The Lady of Shalott Criticism

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Tennyson's early poems are not often analyzed by twentieth-century critics because his later pieces are considered much more thought provoking: as early as 1895, George Saintsbury noted that "'The Lady of Shalott' does not count among the poems that established Tennyson's title to the first rank of English poets." Still, to the same critic, it is one of the poet's "happiest" pieces, not because of the subject matter—after all, a curse kills the Lady in the end—but because of Tennyson's skillful use of words. "There is such a latent charm in mere words, cunning collocations, and in the voice ringing in them," famed poet Walt Whitman wrote, "which [Tennyson] caught and has brought out, beyond all others." Among the poems that he goes on to list as examples of this is "The Lady of Shalott."

Though its subject matter is considered by scholars to be light, there...

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This section contains 256 words
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Poetry for Students
The Lady of Shalott from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.