Literary Analysis: The Lady of Shalott

             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 Sellwood. Also that year, his closest friend, Arthur Hallam, died. Deeply depressed over the loss, Tennyson did not write again until 1842. He then published Poems, a second version of the first with rewritten and some added poems. Written in 1850 in honor of Hallam, In Memoriam helped Tennyson to become one of Britain’s most popular poets. Also in 1850, he married Sellwood and was named Poet Laureate (the previous Poet Laureate, Wordsworth, died). Three years later, Tennyson and his wife had two sons, Hallam and Lionel. Tennyson continued to write, publishing Charge of the Light Brigade, Maud, and other books of poems. He later died in 1892 at the age of 83.
             Like all other poems, The Lady of Shalott contains literary devices. Rhyme is one of them. The rhyme scheme for each stanza is the same, AAAABCCCB. Assonance is also used. One example, in lines 42 and 43, is “be” and “steadily.” “And sometimes through the mirror blue” (line 60) is an example of internal rhyme....

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Literary Analysis: The Lady of Shalott. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:45, March 01, 2017, from