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Tennyson And Keats

11 Pages 2643 Words

In the early 19th century, the industrial revolution provoked a return to medievalism by the poets and painters of the age. They wrote about the medieval world as idyllic and harmonious – a contrast to their own turbulent century. Although these two poems aren’t entirely idyllic, they are set in the medieval age, and use many similar ideas. The focus was on stories of courtly love, chivalry and tragedy. The two poems I will be comparing are ‘Mariana’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809 – 1892) and ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’, by John Keats (1795 – 1821). They tell of love and loss and explore the realm of unrequited love, but in very different ways.
Tennyson’s ‘Mariana’ was a character taken from Shakespeare’s ‘Measure for Measure’. She is a young woman, deserted by her lover and left in a ‘lonely moated grange’. The Poem consists of seven 12-line stanzas; the last four lines of each stanza are always the same, with a slight variation in the last stanza. Thus, one third of the poem consists of a repetition of the last four lines. A lament for Mariana’s lost love. ‘She only said, ‘My life is dreary, He cometh not’ she said; She said ‘I am aweary, aweary, I would that I were dead!’’ Tennyson often uses repetition in this poem, not only in order to re-enforce the feelings and emotions of Mariana, as he does above, but also on a smaller scale, in order to make a visual image clearer and stronger. He describes the ‘glooming flats’ as ‘ the level waste, the rounding grey’, forcing the reader to acknowledge, that the gloomy, ‘dreary’ landscape echoes the dreary life that she is living. In his description of Mariana’s surroundings, Tennyson uses the exterior setting, to communicate Mariana’s inner self - to describe her life. This is a Victorian device, called a paysage interieur, the creation of an interior landscape.
Alfred Lord Tennyson was one of the ...

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