Idylls of the King | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Ann C. Colley

This literature criticism consists of approximately 49 pages of analysis & critique of Idylls of the King.
This section contains 14,494 words
(approx. 49 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Ann C. Colley

SOURCE: "Madness as Metaphor and the Idylls of the King," in Tennyson and Madness, University of Georgia Press, 1983, pp. 87-116.

In the following essay, Colley argues that Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King reflects the commonly held view among Victorians that their society was particularly afflicted by madness. Colley shows that Tennyson used madness as a metaphor in order to emphasize the relationship between excess, particularly sexual excess, and insanity.

Many of Tennyson's contemporaries were convinced that they were living in a country and in an age literally madder than all others. In the popular mind England and insanity were all too frequent companions. The physician Alfred Beaumont Maddock was one of many to register alarm. In 1854 he wrote that "in no other country, compared with England, do we find such numerous...

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This section contains 14,494 words
(approx. 49 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ann C. Colley