Tennyson's Merlin and Vivien Essay

Tennyson's Merlin and Vivien Essay

Length: 1648 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Tennyson's Merlin and Vivien

Known as one of Victorian England's finest poets, Lord Alfred Tennyson
epitomized the agony and despondency of the degradation of one's character.
His masterpiece, The Idylls of the King, explicates the grand scheme of
corruption of the Authurian age while simultaneously paralleling Tennyson's own
internal struggles. A most intriguing chapter of The Idylls, "Merlin and Vivien"
portrays the manipulative Vivien, identified as pure evil and hatred, as her
corruptive beauty leads to Merlin's self-destruction.
The Victorian era, from the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837 until
her death in 1901, was an era of several unsettling social developments that
forced writers more than ever before to take positions on the immediate issues
animating the rest of society. Thus, although romantic forms of expression in
poetry and prose continued to dominate English literature throughout much of
the century, the attention of many writers was directed, sometimes
passionately, to such issues as the growth of English democracy, the
education of the masses, the progress of industrial enterprise and the
consequent rise of a materialistic philosophy, and the plight of the newly
industrialized worker. In addition, the unsettling of religious belief by new
advances in science, particularly the theory of evolution and the historical
study of the Bible, drew other writers away from the immemorial subjects of
literature into considerations of problems of faith and truth. Tennyson's writing
displays evidence of doubt and concern towards England's government, both
present and past. His distinctive style can be differentiated from many
Victorian poets by diction and syntax alone. Also, Tennyson can b...


... middle of paper ...


...
harmony. His poem "Merlin and Vivien" of The Idylls of the King displays
Merlin's self-chosen downfall in exchange for the temptations of Vivien, the
manipulative evil. "For Merlin, overtalked and overworn,/ Had yielded, told her
all the charm, and slept." (ll.963-964)





Bibliography:

Works Cited

Culler, Dwight. The Poerty of Tennyson. London: Yale UP, 1997. 238-239.

Hain, Donald. Tennyson's Language. Toronto: Toronto UP, 1991. 144-148.

Hellstrom, Ward. On the Poems of Tennyson. Gainsville: University of Florida
Press, 1972. 117-118.

Kincaid, James. The Major Poems of Tennyson: The Comic and Ironic Patterns.
London: Yale UP, 1975. 177-182.

Marshall, George. A Tennyson Handbook. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1963.
140-141.

Reed, John. Perception and Design in Tennyson's Idylls of the King. Athens:
Ohio UP, 1969. 48-58.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Geoffrey of Monmouth's Life of Merlin Essay

- Geoffrey of Monmouth's Life of Merlin Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “Life of Merlin” is a text that makes its readers struggle with finding criteria for madness. What does it even mean to be “mad?” Madness seems to define a person only when he or she does something to stray from the normality of any given group of people. Breaking societal norms often leaves people open to criticism and suspicion. In order to be sane and mentally healthy, one has to abide by all explicit and implicit rules of society....   [tags: Geoffrey Monmouth Life Merlin Essays]

Powerful Essays
1833 words (5.2 pages)

Tithonus By Alfred Tennyson Essay

- Death takes man into a world from where he cannot return but immortality has brought Tithonus far away from the world of men, too far to retrace his steps .Tithonus, written by Alfred Tennyson is based on Greek mythology, Tithonus fell in love with Eos, goddess of the dawn, and asked her for immortality. Unfortunately for Tithonus he did not ask for eternal youth, only eternal life. He, therefore, grows old but never dies while Eos not only never dies but also never grows old. What makes Tithonus's situation worse is that "the gods themselves cannot recall their gifts." The poem touches upon the themes of isolation and death as well as an escape from the arduous burden of life, themes which...   [tags: Alfred Tennyson]

Free Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

Trinitarian Symbolism In Tennyson's The Passing of Arthur Essays

- It is a common proverb that all things happen in three's, and in fact many phases of life happen in combinations of three. There is the trifold concept of body, mind and spirit, which encompasses the physical, mental and spiritual makeup of a human being. There is the fact that we live first as a child then an adult and finally as an elder and there are three stages of a woman's life, that of maiden, mother and crone. There is the also the aspect of time as in the past, present and future. There are the three acts of birth, life and death....   [tags: Alfred Tennyson]

Free Essays
1480 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Analysis of “The Kraken” by Lord Tennyson

- In the poem “The Kraken” Lord Tennyson describes how the kraken’s life depends on the upper deep in the abysmal sea. Lord Tennyson describes about a Kraken which a. Also, the author describes of how the monster spends his life in the upper deep. Furthermore, the creature has an ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep. In addition, the creature lives in a big wondrous grot and secret cell buried within the ground. Down where the sun lights flee the kraken is battening up huge sea-worms in his sleep....   [tags: Kraken, Lord Tennyson, ]

Powerful Essays
597 words (1.7 pages)

Tennyson's In Memoriam Essay

- Tennyson's In Memoriam In Memoriam is an elegy to Tennyson's friend Arthur Hallam, but bears the hallmark of its mid nineteenth century context, 'the locus classicus of the science-and-religion debate.'Upon reflection, Hallam's tragic death has proved to be an event that provoked Tennyson's embarkation upon a much more ambitious poetic project than conventional Miltonian elegy, involving meditation upon the profoundest questions faced by mankind. Scientific advancements, most notably in the fields of geology and biology, challenged the beliefs that form the foundation of Christianity: the belief in a beneficent God responsible for creation and ensuing superintendence and the beli...   [tags: Tennyson Elogy Memoriam Essays]

Powerful Essays
2674 words (7.6 pages)

An Analysis of Tennyson’s The Princess Essay

- An Analysis of Tennyson’s The Princess Alfred, Lord Tennyson is the most influential poet of the Victorian Age. He was named poet laureate of England by the Queen, and the first poet to receive a title Lord. In his lifetime Tennyson has produced many works which are considered great. Such one is The Princess which is a long narrative poem with a number of songs. One of these songs is “ Tears, Idle Tears”, a poem full of sorrow and grief. In this fragment of The Princess the speaker is desperate because of the death of his love....   [tags: Tennyson Princess Essays]

Powerful Essays
859 words (2.5 pages)

Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott Essay

- Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott What used to be a simple home is now a sacred sanctuary, a refuge from all the filth of the world, a place to trap and stifle beauty, adventure, and passion. What used to be a simple woman is now an angel, a pure and domestic celestial being. I live in an era where women are considered most beautiful when isolated, helpless, and even dead; where a lady with passion is scarier than a bitter hag; where feminine is now a synonym for pure, selfless, and submissive; where sexism has put on the fancy dress of romance....   [tags: Tennyson Lady Shalott essays]

Powerful Essays
1556 words (4.4 pages)

Tennyson's Poetry and Views Essay

- Tennyson's Poetry and Views Alfred Lord Tennyson and his works have been an important part of canonical literature for over a century. He is as important as he is because his work is exceptional in many ways. One of these exceptional differences, in my opinion, is the conflicting view of women Tennyson portrays in his poetry, especially his poem "Locksley Hall." Tennyson's "Locksley Hall" is, in my opinion, a poem that would benefit greatly from an ideological discussion concerning Tennyson's views of women....   [tags: Alfred Tennyson Poet Poems Essays]

Powerful Essays
1401 words (4 pages)

Essay about MERLIN

- MERLIN There is bitter controversy among scholars and theologians alike as to whether of not Merlin was a real historical figure or a product of literary imagination. Much of the earlier poetry attributed to him in Welsh manuscripts, it seems, comes from authentic prophetic verse that Merlin himself spoke. Merlin was first seen in Geoffrey of Monmouthís History of the Kings of Britain written c. 1136. Many people do not accept Geoffreyís words as truth. Many say that Geoffrey wrote Merlinís legendary Prophecy referring to twelfth-century politics of King Henry IIí court....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
593 words (1.7 pages)

Merlin Essay

- Merlin Throughout the ages Merlin has been depicted as a druid, bard, necromancer, magician and prophet. Though we may never know if any of his fictitious interpretations are truthful, we speculate he was nothing more than a Celtic bard who lived in the 500's near Solway Frith. It is said that this strange poet, going under the alias of Myrddin, was a madman and a prophet. Myrddin's claim to fame was creating so much tension between the British chieftains of his time that they fought each other in the Battle of Arderydd....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
802 words (2.3 pages)