Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott Essay

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Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott What used to be a simple home is now a sacred sanctuary, a refuge from all the filth of the world, a place to trap and stifle beauty, adventure, and passion. What used to be a simple woman is now an angel, a pure and domestic celestial being. I live in an era where women are considered most beautiful when isolated, helpless, and even dead; where a lady with passion is scarier than a bitter hag; where feminine is now a synonym for pure, selfless, and submissive; where sexism has put on the fancy dress of romance. And Alfred, Lord Tennyson is a man of his era, grabbing romantic sexism by the hand and enchantingly twirling her around the dance floor. Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalott has created a…show more content…
Yet, the risk of letting a lady venture into society—with its threats of corruption and brutality—seems far less threatening than the risk of Lady of Shalott feeling like my honest Jane, before she ventured out: I went to my window, opened it, and looked out…My eye passed all other objects to rest on those most remote, the blue peaks. It was those I longed to surmount; all within their boundary of rock seemed prison-ground, exile limits…I had had no communication by letter, or message with the outer world…and now I felt that it was not enough. I tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon. I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer… (87) These thoughts of Jane’s could easily belong to the Lady of Shalott as well, and Tennyson gave me a glimmer of hope when he let Lady Shalott utter a similar prayer—“I am half sick of shadows”—but he soon smothers these sparks, taking the life of Lady Shalott. When Lady Shalott dies, my hope for any social progress dies. Bring out the poisoned apples, glass caskets, and high castles! The beautiful and mysterious Lady Shalott is not allowed to pursue any bit of passion; she isn’t even allowed to live: “A gleaming shape she floated by.” Gleaming and yet she is dead. Gleaming because she is dead. Why,
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