Tennyson’s Poems

In the mid-1800s, Alfred Tennyson depicted the Arthurian legend through a series of romantic poems.

Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere:

Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere is the most famous of those poems.  The image above is an illustration from the book depicting Lancelot’s and Guinevere’s final parting.

The Lady of Shalott:

The Lady of Shalott was originally published in 1833.  The Lady of Shalott is one of the three Elaines in Arthurian literature.  The lady suffers from a mysterious curse which requires her to work at her loom constantly and prevents her from ever looking directly out into the world; she may only look at the world as reflected through her mirror.

She sees Lancelot reflected in the mirror and is so taken with him that she leaves her loom and travels to Camelot by boat, knowing that she will die on the way.

The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse (1888)

Galahad:

Galahad was originally published in 1834.  The poem describes Galahad’s piousness, and posits that is why he succeeded in the Quest for the Holy Grail.

Image of Sir Galahad During the Quest for the Holy Grail, by Edward Burns Jones (1894)

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