'for Tennyson, to Act Is Vital; There Is Nothing to Be Gained by Being Passive.' How Far Do You Agree That Tennyson's Poetry Presents the Advantages of an Active Life?

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One of Tennyson's poems which contradicts this view is 'The Lotos-eaters and Choric Song'. Though the poem begins with a very active: 'Courage!' Which sets the poem up to be one filled with action, it very soon changes tone to highlight the appeal of the island which is one filled with idleness and of a slow nature; Tennyson paints a very idyllic picture of the island and its lifestyle 'sweet music here that softer falls, than petals from blown roses on the grass' His specific choice of diction 'sweet, softer, roses' all create an languid, sweet atmosphere. Roses themselves are often used as a symbol of perfection, thus it could be said Tennyson is suggesting the island represents perfection, lacking nothing therefore entirely contradicting the statement that nothing is gained by being passive. Caesura is used, adding pauses to contribute to the lazy feel and perhaps also to drag out the description of the isle; in terms of form there is considerably more time spent on the context of the isle compared to their lives away from it, again emphasising Tennyson's focus. Tennyson also directly addresses us as an audience to the poem: 'All things have rest: why should we toil alone' This prompts us to question the idea of rest versus work, and when side-by-side with isle's description and the persuasive tone to this section of the poem created through rhetorical questions and direct address, its easy to favour rest. This verse particularly presents work in a negative light, the repetition of 'toil' along with lines such as 'perpetual moan' create negative connotations, and the form of the verse, with its comparatively shorter lines to other verses, break the rhythm of the poem echoing the distress suggested in the narrative. The persuasive nature of the poem, whilst persuading the audience of the benefits of rest perhaps also suggests that Tennyson believes there

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