The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Transcript The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The Pre-Raphaelites
and
“The Lady of Shalott”
Note: For best results, play this presentation in conjunction with Loreena McKennitt’s “The Lady of Shalott” as audio accompaniment.
The Pre-Raphaelites were a radical group of
Victorian painters founded in 1848.
They challenged artistic conventions of form
and composition.
Their paintings were highly symbolic and lush
in detail, beauty, and color.
“Ophelia,” by John Everett Millais
“Flaming June,” by Frederic Leighton
The Pre-Raphaelites’ subjects were
wide-ranging.
Some subjects were religious;
others secular.
“Beata Beatrix”
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
William Holman Hunt, 1854
The medieval period was quite
popular…
Edmund Blair-Leighton
…as was Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s
Arthurian poem “The Lady of Shalott.”
The Pre-Raphaelites identified with
the Lady as an artist:
Trapped in a tower, the Lady is “cursed”
to see the world only through an
enchanted mirror.
She works her vision of the world
into her art.
By William Holman Hunt
And thus, as an artist, though she sees
the world…
She is forever separate from it.
John Sidney Meteyard, 1913
Though it reveals the world to her…
…the mirror is a screen between
herself …
and reality.
John William Waterhouse
One day, driven to look directly
through her window, she sees a sight
that changes her forever:
Lancelot, the bravest of Arthur’s
knights… and the castle of Camelot
behind him.
John William Waterhouse, 1894
Edmund Blair-Leighton
The sight of Camelot brings the full
force of the Lady’s curse upon her.
The Lady is doomed from that moment.
The encounter with the real world…
…unmediated by her art or the mirror…
…will end her life.
Her mirror cracks from side to side…
…and she feels the curse come upon her.
Desperate and dying, she writes her name
on the prow of a boat…
“The Lady of Shalott”
By John William Waterhouse
…and floats to Camelot, the place that
has always been forbidden to her.
“The Lady of Shalott,” 1878
…To those at Camelot, the Lady of
Shalott is largely an unreadable text.
By the time she arrives there, she is dead.
They have no idea who she is.
Arthur Hughes, 1873
…Lancelot, unaware he is a central cause of her
death, can only reflect that she has a lovely
face…
…and pray that God in his
mercy sends her grace.
John Atkinson Grimshaw