Essay about The Lady Of Shalott : Tantalus 's Daughter
1450 Words Mar 11th, 2016 null Page
Alfred Lord Tennyson is a Victorian poet who seldom strays out of narrative territory. His poems are stories, and “The Lady of Shalott” is no exception. The Lady of Shalott, for whom the poem is titled after, is a heartbreaking heroine who spends most of her life locked away in a tower, only to finally emerge and softly depart from the world. In the short span of four parts, her tale spans the themes of dreams, imprisonment, misogyny, and death. Not only does the Lady of Shalott’s story carry visual representations of the daily struggles both contemporary and historical women are subjected to, but also her plight is reminiscent of mythological figure Tantalus’s torture.
The struggles of women in history have proven to be rougher than the struggles of contemporary women, and literary heroines of the Victorian age suffer no less than their real-life counterparts. The Lady of Shalott is an example of the classic “maiden in a tower” trope; however, her plight is taken even further, as there is no knight to rescue her. There is no happy ending, because she is saddled with an unknown curse if she were to ever set foot outside her tower. Whether the citizens of Camelot are aware of this is unsure, but as it is, no one has ever come to her aid. The Lady of Shalott is not simply a maiden in a tower – she is a doll, and her puppeteers are the citizens of Camelot, who have unknowingly dictated her fate and life for her. She is told to sit and…