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Oenone Summary | Alfred Tennyson

Oenone Summary | Alfred Tennyson

Writer’s Intro:

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) is one of the greatest Victorian poets in English Literature. He is called the representative of the Victorian age because he shows all the Victorian trends in his poetry. Lack of passion and emotion, ideological conflict, technological advancement, religious controversies, materialism, industrialism, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge are the main trends of the period. So, it’s very important to make a summary of Oenone by him.


Oenone deals with the theme of love and betrayal. 


Oenone Summary

The poem, Oenone is one of the great works of Alfred Tennyson and we shortly make Oenone’s Summary. And it has divided into three parts. Let’s enjoy the summary and learn more about the poem to get a better result on your final exam.

The First Part of This Summary

In Greek mythology, Oenone was a nymph who lived in a fountain on Mount Ida. She was the daughter of the river Cebren and loved Paris, who was the son of King Priam of Troy. Corypheus was born to Oenone and Paris. However, Paris left Oenone for Helen. During the Trojan War, Oenone was so angry with Paris that she wouldn’t help him, even though she was the only one who could heal him. She finally gave in, but when she got to Troy, it was too late to save him. She killed herself because she was so sad.

Oenone is a dramatic monologue. The main character, Oenone, is sad about her life and seems to be a victim of outside forces. But she lets her feelings control what she does, which is like what her betrayer, Paris, did. Other women in Tennyson’s poems are like Oenone. In particular, she is a mix of the character Mariana, who is a quiet woman who suffers like a prisoner while waiting for her lover to return, loses her mind, and gives in to her intense passions while losing herself in the material world.


The Second Part of This Summary

The refrain, “Dear mother Ida, call me back before I die,” shows that Oenone is trapped by both her situation and her feelings. When Paris is offered “self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control” by Pallas (goddess of wisdom and useful arts and cautious fighting; guardian of Athens; identified with Roman Minerva), Oenone cries out for him to accept the gifts above and requests him not to go. But he does not accept any of these gifts. But Paris said no, so Oenone told him that if he got hurt on his journey, he should come back to her because she was the only one who could heal him. When he refuses her request, emotion overpowers her in the same way Paris is dominated by his emotion.


The Third Part of This Summary

The poem and Oenone’s song are both about the same things talked about in the poem. The city of Troy was made up of songs, and the story ends with a violent attack on the city. Similarly, Oenone’s song is about the damage that Paris caused. During the Trojan War, Philoctetes shot an arrow that hit Paris. He was taken to Mount Ida, where the potions of Oenone saved him. She didn’t want to help him after he lied to her about Helen of Sparta, so he was brought back to Troy.


Oenone repents of her decision and rushes to Troy with aid but arrives too late and finds Paris already dead. In her grief and regret, she flings herself onto his flaming funeral pyre and dies. According to two different stories about how Oenone died, she either hung herself or threw herself off a cliff near Troy. She suffers and finally commits suicide as she lets her emotion control her. Of her uncontrolled passion, she meets her downfall consequently.

This is the end of our content Oenone summary. Thank you for reading the content. Anyway, if you want to read more summaries from Victorian Poetry, please check the following articles:

Tithonus Summary
Locksley Hall Summary
Fra Lippo Lippi Summary
Andrea Del Sarto
My Last Duchess Summary

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Saddam Hossain

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Apart from English language and literature skill, I’m a Digital Marketer & Content Writer at My Writing Pen, BD Business Finder, NY Bizlisting.

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