The Image of the Breasts of Helen

James R. Kincaid, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California


Note 5 to Chapter 7 of the author's Tennyson's Major Poems, which Yale University Press published in 1975. It has been included in the Victorian Web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.

An admirable and extensive investigation of the use of and sources for this image is conducted by James A. Freeman. Freeman does, however, see the pattern as more coherent than I; he argues that the image shows "that ideal beauty entails complete destruction" (p. 73).


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Last modified: 28 March 2001