Eternal Consequences of Choices in Alfred Lord Tennyson “Tithonus”

The Victorian Era was a time of artistic imagination, innovation, and sophistication. Nonetheless, this was also a period of divergence and revolution. There was a distinct representation between a fairly poor person and a fairly wealthy person. The poetry of this era was filled with emotion, which reflected resilient metaphors of love, gloominess, romance and splendor. Alfred Lord Tennyson was among the most well-known of Victorian poets. During the mid-1800s he earned the title as Poet Laureate. Most of his work carried the characteristic of melancholies. All the characteristics of a Victorian era are included throughout this work. In classical poetry, the motif of immortality was often compared to the image of wind, which is usually the wind of imagination. This particular Greek myth describes a young man who was granted eternal immortality. With this gift of immortality, he was not given eternal youth. He eventually grew old and tired, while Aurora wakes up to renewed beauty every morning. The temporary wants of an individual will be the source of permanent damage.
The poem starts with the image of the natural life progression, as death being the final stage when “the woods decay and fall” (1). This also will eventually occur to mankind as he “comes and tills the field and lies beneath” (3). Tithonus on the other hand has the life of immortality. With this life of immortality, immortal youth was not in the agreement. During the duration of his life he “withers slowly” and just becomes “a white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream” while his vivacity slowly diminishes (6, 8). Tithonus later asked Aurora, "Give Me immortality", which she did (15). Time took effect on his life and he questions his decision. Tithonus proves that his immortality wish was unsuccessful. For instance, “Why should a man desire in any way, To vary from the kindly race of men, Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance, Where all should pause, as is most meet for all? (29-31). Many things are built off the aspect of ordinance. Without ordinance, the world would be complete chaos. The setting of boundaries gives the world a sense of “safety” to keep the absurd from occurring. Tinthonus briefly explains that no man should have the power to alter or divert from the ordinance of life. Therefore, the regular ordinance of life is decided by a high power, not mankind.
Tithonus notices the place of his mortal birth before the sun rises. For example, “ A glimpse of that dark world where I was born. Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals, From any pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure, And bosom beating with a heart renew'd” (33-36). He filled with regret of his decision after witnessing Aurora waking with impeccable beauty every morning. Tithonus questions Aurora, but gets no response. For example,“In silence, then before thine answer given. Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek. Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears, And make me tremble lest a saying learnt” (44-47). When Tithonus asked Aurora the question and she had no reply, this scared him. The fearful look of Aurora has him question, “In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true? The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts” (48-49). Consequently, Tithonus understands he has to stick with is “gift” and there is no returning.
Tithonus asks Aurora not to imprison him in the east where she rises. The reason being is his eternal old age contrasts so grotesquely with her eternal rejuvenation. For instance, “Floats up from those dim fields about the homes, Of happy men that have the power to die, And grassy barrows of the happier dead. Release me, and restore me to the ground; Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave: Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn; I earth in earth forget these empty courts, And thee returning on thy silver wheels” (69-76). Tithonus realized that he is getting fairly old. Aurora rises every morning to “men that have the power to die” and men that are already in their burials. Hence, Tithonus asks Aurora to discharge him of his wish and let him die. Aurora would see his burial site every time she rose in the morning.
In “Tithonus”