Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Lady of Shalot

I love a good discussion don't you? I also am beginning to value a sad tale. My children and I are studying paintings by John William Waterhouse. Our Second one was "The Lady of Shalott." After the children memorized it and told it back to me they wanted to know the story. As I didn't know it I couldn't tell them. Kamron said it reminded him in a scene in Anne of Green Gables. It is the same story they were acting out in that movie I said, but they didn't really explain it there either. We looked at the painting a few more nights. I tried to pull out a new painting but the protests at leaving this painting were so large I had to find the poem by Tennyson so they could know what it was all about. We read it and the Sparks notes verse by verse. They were fascinated, but saddened at the death of the lady simply because she looked up at Sir Lancelot and then when he sees her all he can say is well she was a pretty lady. We then talked about some of the analogies that others have found in this poem (leaving ones art to join the world even a little will ruin you etc.). We talked about the effect of the poem and painting if it had been a young man or a knight and not a lady, and my daughter protested at the sadness of it all. Yet, I found that I think there is value in not always reading stories to my children with happy endings.