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A Moralistic Analysis of The Lady of Shalott
Transcript of A Moralistic Analysis of The Lady of Shalott
Moralistic Analysis of
The Lady of Shalott
Right Vs. Wrong
The Lady's Choice
The battle between right and wrong is present in many pieces of literature. In the Lady of Shalott the battle can be seen in two different aspects.
Lady Shalott found it morally right to
leave when the curse was upon her.
She did this because it was morally
right to break free from her restraints
and live instead of being trapped
and live a boring life.
For years and years, the lady was content with her cursed life, until she saw two newlyweds in the moon lit night. At that time, she realized she was missing something in life. From that time onwards, she was no longer content.
One could also interpret the moral truth the the opposite way. Instead the Lady of Shalott could have been sending a warning. This warning would be that the cage you live in may be boring, but the world is to dangerous.
Moral Truth: Things that are morally
The curse itself is an element of moral debate. The Lady of Shalott was cursed to never live a life outside of her home a life separate from society. To live a life of seclusion is generally perceived as morally wrong. However the Lady of Shalott perceived the curse as morally right because it is all she has ever known.
The Lady's Art Work
While the Lady of Shalott is cursed to spend eternity inside her home, she is still granted the privilege of creating art. Every work of art can be perceived as beautiful. However the Lady's art specifically is a form of catharsis and is therefore viewed as especially beautiful.
Beauty as a moral issue can be seen in The Lady of Shalott mostly in the last part of the poem. Beauty is a reoccurring theme that can be seen through three aspects:
When the Lady of Shalott decides that looking out the window to see Lancelot in person is more valuable to her own well being , she makes a moral decision. The Lady chooses to value Lancelot's life over her own. She makes a conscious decision to break her curse. However the Lady is also choosing to free herself from oppression; she is choosing freedom.This matkes the Lady's choice a moral debate between right and wrong the same way suicide is debated in society today
Leaving Her Curse
What is a Moralistic Analysis?
A moralistic analysis of literature looks and examines three aspects: right vs. wrong, moral truth and beauty
People of Influence
Plato was a popular philosopher in classical Greece.
Seen here in a painting by John William Waterhouse, the Lady's artwork is beautiful
The Lady's Death
The Lady's death is described in such a way that it can be viewed as beautiful. The Lady of Shalott dies while on her way to a city she has never seen before in a boat with her name scrawled on the side. The beauty in such a tragic incident can be found through Tennyson's imagery:
Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right--
The leaves upon her falling light--
Thro' the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot;
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott
Lancelot's View of the Lady
In the final lines of the poem Lancelot, upon finding the Lady dead and floating in a boat turns to his companion and says, "She has a lovely face" . Lancelot sees only the surface of the Lady of Shallot's beauty which can be fairly disappointing to the readers. The Lady's whole life revolved around her artwork and she left that life to just look at Lancelot, however as a result he never gets to appreciate her true beauty. In this way the poem highlights the importance of the beauty within and the superficial nature of beauty in today's society.
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