The Lady Of Shalott Analysis

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Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott” serves as an allegory for the poet’s relation to society, which can be interpreted as a commentary on the existence of a Romantic poet in Victorian society. In this poem, the lady lives in a tower, away from the rest of the world and weaves a web night and day. This continues until she views Sir Lancelot in the mirror and is lured away from her work. As she leaves her loom, the mirror cracks, forever destroyed. She makes her way to Camelot, but her song dies as she expires upon her arrival. The components of this poem are allegorical representations of the poet’s relationship to society, specifically the Romantic poet’s difficulties in society. The isolation of the lady in the poem, a representative of the poet, mirrors the romantic isolation common among Romantic poets in order to separate themselves from modern society. The lady views the world through her mirror, which produces merely representations of reality: “And moving through a mirror clear / That hangs before her all the year, / Shadows of the world appear” (“The Lady of Shalott” 46-48). This specific description of the poet’s point of view can be viewed as a representation of the accusation that was often directed at Romantic poets, which was that their alienation and separation from society produced a skewed or shadowed version of reality, which rendered their observations irrelevant. The Romantic poet was meant to hold a mirror up to nature and society, in the same fashion that

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