This essay examines mythopoesis in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. This epic Arthurian poem includes features of the futuristic and fantasy genres and confounds linear time. The poet creates an imaginary geography—one steeped in history and myth—for the arrival and departure of his remarkable hero, Arthur. Moreover, through the mythopoesis of his epic poem, Tennyson’s King is more than human, differing in both degree and kind from his knights. The bookend poems that open and close the combined Idylls represent two of Tennyson’s boldest departures from the received legend that emerged out of the Middle Ages.
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