Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Art Fueled By Madness And The Battle With Manic Depressive Illness

1839 words - 8 pages

Alfred, Lord Tennyson"It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all," is possibly one of the most famous quotes in the world, given to literature by Alfred, Lord Tennyson - commonly referred to as Lord Alfred Tennyson - whom was largely regarded as the representative of the Victorian Era. Lord Alfred Tennyson was born into a family with a rich history of documented mental instability, he himself suffering from what is commonly known as Bi-Polar (or Manic Depressive) disorder. In this paper, we will learn a little about Lord Tennyson and his family history of bi-polar disorder; some characteristics of the disorder and how it could have been both beneficial and ...view middle of the document...

(Everett.) It was upon Hallam's death in 1833 at the age of twenty-two that prompted the writing of "In Memoriam," -a eulogy that commemorates his beloved friend - which took Tennyson seventeen years to complete, in time for him to win Poet Laureate in 1850 over William Wordsworth prior to his death in October of 1892, (Jalic.) Of his collected works, none were so profound and captured the depressive mood of Bi-Polar disorder like "Maud, and Other Poems," published in 1855. "Maud" was hailed by critics as morbid and obscure; dealing with poems of a very depressed nature - as evident of his mental state while writing it.Throughout his life, Alfred, Lord Tennyson struggled with unstable mood swings and the mental instabilities of many in his family. It has been documented in a plethora of sources that several of the men (and a few women) in the Tennyson family battled long, debilitating bouts of depression and episodes of manic madness and anger. His father and one of his brothers were noted to have been severely epileptic, which was made worse by alcoholism. Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins School of Medicine published and article in which she illustrates the lineage of the Tennyson Family's mental illnesses:"Alfred, Lord Tennyson experienced recurrent, debilitating depressions and probable hypomanic spells, often expressed fear that he might inherit the madness, or "taint of blood," in his family. His father, grandfather, two of his great-grandfathers as well as five of his seven brothers suffered from insanity, melancholia, uncontrollable rage or what is today known as manic-depressive illness. His brother Edward was confined to an asylum for nearly 60 years before he died from manic exhaustion. Lionel Tennyson, one of Alfred's two sons, displayed a mercurial temperament, as did one of his three grandsons. Modern medicine has confirmed that manic-depression and creativity tend to run in certain families," (Jamison 46.)This confirms the publications and claims of mental illness in the Tennyson family, and reaffirms why in 1830 Alfred Tennyson checked himself into a sanitarium for observation from worry about being mentally unstable like his relatives.We are aware now that Alfred, Lord Tennyson suffered from Bi-Polar Disorder, but what exactly is it? We know that it's extreme differences in mood, but now we will learn more in depth about this disorder and what specifically about it affected Lord Tennyson.According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) , Bipolar disorder is a disorder that causes abnormal changes in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. The symptoms are far worse than the typical ups and downs of a normal, healthy person that result in damaged relationships, poor perfunctory skills, and possibly even suicide. Bi-Polar disorder CAN be treated, but like diabetes or heart disease, it's a lifetime of treatment that must be carefully monitored. Bi-polar...

Find Another Essay On Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Art Fueled By Madness And The Battle With Manic Depressive Illness

"The Wife of His Youth" by Lord Alfred Tennyson

686 words - 3 pages skin was light enough for the veins to be seen. Chesnutt himself was very light skinned and could have easily "passed" as being white. It should be noted that although he could have, he never did.Mr. Ryders favorite poet is Lord Alfred Tennyson. Tennyson was an english author who wrote during the Victorian age in poetry. He wrote with the social issues of his time, much like Chesnutt, which made him susceptible to later criticism. After his death

Analysis of Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson

770 words - 3 pages Analysis of Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson In the poem "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the readers are shown a great king in the later years of his life. The reader finds Ulysses reflecting on the glorious days of his youth and planning that by some means he will obtain those glorious times again. He refuses to accept a future of growing old and ruling his kingdom. Ulysses will not let the rest of his life pass him by just sitting

To An Athlete Dying Young, by A.E. Houseman and Crossing The Bar, by Lord Alfred Tennyson

1369 words - 5 pages “To An Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Houseman and “Crossing The Bar” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson are poems that very similar to each other yet so different. “To An Athlete Dying Young” is about an athlete who dies young and Houseman congratulates him because people will remember him forever. “Crossing the Bar” is about Tennyson realizing that he is about to die and he accepts his fate. Both poems have a similar theme of death. Both authors make

The Life of Alfred Lord Tennyson

1493 words - 6 pages Alfred Lord Tennyson, born August 6, 1809 in Somersby, Lincolnshire, was a famous British poet. He was the son of George Clayton Tennyson and Elizabeth Fytche; he was the fourth oldest out of twelve. Tennyson belonged to a noble and royal ancestry. His father was a great man that made significant contributions in the fields of painting, architecture, music, and poetry. His father was very involved in his children’s education. Alfred and two of

Poety of Alfred Lord Tennyson

959 words - 4 pages Today, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poetry is widely known and appreciated, though this was not always the case. In his early years of writing his poems were criticized for content and style of writing. This strongly impacted Tennyson and caused him once to cease writing for nine years. Tennyson’s childhood influenced his writing and this is often seen in many of his poems. He was regarded as the chief representative of the Victorian age in poetry. He

Analysis of Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen and Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson

4973 words - 20 pages line with the men reporting the events. Alfred was inspired by the article and chose to write a poem about it. Alfred never went to war and never found out the brutal mortality of it, all he knew was the papers view and they produced a very biased account of the battle, therefore through lack of knowledge he thought that war was glorious and heroic and this is the type of message he portrayed within his poem. Tennyson tells

A Comparison of 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning and 'Ulysses' by Alfred Lord Tennyson

1078 words - 4 pages A Comparison of 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning and 'Ulysses' by Alfred Lord Tennyson These two poems, or monologues, were written by Robert Browning (My last Duchess) and Alfred Lord Tennyson (Ulysses), in the 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria. Many other influential writers were also born in this period. During this time, Britain’s population doubled from 17.5 million to 37 million. Britain was a very

Poetic analysis of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

989 words - 4 pages The disastrous cavalry charge during the Battle of Balaclava is still very much remembered today in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's narrative poem, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. In every line of the six stanzas, Tennyson reflects deeply on the strong courage of the 600 cavalry men even during the most tragic of times. Written with detailed recount, the poem tells us of the brave charge the soldiers made even when they knew they were following

The Attitude to War in The Charge of the Light Brigade By Alfred Lord Tennyson and Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

2295 words - 9 pages The Attitude to War in The Charge of the Light Brigade By Alfred Lord Tennyson and Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' are about battle and soldiers; they portray the experience of war in different ways. Both poems employ visual imagery of battle and the effects on the people. 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' is more about the actions of the whole brigade

Lord Alfred Tennyson as a Victorian

721 words - 3 pages first long poem, The Princess, a poem about anti-feminist fantasia. A man by the name of Edward Moxon offered to publish the elegies on Hallam that Tennyson had been composing over the years. To Tennyson this was a dream that he thought would never come true. At first they appeared anonymously, which helped with the success with both reviewers and the public readers won him the friendship of Queen Victoria, and helped bring about, in the same year

Explain in detail the symbolism used by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his poem "The Lady of Shalott

1204 words - 5 pages The poem "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson takes it's inspiration from the popular legends of King Arthur. It tells the story of a beautiful woman forced to live in a tower room and weave. The poem poses a hidden question--can the belief in a curse bring about suffering simply because that is the "expected" result?At first, the Lady finds solace in her weaving. A mirror placed on the far side of her loom allows her to see

Similar Essays

Kay Redfield Jamison's Touched With Fire: Manic Depressive Illness And The Artistic Temeprament

1032 words - 4 pages and delusions. Likewise, a study by Dr. Arnold Ludwig found highest rates of "mania psychosis and psychiatric hospitalization [were] in poets" (1). Poets, of course, are not the only artists to suffer from manic-depressive illness. Indeed, Jamison lists a staggering number of painters, sculptors, and composers who also lived and created with severe mood disorders. Additionally, Jamison presents a detailed account of the madness of George Gordon

"The Eagle" By Tennyson, Lord Alfred Explication

1014 words - 4 pages ultimately suggest that this eagle, a majestic symbol, is probably a representation of a man of royalty that lost his throne.Works Cited"crag." Merriam- Webster 2004 (15 September 2004)"The Eagle," Poetry for Students. Eds. Sara Constantakis, Elizabeth A. Cranston. Vol. 11. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 30."he." Merriam-Webster 2004 (15 September 2004)"talon." Merriam-Webster 2004 (15 September 2004)Tennyson, Lord Alfred. "The Eagle." Literature and the Writing Process. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. 7th ed. Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005. 489.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson Essay

775 words - 4 pages Alfred, Lord Tennyson was an interesting man that transferred his emotions into his works of literature. He was a sensitive person and using those emotions into his works of art helped him survive into old life. The biggest influence in Lord Tennyson’s life was his best friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. Hallam suddenly died and it left a tragic hole in his life. However, having his friend pass away proved better for Tennyson’s life as it

Alfred Lord Tennyson Essay

875 words - 4 pages Alfred Lord Tennyson (an assessment on the events in Lord Tennyson’s) Start of the Victorian Era, the beginning of the industrial revolution, these were the times in which Alfred Lord Tennyson was born. With a striking good looking beard, Tennyson will be the artist of many thought provoking texts, many texts that will later be argued over and discussed for centuries. “Tennyson has seemed the embodiment of his age, both to his contemporaries