Analysis of Mariana by Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as “Break, Break, Break”, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, “Tears, Idle Tears” and “Crossing the Bar”. Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, althoughIn Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and student at Trinity College, Cambridge, after he died of a stroke aged just 22.

This article provides a complete analysis of Mariana by Tennyson. As we go through the summary of Mariana, we find that there is no clear character building, rather expressions of boredom with life and the supprtive imagery used by the poet.

Mariana was first published in the year 1830. The moated grange is probably the one which rose to the music of Shakespeare’s words “There at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana.” This poem is taken from a section of Tennyson’s poem called ‘Juvenalia’.

Mood of the poem Mariana

The poem epitomizes the sadness of a woman and her demise because of being lovelorn. The first stanza give a vivid picturesque of the desolate shelter and the monotonous life, marked with mingling of Mariana’s mod with the objects and surroundings of the house. Words evolved to produce an imagery of the landscape and the mournful aspect of the decaying house.

Summary of the poem Mariana by Tennyson

Mariana is the name of a lovelorn women living in a moated grange. The building is totally in ruins and the flower beds are covered with thick black moss. Nothing seems to be at a good stage which makes Mariana complain of her loneliness and anxiety. She has time, but to weep, whether its morning, evening or night, it doesn’t matter. She seems to be tired of being alive, in absence of her love, she feels haunted. Just a distance from the wall is a sluice gate covered with moss, accompanied by a green and silver popler with twister bark which is always shaking.

For miles together one can find the waste land lacking in vegetation. At times the moon is heavy and low, with the piercing wind blowing; Mariana can see the shadow of the poplar which falls on her window curtain and sway to and fro with the movement of the breeze. When the night is silent and the breeze comes to a standstill, the shadow falls on her bed, across the forehead. The door produces some nasty creeping sound as they turn upon the hinges.

One can see the blue colour fly humming around the glass window panes and the mouse passing through the walls, producing whiny sounds. Mariana feels as if old and popular faces are seeing her through the door. She can also sense the footsteps and sounds of walking from the upper floors. She can sense the old voices calling out to her from outside. Finally Mariana’s mind is found to be baffled with the sounds of the chirping sparrows’ in the roof, the slow shrill of ticking of the clocks and the soft gentle rustle of the poplar as a result of the breeze that blows through its branches.

Although Mariana feel disgusted with these uneven noises, she finds herself more annoyed when she happens to encounter with the hour of rising of the sun in the western sky. Throughout the time Mariana keeps on complaining about her absent lover, the glitch and the monotony of her life. She urges to die at last.

Theme of Mariana

Thus the poem Mariana can be studies as a mood of despair.
The central focus of the poem lies in the desolate landscape and not in the character of Mariana.
The aura of the poem is veiled with a grave mood of hopelessness.
The music and the eerie atmosphere creates a chain of pathos encompassed by Mariana and finally felt by the readers of the poem.

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