Essay: Comparison of the Old and New version of The Lady of Shalott

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Essay: Comparison of the Old and New version of The Lady of Shalott

Sample Essay

In the old version of the poem the last words are the Lady of Shalott are through a letter that is discovered as it lies on her body.  On the other hand, in the new version Sir Lancelot says the last words where he is describing the beauty of the Lady of Shalott. In the new version, the Lady of Shalott is mute and all that we need to hear from her is said from a third person point that is through Sir Lancelot. The revised version does not give much details of the Lady of Shalott and as a result, it is difficult to associate her with Camelot.

The words that Sir Lancelot is using to describe the Lady are so slight such that they give her an obscure identity in the new version.  In the old version, the author tells us about pearls decorating the Lady of Shallot, which is very specific about her character. The author tells us “A pearl garland winds her head: She leaneth on a velvet bed”, (1832, 1) while, in the revised version he says, “And by the moon the reaper weary” (1842, 1) at the end of part one in both versions. The author is no longer talking about the beauty of the Lady but he is describing Camelot and its beauty.

After her death she is described as “A pale, pale corpse she floated by, Dead cold, between the houses high”, (1832, 4) because to show how she was worthless in the eyes of her people in the old version. In the new version she is “A gleaming shape she floated by, A corse between the houses high,” (1842, 4) since she was being appreciated by the people of Camelot. In the old version, she is being described as pale because she was a nobody in the society but ten years down the line things had started to change and thus she is being described as gleaming.

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