The Lady of Shalott Topics for Further Study
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The Lady of Shalott book cover
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Topics for Further Study

(Poetry for Students)

  • Read about the presidential administration of John F. Kennedy. Why was it called "Camelot"? Find particular figures from the Arthurian myths that correspond to figures in U.S. politics. In particular, who would you say is most like the Lady of Shalott?
  • The Lady of Shalott could only look at the world through a mirror, but mirrors were quite different in Tennyson's time than they are now. Research the history of how mirrors are made and explain how that would affect what she saw.
  • Write a poem or a short story that explains how the Lady of Shalott came to have this curse put on her.
  • This poem has been put to music several times. Adapt it to your favorite type of music, cutting out parts that you think are unnecessary. Explain your choices.
  • The Lady of Shalott weaves a picture of what she sees outside her window. Research tapestries from the Middle Ages and report on what kinds of images they present and what kinds of stories they tell.
  • Assume that the Lady of Shalott is not under a curse at all, that she cannot go outside because of psychological inhibitions. Report on what treatments are currently available for someone in her situation.