Throughout the song, If I Die Young, the poem, The Lady of Shalott, and the book, Le Morte d’Arthur, there were many likes and differences. Throughout all three, Elaine wants to marry Sir Lancelot, but he’s in love with Queen Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot won’t marry her anyway. These three works of art all show what he or she will do for the person they love. The Band Perry’s song, If I Die Young, Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem, The Lady of Shalott, and Sir Thomas Malory’s book, Le Morte d’Arthur, all show the theme of love and what one will do for who he/she loves through the use of social rules, imagery, and character development.
In Le Morte d’Arthur, Malory shows symbolism through Elaine and how she is pure in her nature and a right match for Lancelot. Malory uses words such as “earthly” and “clean maiden” to show that she innocent and that Lancelot would be her first lover (707). The only thing holding Lancelot back would be his love for Guinevere and that he is a knight and King Arthur doesn’t want him distracted. She was so in love with Lancelot and did everything that she could’ve, but it was Lancelot’s fault that it didn’t work. Elaine has a broken heart because of Lancelot, even though he never gave her attention or acted like he would marry her. Even though he broke her heart, Elaine still thinks high of Lancelot as Malory says in La Morte d’Arthur, “I shall die for the love of so noble a knight” (707). This shows that she would do anything for him to marry her even if it’s die a virgin. She also knows that she loved him a lot more than he loved Stracener 2her, because Malory says, “I loved this noble knight, Sir Lancelot, out of measure” (707). This is showing that she doesn’t care that he doesn’t feel the same way about her, she will still love him the same.
Another passage that uses words to describe Elaine’s innocence is the song If I Die Young. The Band Perry uses phrases such as, “I’ve never known the lovin’ of a man” on line 20 or “I’ll be wearing white” on line 18. These two examples show that one, she is a virgin and hasn’t been loved by a man and is ready to marry Lancelot and two, if she’s wearing white that she wants to marry him and the color of white also represents innocence and pure. So, Elaine is all in for Lancelot, even if Lancelot like Guinevere and won’t even give Elaine any attention or affection.
In the Lady of Shalott, Tennyson mentions the river in the first line as the central of the poem. The river acts as the middle because the fields are on both sides of the river, the island is in the middle of the river, and Camelot is down the river. The river is where she dies, and gets in the boat to go towards Camelot to see Lancelot, and also where the poem starts off which shows it’s in the whole poem. Also, in line 12 it says, “The wave that runs for ever”, which represents a current or wave that will never end. So far, the poem has been peaceful using an alliteration in line 10, “willows whiten”, and peaceful words such as “aspens quiver” and “little breezes’, but now the eternal wave makes it dark as if the wave will carry her to her death. This shows that even though the river starts off peaceful and almost gives you the feeling of happiness, it turns bad and kills Elaine at the end.’ Another literary device Tennyson uses is foreshadowing. In line 18, the last line of the second stanza, he says, “The Lady of Shalott”. From then on to the rest of the poem, he uses that phrase to end each stanza, which basically hypnotizes you and makes you think of The Lady of Shalott more and more each time he says it. This would be foreshadowing because he keeps Stracener 3repeating her name to show that eventually she will be gone and there won’t be a Lady of Shalott. The last time it says the phrase, “The Lady of Shalott”, it is the last line and it is describing her face and how she looks the few lines in front. This shows that Lancelot thought well of her and that she was pretty, but just didn’t care very much about marrying her because he had Guinevere and being a knight on his mind.
Throughout all the works of art, Elaine grew and so did Lancelot. Elaine grew more in love with Lancelot, which can be a bad thing or a good thing, and Lancelot grew as a knight and he also realized that she was pretty but that Guinevere was the one he loved. The reason it could be good or bad that Elaine grew more and more in love with Lancelot is because she could’ve moved on and been with someone else that loved her unlike him, but it’s also good because she grew towards something instead of staying still and not growing at all throughout the entire poem. The last thing that plays a big role throughout all three works of art is the theme of love and isolation. Elaine shows throughout all three works of art that she will do anything, even if it’s to kill herself, to get Lancelot’s attention or love. Isolation also plays a big role throughout this. From the very beginning, we know that she is locked up and alone in a castle, and we don’t know the exact reason. But, she most likely wouldn’t have been so obsessed about Lancelot if she wouldn’t of been alone by herself the whole time. One of the reasons she is so in love with Lancelot is because she is isolated in that castle and has nobody to talk to or think about, and she feels the need to be loved on like she loves him. The Band Perry’s song, If I Die Young, Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem, The Lady of Shalott, and Sir Thomas Malory’s book, Le Morte d’Arthur, all show the theme of love and what one will do for who he/she loves through the use of social rules, imagery, and character development. As one can see, throughout all three works of art, there is the love for Lancelot, and the pureness of Elaine. There are also minor differences such as the word choice by the authors, but all three show the theme of love and what he/she will do for the person they love.
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