Comparing My Last Duchess, La Belle Dame Sans Merci And A Woman To Her Lover

1776 words - 7 pages

Differing Views of Male-female Relationships in Three Poems

In the three poems we experience three different views of how
male-female relationships should take place. In ‘My Last Duchess’ we
experience the view that the male should have the main role in
relationships, in ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ we hear of a relationship
where the woman is in total control of the man and has all the power.
Finally in ‘A Woman to Her Lover’ we read that both men and
women should have an equal amount of power and no one should be

In ‘My Last Duchess’ the thoughts of a very possessive and arrogant
Duke of Ferrara are shared. He expected his wife to behave in a very
conservative manner and wanted her to treat others as inferior.

The Duke shows his position of power in the poem by referring to her
as; ‘My Last Duchess’. The Duke uses the possessive pronoun ‘My’ which
shows that the Duke doesn’t want anyone else to enjoy his wife’s
company and he wants her all to himself. This shows that he has power
over his wife as he refers to her as a belonging; it also shows that
he is arrogant as well as dominant. Furthermore, we can see that the
word ‘last’ implies that the Duke had previous wives; it also suggests
that she is his duchess no more and so something must have happened to
her. As a result of this we get the impression that the Duke simply
marries then divorces, or kills, his wife just to receive her dowry,
and to get more money.

Also, we can see that when the Duke refers to the picture of his wife,
he immediately names the well known artist that painted it; “I call
that piece a wonder … ‘Frà Pandolf’”. Here we see that the Duke shows
off the fact that his painting was created by a famous artist, he may
also be trying to give the impression that such a famous artist would
only paint for him because he is so special. When he talks about his
painting instead of praising his wife, he merely mentions the name of
the artist and says how valuable it is. This tells us a great deal
about the Duke’s character; not only does it show that the Duke thinks
highly of himself, but it shows us the he is very self-centred. This
is emphasised by the fact that he ends the poem with the word; ‘me!’,
showing that he has an extreme sense of self-importance. Furthermore,
we can see from the first two lines of the text Duke establishes his

“That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,

Looking as if she were alive.”

This instantly gives the idea that his wife is dead from the phrase;
“Looking as if she were alive”. This immediately grabs the attention
of the reader and makes the reader want to find out how she died.

We can also see that the Duke is very arrogant and proud by expressing
his disgust when his wife did not appreciate any of his gifts:

“ as if she ranked

My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name

With anybody’s gift.”

This shows that his wife values his gift as much as she values

Find Another Essay On Comparing My Last Duchess, La Belle Dame Sans Merci and A Woman to Her Lover

La Belle Dame sans Merci Analysis

1141 words - 5 pages am certain he has some spell that attaches them to him, or else he has fortunately met with a set of friends that I did not believe could be found in the world” (Letters 4). Brawne means that Keats had an attention-grabbing personality, which attracted her to him. Keats implemented literary and emotional feelings when he wrote “La Belle Dame sans Merci”. Keats’s mother had died of tuberculosis when he was fourteen. Then, his brother, whom

Poetry Analysis: "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"

1084 words - 4 pages thing that's ever happened to you. You are enthralled, You fixate your self on it. You give in to the beauty, richness and pleasure, and let it overwhelm you. Then the pleasure is gone. Far more than a normal letdown, the experience has left you emotionally crippled.(Wilhelm, Julian) The translation of the poems title “la belle dame sans merci” is “The Beautiful Woman Without Mercy.” The rhyme scheme of "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" is abcb.The

La Belle Dame sans Merci Analysis

1204 words - 5 pages La Belle Dame sans Merci, written by famous romantic poet John Keats in 1819, has been declared one of Keats’s greatest works due to the ambiguous boundaries it sets between imagination and reality [Kelly]. Throughout the poem, the reader always questions the “reality” presented by the poem, creating many facets that the readers have discussed for years and still have not established a definite answer as to their true meaning. La Belle Dame

Comparing the Themes of Love in Lord Byron's “She Walks in Beauty” and Keats' Poem, “La Belle Dame sans Merci”

947 words - 4 pages woman who warn the knight about her. The knight sleeps and has a dream of “pale kings and princes too” who warn him that La Belle Dame sans Merci “hath thee in thrall” (10, 1-4). The speaker does not get to change his fate, however. “And I awoke and found me here, On the cold hill's side.” The last stanza shows that the knight is “alone and palely loitering” as though he is dead (11, 3-4). The story within this poem ends with the same line

John Keats’s Poem, La Belle Dame Sans Merci

1026 words - 4 pages John Keats’s poem “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” dramatizes the conflict between dreams and reality as experienced by the knight. On a late autumn day, the speaker stumbles upon an ailing knight and asks what is wrong. The knight reveals that he had fallen in love with a beautiful lady, “a faery’s child” (14), who then abandoned him after professing her love and spending one night together. The speaker is recounting his experience with the knight

La Belle Dam Sans Merci

1661 words - 7 pages punishment in that area of Hell, with his lips pressed against those of a beautiful woman. He wrote that he was pressed against her "it seem'd for an age." (Kauvar122) Soon after this letter he wrote "On a Dream" and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci." The inspiration for both poems, according to Kauvar, had a lot to do with Canto V. It is interesting that an experience that, in Dante, was supposed to be torture and was intended as a punishment for sinners

Archetypes in John Keats' La Belle Dame Sans Merci: A Ballad

1530 words - 6 pages ” features various archetypes. Frye proposed the existence of four types of plots, or “mythoi,” which make the four major genres. Each is associated with one of the four seasons: spring conveys comedy, summer is romance, fall shows tragedy, and winter yields satire (Murfin and Ray 28). “La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad” is about a knight who meets an untimely demise due to his affiliation with a supernatural woman. The outlook of this poem is

Analysis of Keats' Captivating and Dismal Ballad "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"

1412 words - 6 pages finds that she speaks a strange tongue, but believes she speaks of loving him. With a few kisses and a lulling sleep, he dreams of pale kings with warning signs that she is a merciless beautiful woman. But it’s too late to heed to the warnings because he is now palely loitering on the cold hill side among loneliness. Once you enter in the mystifying ballad of “La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” you are captivated by the sudden setting of autumn, “The

Womanhood in The Eve of St. Agnes and La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Mariana by Keats

1092 words - 4 pages ' the title proposes to the reader that 'St. Agnes' is Madeline, she is "like a saint", "so pure a thing". With this supremacy they both seduce their men. Nevertheless the reader knows that Madeline wakes up and puts Porphyro out of his misery and yet he may not appear as fantastic as in her dreams. They love each other and Porphyro does not need to suffer any longer and love now becomes a positive thing unlike in ''La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Comparing The Two Poems: When We Two Parted And La Belle Dame Sans Mer

1474 words - 6 pages story and is meant to be read a ballad. A ballad is usually a romantic, popular story within a poem or song. As a ballad can be a song, Keats has written the poem in a very fluid rhythm. This keeps the reader interested in the poem as it flows like a story. In La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the last line of each verse is always shorter as it is as if each verse dies away, just as his love does. The rhyme is an important aspect of the rhythm. In When We

'"La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by John Keats is a puzzling, haunting poem' how far do you agree with this view?'

956 words - 4 pages Dame sans Merci".However the beauty of this poem is the ambiguity, many ulterior interpretations can be made of it, and although I don't necessarily agree it is a puzzling poem-as it is concise in its fact, I think it's a haunting poem; in its captivation of the reader. Personal opinion of "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" depends on how you read it, however it is haunting as its questions haunted my mind prior to reading it, however I felt I could comply to Keats "Negative capabilities" and remain satisfied while conserving some doubt in the poem.

Similar Essays

Different Forms Of Power Presented In My Last Duchess, A Woman To Her Lover And La Belle Dame Sans Merci

2705 words - 11 pages Different Forms of Power Presented in My Last Duchess, A Woman to Her Lover and La Belle Dame Sans Merci Amongst the three love poems examined in this essay, the theme of male or female power in relationships pervades throughout. The views of the speakers are expressed and defined through literary and poetic techniques. This gives the reader an insight into the speaker's problems and dissatisfaction with a relationship, due

Analyse The Different Forms Of Power Presented In "My Last Duchess", "A Woman To Her Lover" And "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"

2207 words - 9 pages greater. She also refers to God, an example of divine imagery, which can be associated with the purity of the equal match in the relationship. The different types of imagery help amplify and demonstrate the effects the power of love can have on people."A Woman to her Lover" displays feminist power looking for equality, however this is surpassed in "La Belle Dame Sans Merci", where the female deceives and dominates the male. This poem was set in

Portrayal Of Women In La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Lady Of Shalott, My Last Duchess, And Porphyria's Lover

1123 words - 4 pages Portrayal of Women in La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Lady of Shalott, My last Duchess, and Porphyria's Lover Within the five poems we have studied, 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci', 'Lady of Shalott', 'My last duchess', 'Porphyria's lover' and 'Marianna'. Women are portrayed as weak characters with no voice. All of these poems are seen through the eyes of men, who accuse them of being self-centred and lacking in morals. However, these

The Themes Of Love And Loss In My Last Duchess, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, When We Two Parted, And Villegiature

2586 words - 10 pages . Obsessive love is again brought out in 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' where the knight explains his feelings and reactions after meeting the 'sorceress', "I set her on my pacing steed/And nothing else saw all day long;" These lines show how the poet believes that love is blind and affects a person's sense of perception, similar to John Clare's description of love in 'First love'. But later, when the knight discovers the reality of the