Although she's alone, and not too happy about it, the Lady of Shalott does have two things to keep her busy. She weaves and she sings. Even if no one sees her work, she's definitely an artist. A lot of people read this whole poem as a metaphor for the lonely life of the artist. We'll definitely look at that possibility, but even without that big metaphor, we think the theme of art and artists is still a major part of "The Lady of Shalott."
The Lady, who spends her days trying to capture shadows, is a representative of all artists, who live partly in the living world and partly in a private dream.
By writing her name on her boat/coffin, the Lady of Shalott gives herself a title, making her death a work of art. This is a final act of confident self-definition, and proves that she is entirely free from her prison.