Dorian Gray And The Lady Of Shallot: Stepping Out Of The Shadows

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During one’s life, one must step out into the real world and experience all of what the world has to offer. In order to attain a well-balanced life both mentally and socially, one may seek any way possible to live life to the fullest. We were put on this earth to live- not just simply by breathing in and out everyday, and making life the best it can possibly be. It has been said that you have not really died if you have lived. This theory has been applied to several pieces of literature. In the book The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and “The Lady of Shallot” by Alfred Lord Tennyson, two characters have not lived their life to the fullest extent. In the aforementioned literature, the characters of Sibyl Vane and the Lady of Shallot …show more content…
I knew nothing but shadows, and I thought them real…. Prince Charming! I have grown sick of shadows (66).”

Sibyl repeatedly hides away from having to be a part of life because she has been in a world of unreality. When she loves Dorian she has the courage to step out of the shadows. She has stepped out into the world and the world his her life, depriving her of the shadows. When she finally steps out of her shadows and into her reality, fate comes into play. When Dorian tells her the he does not love her anymore, she cannot take the reality and in return commits suicide.

Also bored of these “shadows” of life is the Lady of Shallot. She is fed up with seeing beautiful sights in her mirror and not being able to take part in them. She proclaims, “I am half sick of shadows (Tennyson 71).” In the Lady’s case, her shadow is the mirror. She lives for the shadows because she needs them to experience life. However, she wants to experience the world first-hand, without the mirror, or her shadow. When she heads toward Camelot, she leaps out of the shadows. Comparable to that of Sibyl Vane, when she is separated from her shadows, her unfortunate fate is met.

Perhaps their fate could have been changed if these women had learned to step into reality at an earlier stage in life. Opposite of their own sheltered worlds, Sibyl Vane and the Lady of Shallot should have both experienced life through something that is not concrete. Both of their fates are determined by these

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