Illustrated by Genevive, this edition of Lord Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott" dramatically depicts the journey of the Lady of Shalot and her unrequited love. This vision of the lady of Shalott comes to life on the page in simple lines. The blues and yellows add to the tone of the piece, drawing the reader into the discovery of what will happen to our tragic Lady of Shalott.
Lady of Shalott - In the Tower
In the "Lady of Shalott," the heroine lives an isolated tower. She watches the world go by--never participating, never truly LIVING! She doesn't know what life is really about, because she isn't a part of it.
Shalott is an island near Camelot, where the lady lives. Under a curse that she can never look at Camelot, she weaves a magic web of what she sees in her mirror. So, not only is she removed from Life by living up in her high tower, but she’s also removed by only seeing the reflection of what goes on in the world.
But, then, she sees Lancelot in the mirror one day. She dares to look, which causes the mirror to crack. More than that, she dares to get in a boat and float toward Camelot: dying and chanting one last song.
"Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turned to towered Camelot."
Lancelot and others find her body—frozen.
"Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."
Lady of Shalott & Artistic Temperment
The poem has become a part of the discussion about artistic temperament and space... Must an artist be truly "IN" the world to create worthwhile works of art? Or, must one be up in one's tower, away on a desert island, or in some artist's commune somewhere—in order to create art? And, then, there's the other possibility: that there might be a happy medium that an artist must determine for himself/herself--where art and life can co-exist, with some sense of sanity and wholeness.