The Lady of Shalott Questions and Answers
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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What is the plot of the poem "The Lady of Shalott"?

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There is a beautiful town called Shalott, just up the river from the fabled Camelot. Within Shalott, there is an square stone edifice with four tall stone towers, and it is here that the Lady of Shalott lives. She sings as she weaves, and the reaper can hear her at both dawn and dusk. She is dressed beautifully, "royally apparelled," in her prison.

She cannot ever stop weaving because there is a curse on her. She must weave night and day and never stop, or else she dies. She does not feel either "joy or fear," looking at a mirror which reflects the sights outside her window. She sees the people pass, on their way to Camelot, including knights, though she has no knight of her own. She weaves what she sees outside her window, including funerals and wedding processions, and she is tired of only seeing "'shadows'" of life rather than life itself.

One day, she sees the handsome Lancelot riding by, with his shield and bridle and armor flashing and sparkling and his horse's bridle bells...

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