The Lady of Shalott lives in a castle that sits on an island in the middle of a river that flows toward the mythical kingdom of Camelot. The castle has four towers, and in one of the towers is the lady's private apartment. Her apartment has a window that looks...
The Lady of Shalott lives in a castle that sits on an island in the middle of a river that flows toward the mythical kingdom of Camelot. The castle has four towers, and in one of the towers is the lady's private apartment. Her apartment has a window that looks out over the river and the land on the other side. In her apartment, about ten to twelve feet away from the window and opposite it, there is a loom, and she has set up a mirror behind the loom, tilted at a downward angle facing the window so it can pick up images of the world that pass by outside. Around the castle is a garden of flowers.
The words "four gray walls and four gray towers" from stanza two describe a castle. In stanza nine, the word "bower-eaves" suggests that she lives in a bower, which is a woman's private apartment inside a medieval castle. That the apartment has a window is key to the story because that is how the Lady of Shalott views the outside world. The window is first mentioned in stanza three when the poem asks who has "at the casement seen her stand?" A casement is the sash of a window or a window that opens outward like a door. Stanza six speaks of the "mirror clear that hangs before her all the year." That part of her room is only about ten to twelve feet across from the loom to the window, for when she leaves the room, "three paces" are enough to bring her to the window to look out to see the river and Sir Lancelot. The towers of the castle are said to "overlook a space of flowers," indicating the garden area that surrounds the castle. The apartment seems to be on an upper level of the castle because when she leaves her room, it says "down she came and found a boat." The description of how the castle sits on an island in the river occurs in stanza two: "the island in the river."
The poem does not describe the Lady of Shalott's home in very much detail--just enough to allow one to picture the castle and a little bit of her apartment in it.