A literary analysis of alfred tennysons in memoriam

Tennyson, the fourth of twelve children, showed an early talent for writing. At the age of twelve he wrote a 6,line epic poem. His father, the Reverend George Tennyson, tutored his sons in classical and modern languages.

A literary analysis of alfred tennysons in memoriam

SparkNotes: Tennyson’s Poetry: “In Memoriam”, page 2

Such questions seem to rely on a one-to-one allegorical equivalence: But literature doesn't make meaning through a system where decoding a given token yields its intended significance.

Perhaps a more fruitful way to think about Christmas in In Memoriam is to ask: How do the repeated occurrences of Christmas work in the poem? What is their effect? When we compare the different representations of Christmas in the poem with each other, what similarities and differences do we see?

What might we make of those parallels and contrasts? Critics generally agree that the three Christmases in In Memoriam serve a structural purpose. It is possible to see the sequence structured around a three year period built around the three Christmas poems; each poem shows a growing sense of hope and resignation as time passes.

In other words, the Christmas poems do more than simply mark the passage of time. They also show how the poet's response to that death moves from despair and denial to acceptance and hope over the years following Hallam's death.

This view goes back at least as far as In a work published that year, Tennyson's In Memoriam: Its purpose and its structure, John F. It would seem, then, that the poem comprises different cycles of thought, to each of which Christmas, standing at the head, gives significance; and when we compare with one another the cycles thus introduced, we find that all have a similar structure, and that each contributes its part in an advancing and broadening series.

A literary analysis of alfred tennysons in memoriam

The second cycle focuses on the present: The final cycle focuses on the future: A reading of the three Christmas celebrations does demonstrate an overall trajectory from sorrow to resignation. This year I slept and woke with pain, I almost wish'd no more to wake, And that my hold on life would break Before I heard those bells again.


When the poet and his companions do attempt traditional Christmas activities, such as singing carols, those are followed by tears: Then echo-like our voices rang; We sung, tho' every eye was dim, A merry song we sang with him Last year: The poet participates in the season's traditional joys again, but this time, those joys do not bring tears.

Basically, the poet is all cried out: Again our ancient games had place, The mimic picture's breathing grace, And dance and song and hoodman-blind. Who show'd a token of distress?

Poem Analysis of In Memoriam A. H. H. 7 by Alfred Lord Tennyson for close reading

No single tear, no mark of pain: O sorrow, then can sorrow wane? O grief, can grief be changed to less? O last regret, regret can die! No — mixt with all this mystic frame, Her deep relations are the same, But with long use her tears are dry.In Memoriam, A.H.H.

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A lament for the death of Tennyson’s close friend Arthur Hallam at the age of 22, In Memoriam was the most complete expression of the Victorian cult of mourning. Queen Victoria famously said that, next to the Bible, it was her greatest comfort after the death of her husband, Prince Albert.

Alfred Lord Tennyson was born in August of in Somersby, Lincolnshire, England. His father was a deeply religious man and worked as rector of Somersby, .

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