Lord Alfred Tennyson 's Idylls Of The King Essay

1430 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 null Page
Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Idylls of the King was written in Victorian England and the latest version was published in 1885, though the actual writing process covered a span of almost 50 years. Tennyson bases the series of poems comprising the Idylls on the European myth of King Arthur and the court of Camelot and various other adaptations of that legend. The evolution of Tennyson’s female characters to their final stages underscores an undermining of traditional Victorian gender roles by highlighting the non-sustainability of the one-dimensional, symbolic woman.
The Idylls detail the rise and fall of King Arthur, leader of the Round Table and King of Camelot. The work opens with a dedication to the late Prince Consort, Albert; then the plot follows in a non-linear structure, with third-person point of view shifting from character to character to trace various intersecting storylines, all of which center around the affair between King Arthur’s wife, Queen Guinevere, and his right-hand knight, Lancelot. Camelot steadily falls into a state of relative moral decay, based on the debauchery of several members of the Round Table, combined with nefarious plots by several enterprising characters within the kingdom to usurp power from the King. At the heart of the poems are several different versions of heterosexual and domestic romance, ranging from the marriage between King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, to the one-sided love Elaine of Astolat has for Sir Lancelot, to Vivien’s seduction…

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