Lord Alfred Tennyson, a consummate poetic artist, consolidated and refined the tradition bequeathed to him by his predecessors in the Romantic Movement (especially Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Shelley). Beginning in the after math of Romantic Movement, Tennyson's development as a poet is a romantic progression from introverted and inert states of mind towards emancipated consciousness.
The growth of consciousness, and the relationship between the self and the world beyond, are fundamental concerns of romantic poetry and poetic theory. The aesthetic implications of this self-realization are seen in the characteristically symbolic modes of Romantic poetry: in the sensuous imagery, which embodies states of feeling rather than being purely descriptive, in the subjective use of mythological fable, and in the adoption of dramatic persona. Tennyson employs each of these self-expression.
Most of the poems in 1830 volume are mood-paintings, and word pictures of highly sensitized, delicately attuned, febrile sensibility. The subject of 'Mariana" , the girl deserted by her lover to pine alone in 'the moated grange', is taken from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, but Tennyson is not concerned with the love story.
It is a poem in which 'the feeling therein developed given importance to the action and situation, and not the action and situation to the feelings." The characteristically romantic fusion of feeling with perception makes the silent-decaying house and its desolate landscape an embodiment of Mariana's consciousness.
The Romantic poet, contrary to classic art, in which life is glorified and made beautiful and holy and something that in itself possesses "a supreme value over and above all other things" regards life "as false nature"; he is chained down to life by "a heavy weight of hours"; he is tired with life and cries for "restful death" or is "half in love with easeful death". The mariners of The Lotos...