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Comparing and contrasting the Lady of Shalott and Mariana

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I am going to compare The Lady of Shalott and Mariana. I am going to look at the setting, the weather, the woman herself, the woman’s situation, the hero and the language, of both poems.

The Lady of Shalott. The setting.

In the setting there are, fields of barley and of rye, yellow field, flowers, bearded barley, trees, woods and hills. This is all beautiful and The Lady Of Shalott is denied to all this because she is locked up in the tower, because there is a curse on her and she doesn’t know what the curse is. The setting means that it is summer and The Lady Of Shalott doesn’t get to see all this. The poet uses a completely natural environment. It is a beautiful and peaceful representation of nature. By doing this, we are made to feel more sorry for the lady. Everything in the setting is harmonious. Working together nature equals freedom.

The weather.

In the weather it is good at first but it changes as we go on. There is, little breezes of dusk and shiver, blue unclouded weather, uplands airy, dazzling sun. Now it is going to change, a bit. There is, low sky raining, the stars bright (clear skies), stormy east wind straining, golden galaxy, sunlight and then there is falling leaves. The writer purposefully starts the poem in bright, beautiful summery weather; this reflects the life at the beginning. As the poem progresses, the weather worsens darkness rain. This shows death. So again we have a poetic technique, which shows contrast. The setting contrasts freedom against captivity, the weather contrasts life against death.

The woman herself.

These are the evidence, references and quotations of the woman herself, the Lady of Shalott. No loyal knight weaves night and day, half sick of shadows, song echoes clearly and not knowing what the curse may be. In this she is lonely. A patient tolerant person. The writer’s representation of her self-control makes us respect and admire the lady. The lady eventually becomes less patient. She starts to take a different kind of control. Up until now, she has been optimistic. She is prepared to take risks. The message is that when in a difficult situation, action, when thought about, was the right thing to do. We feel sorry because the gamble turned out wrong.

The woman’s situation.

These are the evidence, references and quotations of the woman’s situation. Towers, embowers, only able to see through a mirror, she’s cursed, no knowledge of the curse, little care and she keeps herself busy. This means that the lady is isolated and even though she is controlling herself, she has no control over her situation. Her only option is to take a possibly deadly chance. She decides the risk is worth it, even if she dies. She is locked in the tower because of the curse that’s on her.

The hero.

The hero of this poem is Sir Lancelot. He’s the hero because the Lady of Shalott fell in love with him. They describe the hero as, bold, he sings, his broad clear brow and coal black curls. Now they describe Camelot by saying, armour, helmet, heather and bugle hung.

The language structure.

The language in the Lady of Shalott, suits the subject it’s ground and pompous especially in the description of Sir Lancelot. For example; line 136:”Lying, robed in snowy white. Snowy white is a sign of virginity and purity.” This is a metaphor; the robe is as white as snow. And in line 75/6:” Sun came dazzling down thro’ the leaves, and flamed upon the brazen greaves.” This is an image of light. Flamed: Fire power and strength equal to the metaphor. Line 84: “Branch of stars we see hanging in the golden galaxy.” Branch of stars: Tree/nature. Hanging: Metaphor. Golden galaxy: Rich, shining, precious, rare Beaum. Repetition is used as a technique. It uses “The Lady of Shalott” and sometimes “Beside remote Shalott.”

Mariana. The setting.

In Mariana the poet describes the setting as dark, ghostly, bleak and lonely, with everything in a state of ruin, rotting away: For example: Flower beds covered in weeds, rusted nails fell from the knots, sheds falling down, weeded and worn Ancient thatch, isolated poplar tree, from the dark fens the oxen’s low, a house where the hinges creak with old ghosts or remembered faces, where you can hear the ticking of a clock and squeaking of mice.

The house is in a state of disrepair, as you can see, damp and earily quiet; it’s isolated in the countryside. This is a sad and lonely place. No wonder Mariana complains that her: “life is dreary.” She is very much alone, with no one to stay with her.

The weather.

In Mariana the weather never changes and the weather is continually miserable. There is; cold winds, shrill winds, wild winds, wooing winds, the day is dreary, the night is dreary and gusty shadows sway. The weather in Mariana reflects her mind; she is constantly in a state of depression. There is no peace of mind, she cannot settle. Her thoughts are blowing sadness day and night. Her life is stripped of warmth, sunlight and calmer influences.

The woman’s situation/woman herself.

Mariana waits for her lover to return, so she imprisons herself in a sad and lonely house. She is not even trying to get out of the house and finding him herself. Her attitude towards this is to feel sorry for herself and complain repetitively; “I am aweary, aweary, I would that I were dead.” This makes us feel her problems are self-inflicted, as she doesn’t even try to help herself.

The hero.

In Mariana there is no hero. This is because in the poem the writer doesn’t describe the hero. For me the hero of the poem would have been her lover, if he had came home.

The language structure.

There is the technique of repetition used in Mariana. As every verse ends, except the last line, the same; “she said I am weary, weary that I were dead” to emphasise how miserable, suicidal and sad she is. “O God that I were dead!” This choice of a different ending makes the words stand out so the poet can emphasise Mariana has given up hope of her hero coming and she wants to be dead. The poets of both poems make good use of rhythm and rhyme. In Mariana the verses do not end in rhyming words this breaks down the rhythm of the poem. The poet’s choice of words is difficult to pronounce and because they don’t sound the same this makes us stumble through the poem. It also forces us to put a lot of effort into reading and it becomes “a weary” business. Maybe this is to make us feel like Mariana. Mariana is a shorter poem with seven verses. This is because Mariana is where nothing really changes, sad woman feeling miserable, weather and setting similarly depressing

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