Marginalized Musical Interludes: Tennyson's Critique of Conventionality in The Princess

Marginalized Musical Interludes: Tennyson's Critique of Conventionality in The Princess ALISA CLAPP-ITNYRE ALFRED LORD TENNYSON'S THE PRINCESS WAS FIRST PUBLISHED, Victorian England was embroiled in a vast array of debates concerning women's role in society, placed under the canopy term "the Woman Question." Should women work? What kinds of education should they have? Was marriage to be their sole lot in life? Tennyson's response, couched in this seven-book novel-in-verse, has proven to be a contentious one for his readers then and for critics now. Tennyson's frame story introduces seven college men on holiday who take turns creating an inner story about a medieval princess rebelliously embracing these challenges facing women. Specifically, Princess Ida flees a contracted marriage to a local prince in order to establish a women's university where men are forbidden under penalty of death. But the Prince and two of his men, for love and for the sport of it, disguise themselves as women and invade the Academy, the Prince falling more deeply in love with Ida before they are discovered. When Ida still refuses to marry, the Prince's father declares war on her father's kingdom and ultimately the Academy is turned into a hospital for wounded soldiers. Tending to the wounded Prince, the "hard-hearted" Princess http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Victorian Poetry West Virginia University Press

Marginalized Musical Interludes: Tennyson's Critique of Conventionality in The Princess

Victorian Poetry, Volume 38 (2) – Jan 6, 2000

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 West Virginia University.
ISSN
1530-7190
Publisher site
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Abstract

ALISA CLAPP-ITNYRE ALFRED LORD TENNYSON'S THE PRINCESS WAS FIRST PUBLISHED, Victorian England was embroiled in a vast array of debates concerning women's role in society, placed under the canopy term "the Woman Question." Should women work? What kinds of education should they have? Was marriage to be their sole lot in life? Tennyson's response, couched in this seven-book novel-in-verse, has proven to be a contentious one for his readers then and for critics now. Tennyson's frame story introduces seven college men on holiday who take turns creating an inner story about a medieval princess rebelliously embracing these challenges facing women. Specifically, Princess Ida flees a contracted marriage to a local prince in order to establish a women's university where men are forbidden under penalty of death. But the Prince and two of his men, for love and for the sport of it, disguise themselves as women and invade the Academy, the Prince falling more deeply in love with Ida before they are discovered. When Ida still refuses to marry, the Prince's father declares war on her father's kingdom and ultimately the Academy is turned into a hospital for wounded soldiers. Tending to the wounded Prince, the "hard-hearted" Princess

Journal

Victorian PoetryWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jan 6, 2000

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