Study Help Essay Questions


1. Analyze the character of King Arthur as he appears in the Idylls and discuss whether he is an adequate hero for this poem.

2. Compare the characterizations of Guinevere and Elaine.

3. Analyze and discuss the personality of Lancelot.

4. Discuss the central moral theme of the Idylls and the relation of this theme to the separate poems in the collection.

5. Explain the use of allegory and symbolism in the Idylls.

6. Compare the personalities of Percivale and Galahad and discuss the religious message of "The Holy Grail."

7. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of Tennyson as a poet? Refer in your answer to various aspects of the Idylls.

8. Describe the "historical" King Arthur and the development of the Arthurian legend.

9. Give a brief account of Tennyson's place in English literature, mentioning his other major works.

10. Explain Tennyson's concept of sin as it is presented in the Idylls.

11. Compare "The Coming of Arthur" and "The Passing of Arthur" in terms of mood and function, making reference to imagery, diction, and other forms of prosody.

12. Identify the following minor characters, stating briefly their roles in the Idylls: Enid, Gareth, Tristram, Dagonet, Merlin, Balin, Modred, Bellicent, Geraint, Bedivere, Vivien, Pelleas, Gawain, and Ettarre.

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