Alfred, Lord Tennyson Questions and Answers

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Trace the romantic elements in Tennyson's poetry.

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Tennyson, born in 1809, came of age during the time of heightening power for the Romantic poets, beginning with William Blake, who lived from 1757 to 1827, and ending with John Keats, who lived from 1795 to 1821. Tennyson's early poetry showed strong traces of Romantic elements that were later forged into new sentiments by personal circumstances, like the untimely death of his friend Arthur Hallam in 1833, and social circumstances, like the milieu-shifting discoveries of geology.

In his prize-winning poem "Timbuctoo," Tennyson took up the Romantic theme of imagination (inspired thought) versus reality (objectivity and logic). In "Mariana," he used nature for a symbolic representation of strong subjective feelings. With the publication of Poems (1832), which included the now much beloved "Lady of Shallot," the veneer of Romanticism showed cracks, as Tennyson dramatized the conflict between inspired imagination and social reality, influenced perhaps by the financial hardships both he and...

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