Cultural Studies:
I. "The Lady of Shalott"--A feminist or a victim? 
  • crisis in subjectivity--the use of mirror
  • her education--ideologies of Romantic love and Celibacy, etc.
  • different painters' interpretation
  • Other Images of Shalott

  • by Hunt, Waterhouse, Siddal, Egley 
    Why do they choose the moment of the Lady's defiance?
    The Exotic & Chaotic background--  
    allegorical elements 
    Please pay attention to the wall's dark tapestries, "upon which swirl the twisting bodies of angelic and allegorical figures, while the two roundels supporting the great mirror feature scenes of the Fall and the nativity [Wadsworth]" (Pearce 79) 
    exotic elements:  
    sandals & samovars («X°ê»É³ý) 


    contending ideogies:
    in the poem
    The Lady is both a bewitching 'fairy' (Parts I and II) and a pure Virgin, clothed in 'snowy white' (Part IV).  --symbolic of a woman torn in two by her contradictory education; by the "contending ideologies of Christian Celibacy and Romantic Love, and both underscored by the socio-economic forces that required a woman to marry or be rendered invisible."

    in the painting by Hunt
    [The painting is]"littered with graphic symbols of the contradictory discourses (Celibacy and Romantic Love) by which the Lady has been interpellated.  Between the Garden of Eden and the Virgin birth, the harem and the cloister, Hunt's Lady makes manifest the impossibility of her situation" (Pearce 78, 80)

    Other Images of Shalott Hunt; Waterhouse
    Hunt "allegedly intended his  paintings and illustrations to be read as reproving texts on the 'dereliction of duty'" (Pearce 78)  

    Hunt analysed the text as a moral fable illustrating 'the failure of a human soul towards its accepted responsiblity" (qtd in Marsh 150). 

    Please pay attention to the strong limbs, the heavy hips and breasts, and the witch-like hair. 

    William Holman Hunt, The Lady of Shalott, 1857

    Is she a fallen woman or "snow-maiden"?  Languorouss, Doomed or expecting love? 

    John William Waterhouse 
    'I am Half Sick of Shadows' siad the Lady of Shalott, 1915

     Egley & Siddal
    William Mau Egley, The Lady of Shalott 1858 
    a High Ggothic version full of antiquarian detail, a relatively early example of the influence of Pre-Raphaelite medievalism on other artists. ...with the authentic 14th-century costume, which 'clothes somewhat incongruously the patently Victorian figure of Mrs. Egley, who was the model" (Marsh 150-51).
    Elizabeth Siddal, The Lady of Shalott, 1853