The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Role Of Woman

At the beginning of the lesson there was a picture of the Spice Girls on the board and we had to discuss what girl power is which is a term often used for empowerment, and linked with feminism. We then had a brief discussion on the equality of men and woman and what the stereotypical views of woman and men's roles were, thus producing two separate spheres. Men typically had all the power in the relationship with money, education power, politics and legal matters where as the woman was seen as the domestic housewife, charming, selfless and so on. We then discussed whether the Lady of Shalott was fitted any of these traits, and the fact that she left her home in pursuit of Sir Lancelot, for him to only establish "she has a lovely face" proves that she was foolishly selfless to die for a man who took no interest. It also highlights the plite of woman and how power in distributed in the poem for we learn more about Sir Lancelot in those two stanzas than we do about Lady Shalott in the rest of the poem.

The next poem we looked at was "The Angel in the house" by Coventry Patmore in which he wrote about his wife, Emily.

Man must be pleased; but him to please

Is woman's pleasure; down the gulf

Of his condoled necessities

She casts her best, she flings herself.

How often flings for nought, and yokes

Her heart to an icicle or whim,

Whose each impatient word provokes

Another, not from her, but him;

While she, too gentle even to force

His penitence by kind replies,

Waits by, expecting his remorse,

With pardon in her pitying eyes;

And if he once, by shame oppress'd,

A comfortable word confers,

She leans and weeps against his breast,

And seems to think the sin was hers;

Or any eye to see her charms,

At any time, she's still his wife,

Dearly devoted to his arms;

She loves with love that cannot tire;

And when, ah woe, she loves alone,

Through passionate duty love springs higher,

As grass grows taller round a stone.

Although written about his wife it still highlights the stereotypical views of woman, that for his sin she must weep?

We continued to look at the role of woman in the poem "Mariana" in which Mariana is betrothed to Angelo who later broke off the engagement and Mariana lives outside Venetian society in a secluded country grange visited by hardly anyone. Sir then put an extract on the board in which we had to annotate and find out what the extract suggests.

"With blackest moss the flower-plots

Were thickly crusted, one and all"

The extract uses dark imagery, with the antithesis of moss and flower, and suggests that hope has died, as well as creating a sense of abandonment, may be a metaphor for her feelings. Also with the contrast between one and all, indicating a individuals society. We then continued to read the rest of the poem and the overall impression was that time is passing her by, and that she takes pleasure in being depressed.

Lastly, we worked in groups of two's or three's and annotated a stanza of the poem, focusing on AO2 in which we will share next lesson.


Read and highlight the sheet Sir gave us about Tennyson's narrative method in The Lady of Shalott.

Complete annotating the rest of Mariana.



  1. The poet of "Mariana" refers to the character from one of Shakespeare plays.

    Measure for Measure

  2. Good blog Lucy :)

    The poems good, but it's so depressing.

    Esmeralda ;)

  3. It seems as to me that Mariana has been in the house/place so long that she's almost been forgotten by nature in the sense that it is growing over the house and even though this is the case Mariana shows no signs of wishing to leave and seems content to wallow in her own sadness.


  4. Great blog Lucy...!!! I think Mariana is a poem based on the stereotypical views of the Venetian times,which we the people of the present generation find extremely senseless or rather meaningless.


  5. i think the poem was nicee, but kinda depressing

    banging blog Lucy ;)


  6. I think that Mariana's character is someone really obessesed by her love for this man, as he is her only connection to the world outside. Her home has become her prison, although in reality it is her mind that is opressing her.

    Thank you for the blog post Lucy :)

  7. Great Blog! Its good to see something like this after, uhh...not posting for a while..

    I reckon that Mariana is in fact devoid of hope~ she has learnt to despise everything that surrounds her despite the vibrancy of which it is described, because she knows that it provides no new hope of salvation from her grief. Depressing, sure, but I'm sure that Mariana wouldn't appreciate pity for what is surely "dedication".

  8. Excellent post Lucy

    I liked the way Tennyson used the rhyme scheme to reflect both Marianas mental and physical state. Mental because shes isolated with that one thought of her lover encompassed by other things and physical because of the description of where she is (abandoned)


  9. good blog it tells those who weren`t in what to do

  10. This is a really good blog Lucy. Reading the the poem Mariana seems very depressive and darkness. Theres a repetetive mode where she says "I would that i were dead". This shows that here mind is blocked with graphic,negative imagery. she also seems quite insane.

  11. great post LUCY!!, and the poem is a bit depressing, is kinda like the poem Havishim by Ann Duffy (which was inspired by charles Dickens'S novel) WHO is from the same time period as Tennyson, therefore the poem reflects contemporary view of WOMEN

  12. this blog is great :)