeral” that she weaves is described with lights, music, and plumes. That is odd though, because funerals aren’t supposed to bright and cheerful. This might be an image that the Lady of Shallot depicts death as a joyous occasion. She may see it as a great experience. She will be free of her curse.
In Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot”, there are relationships between the images that she weaves and the seasons. Spring and young people relate to each other. Summer relates to Sir Lancelot. Autumn relates to the image of the reapers. Death relates to the season of winter. The Lady of Shallot uses the seasons to depict what she wants in her “magic web”. In Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot” he relates the themes, seasons, and images woven by the Lady of Shallot to each other.