The Lotos-Eaters Analysis

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The volume of 1832, which began with The Lady of Shalott and contained " Eleanore," " Margaret," " The Miller 's Daughter," " The Palace of Art," " The May Queen," " Fatima," The Lotos-Eaters, and " A Dream of Fair Women," was published in his twenty-second year. Scholars such as Simpson, Alaya, Grob and Stage argue how Tennyson, in some of his poems, exposes his view on the purpose of art placing an isolated artist-figure in a story-line. “The Lady of Shalott”, “The Palace of Art”, “The Lotos-Eaters” portray “socially alienated and hostile figures” in disagreement with the moral principles of society (Elaine the Unfair 343). The Lady of Shalott is one of Tennyson’s most famous works which M. Alaya characterizes it as the ultimate “expression…show more content…
Either way, whether the artist seeks refuge into a tower or an exotic island, a break between the artist and society is obviously present. The art poems or “the celebration of private, special perception”, as Simpson calls them, are connected to the way in which the artist sees the world and how their perception contributes to the creative process. This kind of perception can be found in “The Lady of Shalott” where the Lady perceives the outside world through the reflection of a window. “Shadows of the world” and “magic sights”. The depiction of Lady as “some bold seer in a trace” refers to the perception of the artist which might be subjective. The artist-figures “semi-deified” with magical features ascribed to are typical for Tennyson’s art poems (Elaine the Unfair 345). If we look at Lady of Shalott she is both fair and “fairy” described as a supernatural creature having divine powers. Throughout the entire poem, the Lady looks into a mirror, weaves a “magic” web and she is under the spell of a…show more content…
The Lady of Shalott, who has been separated from society since she can remember, watches young boys and girls, happy lovers and handsome knights in her magic mirror and decides she does not want to live in isolation any longer. While she is observing the outside world through the mirror, she sees a beautiful man who is singing, known as Lancelot, and she instantly falls in love with him. However, the attempt to blend back into society brings about destructive consequences for the Lady. When she finally leaves her tower, getting in a boat with her name carved on, and rushes down the river toward Camelot, the world of men, she finds herself the victim of a ‘curse’ and dies even before she actually encounters a human soul. Tennyson’s attitude towards art is definitely underlined in his poems: the artist should be isolated from the temptations of society because the artist’s ability to produce is diminished. In “The Lotos Eaters” Odysseus’s men come to “land / In which it seemed always afternoon” (Lines 3-4) and “the mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters” (Line 27) offer them a life of simplicity. Odysseus’s men choose to stay in the sensuous land of the Lotos, having “had enough of action”
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