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Alfred Lord Tennyson: An Analysis

Discuss loss of life and immorality in the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Tennyson was a prolific poet, his poetry ranged from being relatively joyful to upon analysis and scrutiny very nihilist and pessimistic in shade, the subject matter he published on weren't lacking in variety. Prominent designs in his poetry were both fatality and immorality. One of his most prominent and popular poems that falls into both these categories was "memorandum heart and soul"; this poem came into thought in to the idea of the a meditation on the voyage of 1 person's life, Tennyson published this yoga about his deceased friend Arthur Henry Hennelson. Whether the inspiration or a way to obtain a caveat the fatality of this person results in was something Tennyson thought we would discover through his poetry. The poem also deals with the quest one faces upon death and the way the individual chooses to deal with it. Using metaphor to represent different pathways through life. It's very lengthy; lasting dozens of stanzas, each one it could be said metaphorically representing an alternative section in his friend's life alongside being a vessel of appearance of the evolving times of the Victorian period of which the poem was written during.

Tennyson's poetry can be tied into the fool's platinum theory when burying treasure before old miners used to leave a tiny amount of gold buried above their true treasure trove so that in the case of someone uncovering its location they'll only dig to the extent of locating the first smaller parcel of yellow metal believing it to be the entire and complete deal. We can apply the same frame of pondering around Tennyson's modus operandi of his poetry; does he intend for only those who devote your time and effort of reading and contemplating his works to get the entire message of them. While those who only glance over his work will receive their just prize of an fool's gold, or quite simply a note fit for someone who can't comprehend let alone handle the truth. A good example of this can be seen in his poem "After-Thought" In this particular poem, initially if we look at things because they are plainly organized we would think Tennyson is portraying the passing of someone and the natural motions one goes through when someone dies "I considered Thee, my spouse and my guide, As being previous away. -Vain sympathies!". However when we read further into the poem we can easily see that Tennyson produces his poem into a study into a notion of the individuals condition, how one deals with their mortality and natural unavoidable death "To reside, and act, and serve the near future hour; If, as toward the silent tomb we go, Through love, through expectation, and faith's transcendent dower, We feel that we are greater than we realize". Tennyson portrays that the average person deludes themselves into thinking that they're important when he realises that the truth is this severe world won't even bat an eyelid if an individual were to die.

As time passes by in Tennyson's life he changes as a human being, and feels the pain of the change; the ever-present personal evolution of his mindset and persona as a poet is intensified by his inclination toward increasing darkness, immorality and depravity in his poetry, an integral example of this can be seen throughout In Memorandum; the poem had taken a long time for Tennyson to generate which portrays his modus operandi and exactly how it improved over an extended period of time, from the prologue of the poem; the price "Forgive my grief for just one removed, Thy creature, whom I found so reasonable. I trust he lives in thee, and thereI find him worthier to be enjoyed. " while still relatively un-colourful and when contrasted to other poets of the era may be considered dark, it contrasts casually to the progressive stanzas in Tennyson's poem. For instance nearing the finish of the poem the offer "O life as futile, then, as frail!O for thy tone of voice to calm and bless!What anticipation of answer, or redress?Behind the veil, behind the veil. " portrays a very strong sense of hopelessness or inevitability of lack of control in life that Tennyson may have feared realising how unsightly life can turn upon the death of his good friend. We can see this sentiment present throughout In Memorandum "Who respected God was love indeed, And love Creation's final law- Tho' Nature, red in teeth and claw, With ravine, shriek'd against his creed". Through the examination of both faith and mourning for his dead friend the poet aims to attain a far more rounded comprehension of the damage his friend's death lead to and how he through writing the prolonged poem attempts to come to conditions with it.

It's human character to want to go up above our restrictions; Tennyson comprehends this and uses this message in his poetry, utilising it as a vessel so that they can comprehend his recent and inherently use that understanding in an attempt to have better control over his future and the continuing future of the world he lived in as it gradually changed. We can grasp a means of comprehension of this sentiment from Tennyson's poem All Things will Die; this poem portrays grimly the nihilist perspective that Tennyson had developed as he grew as a poet and perhaps his yearning to get over death itself. We can see that in the beginning Tennyson perceives the magnificence in characteristics and humanity through this quote ''Plainly the blue river chimes in its streaming Under my eyeball; Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing Above the sky. One after another the white clouds are fleeting; Every center this May day in joyance is defeating, Full merrily". Tennyson in the beginning opts to portray a wholesomely enjoyable scene, one of pleasing imagery and nice vibes, he then advances to dash our preconceptions of what he has hence portrayed at that time dismantling our conception of the poem, instead of progressing along with his enjoyable imagery he instead opts to portray the unavoidable decay and damage that all good things and people will face when their time comes " Full merrily; Yet everything must pass away. The stream will stop to stream; The wind will stop to blow; The clouds will stop to fleet; The heart and soul will stop to defeat; For all things must die. Everything must die. Furthermore we can also further see in 'In Memorandum' Tennyson's grieving process and emotions of aggravation and impotence at his friend's fatality in this poem. The ultimate stanza of the poem specifically switches into detail about how pointless life seems to Tennyson now and exactly how death brings the one expectation of redress of his issues and struggles. Lines like "O life as futile, then, as frail!" and "What wish of answer, or redress? Behind the veil, behind the veil. " Wonderfully express these feelings. To conclude 'In Memoriam' by Tennyson is a very dark and serious poem that deals with lots of the strongest issues at that time such as death and the reconciliation of knowledge and beliefs and looking closely at this poem one can see a mixture of Tennyson's growing question in spirituality mixing with a powerful influx of grief at the loss of someone you care about effectively portraying Tennyson's descent into darkness. Carrying on down this series brings forward both the meats of the poem and the impetus behind its creation, loss of life. For Victorians who are actually presented with scientific facts which contradicts their spiritual teachings, the thought of an afterlife becomes less of your promised final resting place and more of a close held trust. This is quite visible in "In Memoriam" as Tennyson handles not only the fatality of an extremely good friend but also the implications of the opportunity that there is no God. The influence of Darwin's work in the field of biology can actually be observed in the poem when Tennyson says "Who trusted God was love indeed, And love Creation's last laws- Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw, With ravine, shriek'd against his creed". Tennyson amazing things how if character is intended to be the creation of an loving God then why do animals hunt and get rid of each other to damage out a meagre life nowadays. In Victorian books death and just how it was presented was an enormous power behind how popular the work became. John Kucich talks about how the recognition of Dickens' deathbed scenes mirrored Tennyson's surge to fame following "In Memoriam". The poem's attractiveness between the Victorians can definitely be related to its subject material.

Tennyson had written "In Memorandum" as a kind of memorandum for his good friend. the poem goes into depth, describing Tennyson's attempt at working with the grief he seems experiencing the abrupt lack of his good friend. The poem also is constantly on the progress into a vessel for Tennyson expressing his perspectives and notions he perceives about the life span he's lived and additional to that an effort at extrapolating interpretation and a better, more concrete knowledge of the Victorian city around him and the earth as it steadily changes around him with the growing popularity of research as he writes this obtuse and extended poem. By contrast to the tough technological perspective present throughout much of the poem other critics understand his view of faith to distinction to it ""A central theme within the poem is that of religion and the doubt people have of its continuation in the progressively methodical Victorian London. Tennyson starts his piece such as this " Strong Child of God, immortal Love, Whom we, which may have not seen thy face, By beliefs, and faith only, embrace, Believing where we can not verify;"As Altholz writes in a crucial essay "The main thing to keep in mind about religion in Victorian Britain is that there is a lot of it. The nineteenth hundred years was marked by way of a revival of religious activity unmatched since the days of the Puritans. This religious revival designed that code of moral behavior, or rather that infusion of most behavior with moralism, which we still call, rightly or wrongly, "Victorianism. " Most importantly, religion occupied a place in the public awareness, a centrality in the intellectual life of this, which it had not had a hundred years before and did not keep in the twentieth century. " (Altholz 32)


From these various things we can conclude that throughout his life and his work Tennyson never stopped growing and growing as a person and inherently as a copy writer, his moods and personality may have advanced toward a far more downbeat version as time continued but his commitment to his art of poetry never wavered and it was his unwavering determination that has propagated Tennyson to the degrees of understanding he come to while he was still writing and also to his legacy among the finest poet's to own lived which continues to this day.


Josef L. Altholz YOUR BRAIN and Art work of Victorian England. Victorian Web. Retrieved 6 November 2007.

Tennyson's Poetry, Alfred Tennyson, Robert W. Hill Jr. ny W. W. Norton & Company1999 print

Tennyson: In Memoriamby Susan Shatto;

Marion ShawReview by:Edgar F. Shannon, Jr.

Modern Philology, Vol. 82, No. 2 (Nov. , 1984), pp. 214-216

tennyson's poetry

Tennyson's In Memoriam 74. By: Fontana, Ernest, Explicator, 00144940, Spring92, Vol. 50, Issue 3

this way of thinking ". . . a blow-away paper the rain got brought to relax. "

cited again as the collection "The news of the day I've neglected --If I ever read it" portrays. Despite contemplation we can't truly know where our choices may have led us if we opt for different road, 'A patch of old snow' portrays this notion brooding over what might have been but also p

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