Does she really want her lover too arrive and does she want to commit suicide in "Mariana"? 

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Interestingly enough, Tennyson drew inspiration for his poem "Mariana" from the character of Mariana in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure ("Mariana Summary," eNotes).   Shakespeare's character Mariana was abandoned by her lover Angelo after she lost her dowry.  Tennyson's use of detail and imagery has steeped "Mariana" in isolation and misery.  The central character mourns the loss of her lover, but the situation is all the more dire because she knows that he will not come.  She has utterly no hope whatsover, but still she yearns for him.  In her mind, only death could remove the intensity of the pain that she feels from the burden of her abandonment.  Tennyson does not show her actively contemplating killing herself, but rather wishing that death would take her. Of course, her deep longing for death may move her to take some action later, but Tennyson provides the reader with no outcome or resolution, only the bitterness of a woman scorned.