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Word Count: 860
Tithonus was written by Alfred Lord Tennyson The poems setting is the ancient story of Tithonus Tithonus fell in love with Eos goddess of the dawn and asked her for immortality Unfortunately for Tithonus he did not ask for eternal youth only eternal life He therefore grows old but never dies while Eos not only never dies but also never grows old What makes Tithonuss situation worse is that the gods themselves cannot recall their gifts 49 This dramatic monologue is characteristic of Tennyson Tithonus is an excellent example of a dramatic monologue There is a speaker Tithonus who is not the poet There is an audience-the gods Another characteristic of a dramatic monologue found in Tithonus is an exchange between the speaker and the audience I asked thee Give me immortality 15 A character study is when the speaker speaks from an extraordinary perspective Tithonus is looking back on his decision a decision which the reader will never be able to make but can only dream of making His portrayal of his decision causes the common response to be rejected most people would want eternal life but Tithonus proves this short-sighted Tithonus proves the wish for immortality vain by stating that 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 Another trait of the dramatic monologue is the dramatic or critical moment In Tithonus this moment is when Tithonus decides that he does not want immortality take back thy gift 27 Tithonus has all of the basic traits of a dramatic monologue a speaker who is not the poet an identifiable audience an exchange between the two a critical moment and a character study of the speaker One other trait of a dramatic monologue is a dramatic tension This tension is between harsh judgment
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