Note 50 to the Chapter 8 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.
For alternative views, see Reed, Perception and Design, passim; Priestley, p. 46; W. David Shaw, pp. 32 - 53; Ryals,p. 110. Samuel C. Burchell's interpretation of the ending is even darker than my own.
Last modified: 28 March 2001