Comparing Lady of Shalott and Morte d' Arthur Essay

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Comparing Lady of Shalott and Morte d' Arthur

Lord Tennyson wrote both Morte d' Arthur and The Lady of Shalott. He set both of the poems in medieval Camelot and describes knights and love. Both poems convey tragedy and loss. The Lady of Shalott is fated to die tragically and King Arthur's death is described being the end of Camelot and all that went with it. The Lady of Shalott is more of a fairy story with a sad ending, but Morte d' Arthur is much more serious and sad from the beginning and deals with both the death of Arthur and the magic sword "Excalibur".

In both poems Tennyson uses language, mood and atmosphere to demonstrate a sense of tragedy and loss. In Morte d' Arthur the landscape
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Also the verses are very upbeat and written like a song. It is a very much happier poem than Morte d' Arthur. The tone of the poem begins to suggest the tragedy when we learn that "a curse is on here if she stay to look down to Camelot" and "she knows that she is cursed". This tells us that something bad will happen to her probably she will die if she breaks the rules and looks directly out of her tower down to Camelot. As the mood of the poem changes it makes you wonder what is going to happen to her. Also we learn that she only see things through a mirror "and moving through a mirror clear…shadows of the world appear". You begin to feel that she will break her curse by looking out of the window and her tragedy will begin to unfold.

In Morte d' Arthur, Arthur also feels that something will happen to him that is pre-determined by Merlin, the magician, so this is very similar to the Lady's premonition of her tragic fate. His sword, Excalibur, is a piece of magic in its own. It is beautifully described, it has lots of precious stones and jewels on it, and it glistens in the light. Bedivere is reluctant to throw away such a beautiful sword into a lake.

In Lady of Shallot it is Lancelot that is described in this beautiful way "his broad clear brow in sunlight glowed". Tennyson describes him and his horse in great detail and we see him as a bright and
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