1Tennyson, Alfred. “The Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson.”The lady of Shallot. Wordsworth Editions; New edition edition (5July 1994) Dueto a curse disallowing her to leave the tower or look out of the window,Tennyson demonstrates the Lady of Shallot’s entrapment of which understandablyimpinges her freedom. To add to this, The Lady of Shallot inhabits in anisolated tower, in an isolated village town whereby if she were to seek freedomshe would still be alone and entering a derelict area.
Within the poem, Tennysonrepeats the words ‘Camelot’1 (The Lady of Shallot, 1.5) And ‘Shallott'(The Lady of Shallot, 1.9)to emphasise the isolation of the lady within her remote tower in a remote townand creates comparisons between the two towns; one where there is so much life,contrasting with Shallot; a town of silence and loneliness where she isisolated from Camelot.
The lady ofShallot further demonstrates her limited freedom through her limited speech,Tennyson arguably attempts to give the impression of being unworthy of describingher own life. Furthermore, when she is allowed to speak she expresses herdismay with only being allowed to look out the window, exclaiming to be ‘halfsick of shadows'(The Lady of Shallot, 2.71)Tennyson’s’Lady of Shallot’ centres on theentrapment of a lady due to a curse foreboding her to look out of the window.Firstly, Tennyson portrays the lady as unscathed by the curse as she weaves hertapestry happily, however, the happy impression changes throughout the poem, asthe lady desires to both look and be outside and thus demonstrating the feelingof isolation. Consequently, Tennyson portrays how impingements on freedom,resulting in both physical and mental entrapment, of which will always endtragically. Tennyson demonstrates how the Lady of Shallot’s surroundings act asan impingement, her curse acts as an impingement and the psychologicalisolation physically and emotionally act as an impingement on her freedom.Thequotation within the question ‘we are not free to follow our own devices, youand I’ appears to be very fitting with regards to a plethora of Victorian poemsand texts, whereby through some restraining factors, several protagonistsexperience impingements on their freedom.
The authors and their texts exploredwithin this essay incorporate the theme of freedom or so to speak, lack of, anddisplay impingements on freedom in a plethora of ways. For instance, in the ‘Lady of Shallot’, Tennyson discussesthe entrapment of the protagonist due to a curse and consequently, she suffersfrom physical impingement within the tower and psychological distress due toher entrapment, thus acting as an impingement on freedom. Similarly, Tennyson’s’Mariana’ again displays psychological impingement as she is trapped in herthoughts, Tennyson further focuses on how Mariana’s obsession with the absenceof her love additionally impinges her freedom.
Rosetti’s ‘The Blessed Damozel’,takes a different approach when responding to impingements as his protagonistis in heaven, thus the main impingement on her freedom is being trapped inheaven whilst her lover remains on Earth. The final Victorian author discussedis Hopkin’s ‘God Grandeur’, who contrasts with the previous twoauthors by implying that whilst factors can cause bother, it simply cannotrefrain freedom, thus explores the idea that life cannot be impinged. Hesupports this theory by exclaiming that life and nature cannot be impinged.