25 votes
Accepted

Does "The Charge of the Light Brigade" glorify war or criticize it?

The Charge of the Light Brigade glorifies the warriors, not the war. Throughout the poem, we see exaltation of the soldiers for their bravery. They are described as brave, bold, and having "fought so ...
18 votes
Accepted

What does "It is not meet" mean in "Idylls of the King"?

"It is not meet" basically means "it is not appropriate" or even "it is not right" (probably a better interpretation in this context). He's saying, more or less, that ...
  • 296
14 votes
Accepted

Why does the Lady of Shalott stay instead of stray?

The word stay here means stop or pause. From Merriam-Webster: intransitive verb 1: to stop going forward : pause 2: to stop doing something : cease Or from the Macmillan dictionary: ...
  • 15.4k
12 votes
Accepted

What is the symbolism of the final rise of the Kraken?

This interpretation is largely based on discussions I had with one of my professors and classmates about The Kraken and Tennyson’s use of symbolism in general. We believe that The Kraken, like other ...
  • 5,744
11 votes

Meaning of "every dewdrop paints a bow" from In Memoriam, Section CXXII by Alfred lord Tennyson

The reference is to the properties of water refracting the light spectrum, effectively producing a rainbow. The OED bears this out with the following definition of 'Bow'.: II. Specific uses. ...
  • 15.9k
11 votes

Does "The Charge of the Light Brigade" glorify war or criticize it?

It does both. It glorifies the six hundred while criticizing the leaders of the charge. Here's some quotes highlighting it: 'All in the valley of Death' - Shows the mistake sending soldiers to ...
7 votes
Accepted

Confused about the meter and rhythm of Ulysses by Tennyson

Tennyson was indeed writing iambic pentameter. Certain substitutions are traditionally allowed in iambic pentameter, namely, a foot can be replaced by a trochee or a spondee, and two adjacent feet ...
  • 8,378
7 votes

Does "The Charge of the Light Brigade" glorify war or criticize it?

I think this is too black-and-white. The poem is not about war, but about an event. The poem praises the courage of the soldiers, who obey even if it means certain death. It is like a requiem for ...
  • 1,285
6 votes
Accepted

Why are the lotos-eaters "mild-eyed" and "melancholy"?

tl;dr Tennyson depicts the Lotos-Eaters as having the melancholic personality type described in the four-humor theory of ancient Greek and Persian medicine They are mild-eyed because they are passive ...
  • 15.4k
5 votes

What do these lines mean in Tennyson's poem "Northern Farmer - Old Style"?

In this poem, Tennyson uses nonstandard spelling to convey the dialect of Lincolnshire where he grew up. His son Hallam wrote: The Lincolnshire dialect poems are so true in dialect and feeling, that ...
  • 42.4k
5 votes

What did Tennyson intend to say, by 'fierce light that beats upon a throne and blackens every blot'?

As to 1, the sun "beating" is a common way of saying the sun was shining very brightly, oppressively brightly. One of the senses of "to beat" in the OED is "transf. Of water, waves, wind, weather, ...
  • 3,860
4 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of Christmas in In Memoriam A.H.H.?

It's hard to answer questions about the meaning of a particular event or object in a given work. Such questions seem to rely on a one-to-one allegorical equivalence: a clean shirt means a soul ...
  • 15.4k
4 votes
Accepted

What does Tennyson mean by "the rustic cackle ... [is] the murmur of the world"?

The background to this passage is that Geraint has come to “a little town in a long valley” and, finding the town busy with people and activity, has asked three times for the cause, to be told only ...
  • 42.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Does Vivien sleep with Merlin in Tennyson's "Idylls of the King"?

Your interpretation is a common way to understand this passage. Mid-Victorian literary conventions required some delicacy in alluding to sexual activity, so this kind of suggestive imagery is all we ...
  • 42.4k
3 votes

Why did Tennyson write "The Brook" from the brook's first-person perspective?

There are two things I think the choice of first-person adds to the poem: novelty, and a sense of movement. The novelty factor comes from the point of view being, well, novel. Bodies of water can't ...
  • 8,183
3 votes

What does “Honor the Light Brigade” mean?

"Light Brigade" refers to a specific brigade The Charge of the Light Brigade was a real-world event. Quoting from Wikipedia: The Charge of the Light Brigade was a failed military action ...
  • 8,183
3 votes

Does "The Charge of the Light Brigade" glorify war or criticize it?

When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wondered. Honour the charge they made, Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred. The last stanza, I ...
  • 4,219
1 vote

What do these lines mean in Tennyson's poem "Northern Farmer - Old Style"?

Context: this poem is part of a pair, "Northern Farmer - Old Style" and "Northern Farmer - New Style", both written in strong dialect from Tennyson's home county of Lincolnshire, ...
  • 65.1k
1 vote

What did Tennyson intend to say, by 'fierce light that beats upon a throne and blackens every blot'?

The context of the Tennyson quote is a eulogy to Prince Albert, in the Dedication of Idylls of the King (and therefore the implied context of a connection to King Arthur?) Not swaying to this faction ...
  • 65.1k
1 vote

Does "The Charge of the Light Brigade" glorify war or criticize it?

According to the Guardian's poetry critic, Carol Rumens, it's neither: I don't think it sets out to glorify war, but it's certainly not a protest. It recreates the sabre-flashing excitement of ...
  • 1,001

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible