"Sore despair" — a note to Tennyson's "The Palace of Art"

George P. Landow, Professor of English and the History of Art, Brown University

Like Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost, the Soul, having committed the obvious sin of pride in foolishly trying to rival God and "mimic heaven," Tennyson's lover of beauty finds herself in hell! Again like Milton, Tennyson justifies God's ways to man by showing how the fall into suffering is, despite first appearances, a fortunate fall.

[Back to the passage in "The Palace of Art"]


Abrams, M. H. Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature. New York: Norton, 1971.

Victorian Website Overview Alfred Lord Tennyson

Last modified 11 October 2005