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Alfred Lord Tennyson


Subjects had never before been tackled in poetic form ... 19th century revival of medieval Romanticism and stories of King Arthur ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Tennyson called the Arthurian legend "the
    greatest of all poetical subjects," which partly
    explains why this tradition so heavily influenced
    his writing and popularized King Arthur with the
    Victorian period

Tennysons Life
  • English poet often regarded as the chief
    representative of the Victorian age in poetry.

Tennysons Purpose
  • Subjects had never before been tackled in poetic
  • Wanted to write poems about British
    people for the British people (Arthur
    national/ epic hero)
  • Wanted to tell the story of the rise
    and fall of an ideal society
    and the
    2 great threats to society
  • Impractical idealism
  • Corrupting effects of different types of love
  • Wanted poems to serve as a warning to his
    generation because of the battle between religion
    and science (Christianity v. Darwinism)

Tennysons Works
  • Focus on the following issues
  • political
  • historical
  • scientific matters
  • classical mythology
  • deeply personal thoughts and feelings.
  • Poet of self reflection and analysis and a poet
    of the people.
  • He examines himself to help give British
    Victorian society a voice.

Tennysons Themes
  • Isolation
  • Tragic Love
  • Chaos v. Order
  • Having Faith v. Keeping Faith
  • The Artist v. Society

Tennysons Arthurian Works
  • 19th century revival of medieval Romanticism and
    stories of King Arthur
  • Rich imagery and descriptive writing reflects
    Victorian period
  • Morte DArthur
  • The Lady of Shalott (most well known)
  • Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere
  • Sir Galahad
  • Idylls of the King
  • Q What is an idyll?
  • A short poem usually focusing on one

    episode on someones life
  • Q Who is the King?
  • A Arthur .

The Lady of Shalott
  • based on a thirteenth-century Italian novelette
    entitled Donna di Scalotta.
  • Tennyson emphasizes her isolation in the tower
    and her decision to participate in the living
  • "The Lady of Shallot,

    is introduced as a valid

    setting for the study of

    the artist and the

    dangers of personal


Themes The Lady of Shallot
  • The main character in The Lady of Shallot is used
    by Tennyson to illustrate what happens when an
    individual is shut off from the world. Tennyson
    also explores several themes common to the
    Arthurian legends.
  • Themes
  • Personal isolation
  • Illusion vs. Reality
  • Chivalry
  • Unrequited love
  • Suicide

The Allegory of the Cave - Background
  • The Allegory of the Cave, part of Platos
  • Conversation between Plato and his teacher,
  • Outlines Platos philosophies
  • Senses Poor copy of reality
  • Real World perceived through the intellect
  • Students must discover truth/reality for
  • Enlightened individuals must lead everyone else

The Allegory of the Cave - Plot
  • Human beings chained from childhood in an
    underground cave, unable to move
  • The light is behind them fire and a passage to
    the daylight above
  • Other people walk above with various objects that
    are reflected on the cave wall
  • The chained individuals see only shadows
  • When they are set free, the light hurts their
    eyes and they are overwhelmed they run from it
  • If they are forcibly dragged to the light, some
    gradually adjust but they can never go back into
    the darkness

The Allegory of the Cave - Visual
The Cave and The Lady
  • The Lady of Shallot is chained to her loom
  • She only sees the outside world through her
  • When she leaves the mirror to look upon Lancelot,
    her mirror (her illusion) is cracked
  • She is overwhelmed (cursed) by reality and can
    never go back