Literary Analysis: The Lady of Shalott

Length: 3 Pages 642 Words

The author of The Lady of Shalott is Alfred Tennyson. The poem was written in 1842 and is included in Tennyson’s published work, Poems. Tennyson’s life story, the literary devices found in the Lady of Shalott, and the literal and symbolic meaning of the poem are discussed. Alfred Tennyson was born on August 6, 1809 in Somersby, Lincolnshire to George and Elizabeth Tennyson. He began to write at the age of eight. His first published work was achieved in 1827 with his brothers Frederick and Charles, though entitled Poems of Two Brothers. Tennyson then went on to study at Trinity College that same year. There he won the Chancellor’s Prize Medal for Timbuctoo and published his first book Poems, Chiefly Lyrical by himself. With the death of Tennyson’s father in 1831, he left school to go home and help support his family. Poems was published a year later, though harshly criticized by reviewers. In 1833, he became engaged to Emily Sellwo Continue...


The Lady of Shalott, however, didn't seem to have a job. The Lady of Shalott has literal and symbolic meaning. Tennyson continued to write, publishing Charge of the Light Brigade, Maud, and other books of poems. She was just living in a tower, sort of imprisoned. The townspeople find her, and Lancelot says, "She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace. He then published Poems, a second version of the first with rewritten and some added poems. It's a famous poem that helped to establish his identity. The mirror breaks, and the curse is set upon her. The Lady looks out the window and stops weaving. The poem is a four-part poem, making it seem like a story. Also that year, his closest friend, Arthur Hallam, died. Also in 1850, he married Sellwood and was named Poet Laureate (the previous Poet Laureate, Wordsworth, died). She weaves a web continuously every day and is hardly known by anybody. Then she sees a handsome knight riding through the fields.