The Lady of Shallot Analysis

The ‘Lady of Shalott’ Analysis

The Lady of Shalott is a ballad that was written in 1843 that talks about a woman who is under a curse. This ballad has many different conventions that show it is a ballad. Here is a verse that shows show these conventions:

Part I, Verse 2:         Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

      Part I, Verse 2 shows many conventions that demonstrate this poem to be a ballad, including: a rhyme scheme (AAAABCCCB) that is typical for a ballad, alliterations such as “Willows whiten” that enables the text to flow and be read more easily, a pattern of syllables for each line of the verse of similar number (8 in the example above) that also help with the flow of the text, the emphasis of “Shalott” being repeated at the end of each verse to bring the reader back to the subject of the story and the repetition of “Camelot” at the end of the fifth line of each verse. In addition and typically for a ballad, the poem tells a complete story which has an unhappy ending.
      Lord Tennyson uses a lot of colour and movement within the ballad. I think he does this because it would sound boring if you don’t let reader’s use their imagination to illustrate what is happening in the poem. He does this well because this ballad makes you think a lot about what parts of the story really mean, so it keeps the reader involved and interested to read it. Examples of the use of colour and movement include:
Part III, verse 4   ‘From underneath his helmet flow'd
                            His coal-black curls as on he rode,’
This quotation uses both colour and movement to illustrate his strong dark hair that streamed behind his helmet as he rode along and use of the word ‘flow’d’ indicated the movement of...