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The Lady Of Shalott Essay

1132 words - 5 pages

The Lady of Shalott written by Lord Tennyson is a mythical poem about a worman's love for an unattainable man. One interpretation regarding the function of the morror is crucial to identifying before one can fully grasp the rest of the poem. One comes to this conclusion because the function of the mirror is derectly responsible for what happens in the rest of the poem. This statement denotes that the fulfillment of the rest of the Lady of Shalott could not occur without her first seeing Lancelot in the mirror. Yet the qquestion is not what a function is but what function the mirror probides. At first thought one could charge that the mirror is there in order to reveal Lancelot to the Lady of ...view middle of the document...

Although the mirror shows illusions and just a shadow of the real world, it reflects the illusions regardless. The mirror reflected the image of Lancelot allowing her to see his beauty and thus forget the curse and peering out the window to catch a glimps of the handsome man. Until the mirror showed the Lady, Lancelot in its reflection her pictures (Tennyson,line 44), once again reiterating the external function of the mirror being to reflect Lancelot or any other object that it feels it should.The second function that the mirror assumes, is to make the external world seem beautiful. The mirror helps to make the contrast between the exquisite external world and the dark and shadowy interior in which the Lady is kept. The interior space that the Lady of Shalott exists in is very gloomy, "Four gray walls, and four grey towers" (Tennyson, line 15). One could argue that the mirror has a magical element because the speaker never describes anything that may be bad. The Lady of Shalott weaves only beautiful and happy scenes, "a magic web with colors gay"(Tennyson, line 38). Any of the ugliness that's present in everyday life, the Lady of Shalott does not see. The mirror chooses only to display the most tempting of visions. This is not the regular mirror that weavers use to see then work progress. This mirror is one that seems to left shadows from all around and present only the lovers and the damsels or pages. The contrast that the mirror presents make a picture of unrealistic and the beauty of life. The mirror was not truthful in showing the Lady all aspects of the real external world.The third and most important function the mirror creates is to make the curse come true. This function relies on both of the previous functions, insofar as that the mirror had to reflect and it also had to make it seem tempting. If the mirror han not inferred the first two functions the Lady of Shalott would not have been tempted by the beartu of the external world. This temptation brought the lady's curse knocking. The contrast...

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