Women In Lord Tennyson's The Lady Of Shalott

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The poem ‘The Lady of Shalott’, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was written in a period when women were seen as obedient products. They represented the house image, the inner world, having no rights. Women were supposed to be pure, virgin and reserved. When they got married, women had to give up their money and rights to their husbands. It was not enough that women stopped having any rights or money, but they also become the property of their spouse, in other words, a husband took the decision about his wife’s life and body. Their needs and image were not a priority. Such as the condition on women on Victorian period, Lady of Shalott had her shortcomings but, when she beat them up, she died.
The poem presents the story of Lady of Shalott, a woman
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It has nineteen stanzas, but the poet does not focus on her imagine. He describes the scenery, Sir Lancelot, the ‘shadows’ that the Lady sees I her mirror, but all we learn about the lady is that she had a secluded life, that no one had seen her face, only the reapers heard her singing. She is described as being a ghost. She could not have contact with the external world and all the parts she sees of the world are through her mirror. Here, the poet shows the isolation and how the society principles effuse over her. Besides, women talking about sexual relationship were a taboo. They kept secret all their desires and troubles. All those thoughts were hidden. Lady of Shalott could also represent a taboo subject, that once it is divulged, it attracts social repercussions, meaning her death. Her death may be seen as a warring for all the untraditional points of view. Sir Lancelot is a symbol for temptation and lustful desires, as he had an affair with Queen Guinevere. Being allured by the shadow of Sir Lancelot, Lady of Shalott forgets about the curse and looks down to Camelot. After being ideologue with purity and chastity, she brakes free from her established destiny and is caught by the moment, which was an immoral thing to do for a woman in that…show more content…
The domestic interior belonged to women, while the active exterior world belonged solely to men.’’ (Victorian Web). Women were in the back seat. It is also marked in the text through the fact that we do not know how Lady of Shalott really looks like, but we have the whole description of Sir Lancelot as a male figure. Through the poem, Lady Shalott’s voice is heard only twice: ‘I am half sick of shadows’ illustrating that she was fed up with her imprisonment wanting to taste a little bit of the public realm and to experience love; and ‘The curse is come upon me’ which means that, stepping out of the domestic area, searching for her knight, she was on a mind ground ready to explode, as she was not morally allowed to search for love, and to chase it because she would have been seen as a light woman and her life would end there, because she was expected to be pure and no man would look at her again. Her death symbolizes the consequence of breaking the society’s principles by taking her life in her own hands and not doing what was expected of her.
Lord Alfred Tennyson’s source of inspiration was the story ‘‘Donna di Scalotta’’ or the story of ‘’Elaine of Astalot’. Here, Elaine dies from a broken heart, due to the fact that her love towards Sir Lancelot was not mutual. She leaves a letter in which she explain she wants that her body to be put in
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