The Lady of Shalott
Often in paintings and poems the audience does not immediately perceive the many underlying meanings and tones created by the artist. In Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott,” the lady is an artist being an isolated existence in which she strives to resist human desires. John Waterhouse’s painting of the Lady of Shalott reveals a stooped over, beautiful woman whose legs are tied. Through the posture and the restrictive rope around her legs, Waterhouse depicts visually what Tennyson created in words. Whether an audience looks at John Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott or reads Alfred, Lord T
One may not have understood the reason for the mirror when looking at the painting but after reading the poem it is better understood. ennyson"tms "The Lady of Shalott," one can draw the same conclusion about the lady. But, when reading Tennyson"tms poem he states, "A curse is on her if she stayTo look down to Camelot" (40-41), implying that she cannot look out of the window because a curse will be cast upon her if she does. From this an audience can see that she is bound to this room and she does not have much freedom at all. The same idea is shown when Alfred, Lord Tennyson says "Or is she know in all the land" (26). As one can see, the same ideas can be conveyed by two different medias, painting and writing. These are both great examples of how the artists can portray the same meaning, one through words and the other through painting. When first looking at this, the audience may wonder why she is looking through a mirror while there is a window directly behind her. In Waterhouse"tms painting a woman stooped over looking into a mirror is seen. This makes a reader feel as though The Lady of Shalott is secluded in a room and no one knows she even exists. Therefore, a feeling of being restricted to her room is gathered from the poem by Tennyson"tms choice words and by the ropes that have her bound in the painting. Another example of how an artist and an author can portray the same image is how John Waterhouse paints The Lady of Shalott with her legs being tied together with rope. With John Waterhouse"tms painting and Alfred, Lord Tennyson"tms poem an audience discovers that the two artists are both explaining a woman whose is bound to an isolated place and has to look through a mirror to see the outside world.
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