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The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott Analysis
by

Yuri Lee

on 5 March 2014

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Transcript of The Lady of Shalott


The title refers to the Lady of Shalott, who spends her entire life enclosed by towers and walls. The entirety of her being is in Shalott, and all that is left of her at the end is her name, engraved on the prow of the boat that carries her.
Summary
The Lady of Shalott spends her entire life in Shalott, weaving and unable to venture out due to a curse that might befall on her. When one day she gets distracted by the outside world, she is cursed, and she sets herself afloat down to Camelot, and dies in the boat.
Speaker & Situation
The speaker is in 3rd person, and telling the tale of the Lady of Shalott. The speaker talks of the Lady as a symbol for the life of an artist.
Sound Devices
anaphora- lines 109-113; "She left.../.../.../...Camelot"
~this repetition emphasizes the moment where the Lady's artistic inspiration evaporated
alliteration-lines 10, 22, & more; "Willows whiten," "silken-sail'd," etc
~the constant alliteration, with the parallel repetition allows the poem to have a song-like quality
Tone
The tone of the poem seems to be indifferent or unbiased (like that of a storyteller) but there is a hint of pity toward the Lady's life and death.
Theme
The theme of this poem is that once one is deviated from the path fated for one, there may be tragic consequences.
Paragraph
In "The Lady of Shalott," Alfred Lord Tennyson illustrates the life and death of the Lady of Shalott to symbolize said life and death of an artist, and with pity he shows that once one is deviated from the path fated for one, there may be tragic consequences. Tennyson's usage of parallelism paired with repetition of the "Lady of Shalott" and words that rhyme with that at the end of every stanza emphasizes the little importance the name has to those who later learn it, although the entire poem is dedicated to telling the life of the Lady. Tennyson's utilization of alliteration also brings about a lyrical quality to the poem, like an elegy of pity, as she dies "singing in her song."
The Lady of Shalott
Significance of Title
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Figurative Language
Parallelism- lines 18, 27...&171; "The Lady of Shalott"
~this allows the reader to get familiar with the Lady's title; the poem ends with her name, but does not give much else about her, her history is but a name.
Imagery- whole poem;
~Tennyson uses many details and images to allow the reader to see and feel what Shalott and Camelot consist of
Symbolism- lines 143 &168;
"They heard her singing her last song" & "But Lancelot mused a little space"
~this shows the representation of the sad life of the artist (the Lady) and the unappreciative observers (Lancelot)
Shift
Thematic Statement
There is a shift on line 73, where the speaker switches from describing the Lady to describing Lancelot, which Tennyson does by using visual and audible imagery. He returns to speaking of the Lady in line 109.
In "The Lady of Shalott," Alfred Lord Tennyson illustrates the life and death of the Lady of Shalott to symbolize said life and death of an artist, and with pity he shows that once one is deviated from the path fated for one, there may be tragic consequences.
Full transcript