Literary Esay Example: Comparison of Idylls of the King and In Memoriam Poems

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Boston College
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Alfred Lord Tennyson is a talented poet who wrote the Idylls of King and In Memoriam poems. The Idylls of King is well known for its lasting value that it offer the leader. With an exciting era of the English history and fascinating characters like the King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Guinevere, the poem is as worthwhile as it can be with a rewarding, inspiring experience. The paper will discuss how Tennyson uses different styles to write about various subjects in his to poems.

The Idylls are sanctified in sobbs, and they are devoted to the reminiscence of the one who they love or is fond of them like they are a reflection of him. The poem revolves around a man who seemed to have all his virtues and good qualities (Tennyson, The Idylls of the King). The man was the authors ideal knight who is now gone to serve a better course. With the prayers being that he will be noble and worthy of Albert the Good who is their father. The poem indicates that the Queen would reign alone and in solitude since the one who was there is gone, but since she is royal, she will have to endure.

The poet has used symbols to depict different meaning in the text and to allow only people who understand poetry to interpret its meaning. The genre of the poem deals with the fact that there was a rise of a kingdom over a period of many years and the scope of Idylls of the King became the epic that focused on two people making emphasis on the personal drama (Tennyson, The Idylls of the King). The poet introduces the story in a sad and melancholic environment since it is all about the depressing times and how the fellowship that was there in the roundtable had failed due to flawed nature of the human beings.

Alfred Lord Tennyson used different factors in his analysis and among them included symbolism, allegory, and imagery. The three queens that are mentioned in the roundtable as Arthur tells the story to represent the constant image of the entrance gate that is named after them (Tennyson, The Idylls of the King). They symbolize the three fates that the Greco-Roman mythology had so much hold dearest. They were the three sisters who were supposed to determine the destiny of everyone who was to live, and that is what Arthur saw as they appear on the barge ready to carry him off the island. The three sisters were faith, hope, and love which were also theology virtues.

Arthur is used as an allegory of forgiveness and an unfailing belief that people could live following the principles of justice, truth, and fairness. Arthur is considered an omnipotent of a moral code which guides the rules and the personal behavior of the society (Tennyson, The Idylls of the King). Light is used as imagery in the Idylls to express perfection and worldliness. The color and darkness in another aspect represented the fall of humanity and state. The author uses unique styles to portray that the world had perfection and failure, good and evil and he likens them to light and color.

Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote another poem which is known as In Memoriam, and it has got different representation when compared to the Idylls of the King (Tennyson, In Memoriam). In Memoriam, he introduces his poet in the same melancholic way while he shares the grief of losing his best friend who had died as a result of a brain hemorrhage when he was only 22 years of age. While the poet mourns, he falls into an existential crisis whereby he can contemplate the place of man in the vast universe that is created by God.

The poem highly depicts the issues of historical, scientific, mythology, political and very deep personal feelings and thoughts. He plumbs the depth of his consciousness while giving in to the voice of national consciousness of the Victorian Society (Tennyson, In Memoriam). Several scientific issues were a mystery to Tennyson like the issue of evolution, discoveries in astronomy, geology and also biology. He can liken the power of the star to the cold fires as a painful awareness of the indifference and brutality is introduced with deaths of the loved ones.

The language he uses is significant since he had taken a great discovery of the nineteenth century with his poetry acting as a manifest of interest in the scientific language. In Memoriam alludes the discovery of Neptune whereby a traveler advises the speaker not to mourn over his friend and instead should rejoice in the mystery of science (Tennyson, In Memoriam). With religion contradicting science, the poem uses metaphoric ways to connect the age and modernize it into an antiquarian language. The use of symbols like King Author and Camelot enables the setting of the plot to have style in the analysis. King Arthur symbolized an ordinary man who was pure and on his best behavior. In this poem, King Arthur had a more personal representation to Tennyson whose death took a toll on him making him damage his promise and potential.

The introduction of the imprisoned woman is an embodiment of grief and solitude that Tennyson has to endure when he lost his best friend. The agony of waiting for him to return limits his desire to handle anything else, and she fights between leaving prison or stay there (Tennyson, In Memoriam). The imprisoned woman is a symbol of the loneliness and segregation that other artist also experience as they try to be creative but at the end of the day, they are the one that holds a choice and will to come out of their imprisonment.

Both poems use King Arthur and Camelot as symbols to indicate different representation of ideas. In the poem of Idylls of the King, Arthur is used to claiming justice, truth, and faithfulness whereby moral code and behavior was with purity while In Memoriam, Arthur represents a personal feeling or something dearest that is lost and cannot be gained back. Tennyson depicts a great sensation of social, political, cultural, religious and scientific factors which he discusses them in his poetry.


Work cited

Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson. In Memoriam A.H.H.. 1st ed. London: St. Catherine Press, 2000. Print.

Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson. The Idylls Of The King. 1st ed. [Place of publication not identified]: Forgotten Books, 2010. Print.


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