The Emotions Explored in the Poems, Mariana and In the Valley of Carteret

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What Emotions does Tennyson explore in the poems ‘Mariana’ and ‘In the Valley of Cauteretz’ and what methods does he use to convey a range of emotions effectively?

Tennyson explores many emotions throughout Marianna, In the Valley of Cauteretz which have been reflected from his life. Born to a large family of 12, Alfred Tennyson had many fears and worries in his life. Some of these worries included money due to the fact that Aunt Elizabeth Russell and Uncle Charles Tennyson had a great deal of wealth than that of his own family. Tennyson also had a lifelong fear of developing a mental illness as several of the men in his family had a mild form of epilepsy. In those days it was thought to be a shameful disease which was made worse by the fact that his father was an alcoholic. His fathers’ condition worsened and he became paranoid, abusive, and violent.

Marianna is a poem about Marianna, a woman who has been waiting for her true love and has become more and more desperate in an old lonely grange with a moat. Tennyson uses a range of techniques to portray Marianna’s emotions. The idea of loneliness and grief is highlighted with the use of pathetic fallacy and nature ‘after the flitting of the bats when the thickest dark did trance the sky’. Tennyson stresses her desperation at the last four lines of each stanza which recurs but with slight modifications ‘She only said,’ my life is dreary, He cometh not,’ she said; She said, ‘I am aweary, aweary, I would that I were dead!’ It is almost a death wish which slowly she believes. In ‘In the valley of Cauteretz’ it is clear that grief, sorrow and loneliness are recurring themes in Tennyson’s work. Right from the beginning of this short poem the effect the reader gets is that he is writing about a time in his life from experience and he is trying to go back to when he was happiest. ‘I walked with one I loved two and thirty years ago. All along the valley, while I walked today’. Tennyson tries to...
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