This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

"The Lady Of Shalott" By William Holman Hunt: Fallen Woman To Feminist

2769 words - 11 pages

The Pre-Raphaelites often characterized women destroyed by love, namely emphasizing the mental distress and sexual frustration of the fallen woman. The Lady of Shalott by Lord Alfred Tennyson is one of the prime examples of a fallen woman in the Victorian Era. Locked in a tower, cursed to carry out her life of tapestry-weaving, The Lady of Shalott meets her inevitable demise upon leaving her quarters in an effort to relieve her loneliness and lust. Marked by the death of Alfred Tennyson and the completion of the large scale, oil version of its main illustration by William Holman Hunt, the year of 1892 unleashed a new birth of women equality. The aftermath of Tennyson's poem and its illustration is a noted retaliation of women due to the desire to leave her respected, domestic sphere, to become cultivated intellects, and to acquire the same rights of their male counterparts. These revolutionary feminist concepts are repeatedly reflected in the satirical Victorian magazine, Punch or The London Charivari. By analyzing the history of this notorious painting, the Pre-Raphaelite poses relating to feminism, the medieval and Arthurian nature of the painting in relation to fairy tales, the significance of Tennyson's passing, and the reaction to the backlash, we can clearly see that Hunt's painting of The Lady of Shalott influenced not only Punch but the entire nature of women, in general.To begin, the referenced version of Hunt's The Lady of Shalott holds a history and meaning unparalleled to most paintings. Most significantly, this was the final painting completed by Hunt before passing away in 1910 (Stilo, par. 2). The finished product of this painting is derived from its 1857 engraving as seen in the Moxon Tennyson. The final oil version of The Lady of Shalott was started in 1886, finished in 1892, and exhibited in 1905 at the Manchester Art Gallery in England (Stilo, par. 2). Seeing the close proximity his death is to the completion of the large scale version of The Lady of Shalott, the artist had to enlist assistants to help finish it due to his frailty (Stilo, par. 2). The painting itself depicts the moment that the character sees Sir Lancelot through the forbidden window, the mirror cracks, and she realizes her demise. In fact, the painting depicts the lines of the poem which read:She left the web, she left the loom,She made three paces through the room,She saw the water-lily bloom,She saw the helmet and the plume,She look'd down to Camelot.Out flew the web and floated wide;The mirror crack'd from side to side;'The curse is come upon me,' criedThe Lady of Shalott. (Tennyson, part 3 verse 5)Because the painting was officially finished in 1892, the juxtaposition of Punch and Hunt's The Lady of Shalott will be concentrated to this year. Before his death, his poem (or at least notable elements of it) were mentioned in Punch during 1892. For example, the April 9th edition of the magazine featured a poem called The Poet and the Songs. The poem states...

Find Another Essay On "The Lady of Shalott" by William Holman Hunt: Fallen Woman to Feminist

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes and Lord Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott

1994 words - 8 pages The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes and Lord Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott In this essay, I intend to examine the storylines, themes and language of ‘The Highwayman’ and ‘The Lady of Shalott’ and then explain why I think that one of the poems is more powerful than the other one. ‘The Highwayman’ is a love story full of romance and adventure. The hero is the rakish highwayman of the title who dies for the love of his mistress – the

An Explication of Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott

1160 words - 5 pages An Explication of Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott       Children often grow up listening to fairy tales.  Repunsel is one fairy tale about a girl cursed to live a life of isolation in a tower.  She longs to break free from seclusion and become part of the outside world.  She eventually finds her one true love and risks her life to be with him.  "The Lady of Shalott" by Lord Alfred Tennyson relates to Repunsel in many ways.  In this poem

Literary Analysis: "Ulysses" and "The Lady of Shalott"

1289 words - 5 pages assumption is made to presume her unhappiness. “There she weaves by night and day/ A magic web with colours gay. / She has heard a whisper say, / To look down to Camelot. / She knows not what the curse may be, / And so she weaveth steadily, / And little other care hath she, / The Lady of Shalott (“The Lady of Shalott” 38).” As she weaves her picture in happy, gay colors, she alludes to having no other care in the world. She will be cursed if she looks to

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

"The Wild Children" by Felice Holman and it's Correlation to the Implausibility of a Communistic State

1953 words - 8 pages Wild Children", a book written by Felice Holman, depicts the life of a boy, Alex, whom becomes one of these bezprozorni after his family is taken away by the secret police. This great piece of literature not only captures the great struggle that these children had to face, but the plight all Russians had to succumb to in Communist Russia. How the communist leaders demanded utmost obedience and control over all factors of life and the lives of

Elaine of Astolat in Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott and Lancelot and Elaine

2882 words - 12 pages simple, everyday reality.   Lastly, the manner in which each woman dies makes a distinction between the mystical and the definite. The Lady of Shalott eventually dies because she does what the curse forbids. But first, she begins her journey by boat to the city of Camelot after nightfall. As she floats along, the reapers hear her singing a song once more. Although this time, it is an eerily "mournful" tune ("The Lady of Shalott

The Start of Evil: Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare

1265 words - 5 pages The Start of Evil Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare in the 1600 century. It is one of Shakespeare’s most well known tragedies, and continues to be studied to this day. It is a dark and gloomy play, as the main character, Macbeth, gets a taste for evil and kills the king of Scotland, King Duncan, in order to become king himself. After this moment there is a rapid increase of evil in him, as he starts to kill more and more people

William Holman Hunt's "The Awakening Conscience" & "Félicien Rops" Pornokrates

1555 words - 6 pages would be portrayed as having powerful seductive qualities[ ].William Holman Hunt's The Awakening Conscience presents us with a narrative 'to show how the still small voice speaks to a human soul in the turmoil of life'[ ]. As a text it allows the readers a glimpse into the contemporary moral issue of the Fallen Woman. The action in Hunt's composition is clear, he depicts a young couple who have been enjoying an afternoon in their villa. When the

Feminist Ideals in Woman on the Edge of Time

783 words - 3 pages Feminist Ideals in Woman on the Edge of Time   Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time is a dichotomy of two worlds: one utopic and one distopic. Although the world of the future is utopic in many senses, e.g. Marxist, environmentalist, etc., Piercy seems to especially focus on feminist issues. The two main characters, Connie and Luciente, are both women, and are both products of their respective societies. It is through these two

Survival in the Wild Children by Felice Holman

836 words - 4 pages himself, when he could see at all. The room was filled with a dense oily smoke, lit eerily from the back as if by matches behind a filmy curtain.” It gives the illusion that it is not a perfect place to live due to its’ poor conditions of cleanup. This is because the band is focusing on surviving and seeing what their basic needs are and what they need, which is a shelter to give warmth and safety from the excruciating weather conditions that

"Macbeth" by William Shakespeare: Lady Macbeth's Loss of Control

1271 words - 5 pages In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth's desire for power prompts her interest in controlling Macbeth's actions; consequently, when she loses control of Macbeth, she loses control of herself. Lady Macbeth relies on Macbeth to be the brawn so she can be the brain; she has somewhat of asymbiotic relationship with him. After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth slowly starts losing the need for and interest in Lady Macbeth. This loss of interest

Similar Essays

The Lady Of Shalott Essay

1643 words - 7 pages beautiful, young Lady of Shalott surrounded by '…four grey walls, and four grey towers…';. (Tennyson, line 15). She is largely unaware of the world outside and of her own existence as a woman, only being able to see shadows of reality, which are reflected by her magic (?) crystal mirror and worked into her web. At this point of time it is unknown to the reader whether the Lady of Shalott is forced to be in this situation or

Tennyson’s The Lady Of Shalott Essay

1608 words - 6 pages Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott What used to be a simple home is now a sacred sanctuary, a refuge from all the filth of the world, a place to trap and stifle beauty, adventure, and passion. What used to be a simple woman is now an angel, a pure and domestic celestial being. I live in an era where women are considered most beautiful when isolated, helpless, and even dead; where a lady with passion is scarier than a bitter hag; where

Lady Macbeth As A Wife And As A Woman In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

4125 words - 17 pages Lady Macbeth as a Wife and as a Woman in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In the play 'Macbeth', there is one main relationship. This is between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is the stronger partner. She believes that with her help, Macbeth can become King of Scotland. She uses all her powers of persuasion to get Macbeth to murder the King. She plans all his actions and tells him how

The Lady Of Shalott And Industrialized Misery

543 words - 2 pages they sped up industry and the making of material wealth for the well to-do.  This loss of innocence is echoed in Tennyson's Arthurian lyrical poem "The Lady of Shalott" (Longman pp. 1913-1918).   Subtly expressing his opinion of the times in prose, he illustrated how deadly and destructive it is to look for experience and to change the peaceful past due to yearning for worldly pursuits.  The Lady is isolated on the island of