The Lady of Shalott Poem for Lit Midterm
How does the poet describe the setting for the ballad in Part I?
The island of Shalott, which is above Camelot. It is a beautiful and romantic place with flowers, streams, and trees. However there is a prison like castle in which the Lady of Shalott resides
What oppositions exist?
Among the beautiful flowers, trees, and scenery, there is a prison like, gray castle. The darkness of the castle contrasts with the beauty of nature that surrounds it
In Part II what is the Lady of Shalott said to do? Why?
the Lady of Shalott weaves all day and cannot look outside because she is cursed
What does the Lady see in the mirror?
She sees all of the community and the entire world through her mirror. She sees damsels, abbots, shepherd boys, pages, and knights.
What role does the mirror play?
the mirror is the way that the Lady sees and experiences the world. She weaves what she sees in the mirror
In lines 55-70, what opposites exist?
Although the Lady sees knights and other men, she herself does not have a husband. She sees the events of the town through her mirror, but she is not a part of society. Both a wedding and a funeral are also addressed. A funeral is representative of the end while the wedding is a new beginning
What is the Lady’s reaction to the appearance of Sir Lancelot in Part III?
When she sees Sir Lancelot, she immediately leaves the loom and walks to the window to look at him. She looked down to Camelot
What is ironic about the situation when the Lady sees Lancelot?
The situation is ironic because the Lady risked all of her life’s work and her life itself for Lancelot, a man that she does not even know. It is ironic that his appearance had such a strong effect on her, while he did not even notice her.
According to Part IV, what are the consequences of her reaction?
The mirror breaks and the Lady knows the curse is now enacted. She begins to die as she floats down the river on the boat
Explain why lines 69-72 might foreshadow the whole second half of the poem.
they foreshadow the second half because the Lady of Shalott sees a newlywed couple walking a decides that she is sick of the life is is being forced to live. In the second half, she sees Lancelot and is captivated by him- she decides to go to the window, even though she is forbidden.
What yearning does the Lady express when she says, “I am half sick of shadows.”
She is saying that she is tired of seeing the world through her mirror. She wants to be able to see the world through her own eyes, rather than through something that only lets her get a glimpse of the shadows of society
What is the Lady’s Curse
She is forbidden to look down on Camelot. She must stay in her castle and weave the sights she sees in her mirror without ever looking outside
Find examples of imagery used to describe Lancelot in Part III. With what is this dazzling imagery contrasted in other parts of the poem?
He is described as having a red cross on his shield, sparkling in the sun, having a jeweled bridle with bells, and having a jeweled saddle. He is wearing a decorated sash, silver armor, and a helmet with a feather on top of his black curly hair. This is contrasted with the other sights that the Lady sees through her mirror
What are the ironies in lines 145-150?
The ironies are the ways that the Lady’s song is described. It is described as mournful and holy, being sung loudly and lowly. As her world becomes more colorful and lively, her eyes darken and she begins to die.
Explain how this poem could be interpreted as Tennyson’s comment on the role and the life of the artist in relation to society.
it states that an artist’s work is only good when the artist sees the world through his or her own eyes. Once they experience the world through the eyes of the community, their artwork is not longer good. This brings about the “death” of the artist and the artwork
In what ways does Tennyson contrast the Lady’s life with the life of the village churls and of the court in Camelot
The Lady is isolated and alone in her castle, while the village churls and the court are free to do what they please.
Does Tennyson indicate a preference for either of these ways of life?
Tennyson does not indicate a preference. He acknowledges both the benefits and negative effects of both isolation and community.
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