The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson is a popular ballad that illustrates the isolation of a woman in a tower far from what she wants to live and experience. She lives a life imprisoned by a curse she knows no consequence for and so hesitates to live her life the way she would have liked.
The poem, The Lady of Shalott, has several meanings or themes. The lady is in isolation, locked in a tower and under a curse though we are never told why. She lives her life passively through a mirror which is to say that she really doesn’t live in the real world because the reflection of the mirror is her world.
What is the curse of the Lady of Shalott?
The poem was a very popular subject for artists in Victorian Britain because of its theme of tragic love. Forbidden to leave the tower, the Lady is only allowed to see the outside world through a mirror or else suffer an unnamed curse.
What is the Lady of Shalott forbidden to do?
According to Tennyson’s version of the legend, the Lady of Shalott was forbidden to look directly at reality or the outside world; instead she was doomed to view the world through a mirror, and weave what she saw into tapestry. One day the Lady’s mirror revealed Sir Lancelot passing by on his horse.
What does I am half sick of shadows mean?
Tennyson uses shadows in two senses. In one sense, the shadows of the world do not have the substance of reality, giving the mirror’s image a ghostly presence. As she says in line 71, “I am half sick of shadows.” Her curse forces her to work from the shadows in the mirror.
Why did the Lady of Shalott kill herself?
However, very few Victorian analyses see the Lady’s death as a planned suicide—a consented choice to escape her homely prison. Suicide seems contradictory to the Pre-Raphaelites romantic notion of an innocent lady in love or as being punished for challenging the societal standards of her gender.
How does the Lady of Shalott die?
The text revolves around the mystery of the Lady of Shalott, who is trapped. She accepts it as her fate and is emotionally and physically detached from the real world. She sees the world only through the mirror. Ironically, she dies when she gets out of that building and when the mirror breaks.
What does the Lady of Shalott do all day?
The Lady who lives in the castle on the Island of Shalott spends most of her time weaving “a magic web with colors gay.” She weaves steadily because she knows a curse will come upon her if she pauses to look toward the town of Camelot.
What does the Lady of Shalott do when she see Sir Lancelot in her mirror?
What does the Lady of Shalott do when she see Sir Lancelot in her mirror? When she sees Sir Lancelot in the mirror, she finds him so beautiful that she can‘t resist going to the window to look at him. In doing do so, however, she also sees Camelot and brings the curse upon the her.
What did Sir Lancelot say when he saw the Lady of Shalott?
But Lancelot mused a little space; He said, “She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott.”
What are the shadows of the world?
Both the Moon and Earth cast 3 shadows:
- an umbra,
- a penumbra,
- and an antumbra.
Why did Tennyson write the Lady of Shalott?
Tennyson was fascinated by medieval literature and culture, and had a particular interest in Arthurian legends. He was drawn to the romance of a lost era and its chivalric code. His original version of ‘The Lady of Shalott‘ had twenty stanzas, and was written when he was just 22.
Who does the Lady of Shalott break her curse for?
She breaks the terms of the curse when she can no longer stand it and turns around to look directly at Lancelot. Rejected by Sir Lancelot, whom she pined for, the Lady of Shalott took a boat down the river to her death.
What happened to the Lady of Shalott?
The Lady of Shalott. She leaves her tower, finds a boat upon which she writes her name, and floats down the river to Camelot. She dies before arriving at the palace. Among the knights and ladies who see her is Lancelot, who thinks she is lovely.
Who is imprisoned on Shalott?
Everything we know in Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shalott” we learn from the narrator, who tells the story from a third-person omniscient perspective. The narrator informs us early on that a magical being referred to as the Lady of Shallott is imprisoned (by curse) on an island near Camelot.