Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the author of Idylls of the King, uses motifs in his works to give a deeper understanding of his epic poem. One of his motifs in Idylls of the King is a light and dark binary. Light is seen as bright and beautiful with a new beginning. It also symbolizes the past staying in the past and having a fresh start. Night is when it is dark, and that is when all of the creatures and monsters come out, so to say. Darkness is full of pain, but Tennyson does not always portray it as so. The motif of light and dark takes on several different meanings. Tennyson uses dark with its true meaning, manages to put light into the darkness and use light with its true meaning, and he gives light the darkness that corrupts it.
In “The last Tournament,” Tristram is hiding an affair with Queen Isolt. King Mark spends “a summer day with Queen Isolt / Against a shower, dark in the golden grove” (Tennyson 242). Even though Queen Isolt is…show more content… Even though “King Uther die[s] himself…/ that same night…/ Arthur [is] born” (Tennyson 10). Most children are scared of the dark, but in the darkness of a man dying, a child is born which is not darkness, but a life that is full of light. That child, King Arthur, shines his light upon his kingdom and makes his people, even the children, no longer scared of the dark. Elaine, a beautiful lily maid of Astolat rises and falls all in “Lancelot and Elaine”. Elaine, with her pure innocence, lay “High on her chamber up a tower to the east…/ Which first she placed where morning’s earliest ray / Might strike it, and awake her with the gleam” (Tennyson 152). Elaine is innocent and full of light. She lets the light in to feel the warmth of it shining upon her face. She never knows what evil is until she falls in love with a man who does not love her back. Her innocence causes her death, because the light inside of her does not know how to handle the