How the poem "Saint Simeon Stylites" reflects Alfred Tennyson's interest in the 'Grotesque'

Essay by sk8_the_infernoB, July 2003

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St Simeon Stylites

One of the re-occurring themes in Tennyson's is the conflict between personal fulfillment and public responsibility. That is, often the character in the poem is pulled one way by something he or she wants to do, and another way by a sense of duty or obligation that must be performed. This is obvious in St. Simeon Stylites where he is inflicting constant harm and pain apon himself, but only for a reason, that reason is gaining entry to heaven. If he had the choice to either harm himself or get a 'free pass' he would obviously choose the 'free pass'.

Show how the poem St. Simeon Stylites reflects Tennysons interest in the 'Grotesque'

I believe that Tennyson is not interested in the grotesque but it would be more of a fascination to him (this is when the poem begins but as it continues his interest in the grotesque is apparent).

In Tennyson's poetry it seems that instead of thinking about life or lives of other people he expresses his fascination of occurrences or happenings through his poetry. As is seen in St. Simeon Stylites Tennyson expresses his fascination of the grotesque by writing about this admirable character and his quest to gain entry into heaven. Obviously he is fascinated because quests like these are not apart of every-day life.

So as Tennyson focuses on this being, this man of power his interest in the grotesque becomes much more apparent. His intricacy of the character really creates a seen of power, focus, self motivation but at the same time an image of rebellion, weakness and stupidity, this contrast is an obvious parody. This is was obviously of some interest to Tennyson.

This poem portrays Tennyson's interest in the grotesque basically as follows: He is interested in what is...