How does Tennyson tell the story of ‘Tithonus’? (A02)
Tennyson tells the reminiscence of immortal lover ‘Tithonus’ in an elegiac fashion. The poem depicts the suffering of the immortal Tithonus who unfortunately despite having been granted immortal life was not blessed with immortal youth with it. As such, Tithonus is doomed to age and as he withers and wrinkles away, he is left to endure alone since his lover, the immortal goddess Aurora is tasked with carrying the rising sun at dawn. Tennyson’s narrative methods are effective at conveying Tithonus’s confused and regretful state of mind. Tennyson’s linguistic devices project the powerful emotions felt by Tithonus and his lingering memories of his youth adds a sense of nostalgia to Tithonus’s mindset. The use of a dramatic monologue structure is effective in giving a true insight into Tithonus’s thoughts.
Tennyson’s employment of a dramatic monologue form is effective in explaining Tithonus’s obsession with death. The poetic voice is Tithonus’s confusion coming to the fore: “ay me! ay me!... The woods decay, the woods decay” the unexplained repetition of certain words suggests Tithonus’s mindset to be confused and befuddled; his immortality has rendered his mind trapped at times, trying to keep up with time at the same rate as his body does. The dramatic monologue form is essential in successfully conveying how time and age has wreaked havoc on Tithonus’s sanity. ‘Tithonus’ is a poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter; this suggests the dramatic monologue to be a spontaneous monologue or else Tithonus’s mind has aged to such an extent that it has lost coherency. However, the first ten lines are in iambic pentameter. This suggests that in the first verse at least, Tithonus is steeling himself to deliver a message to the reader or to Aurora before lapsing into a sad reminiscence.
Tennyson tries to convey the feelings of detachment Tithonus feels from his current self and his past human state....
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