This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Femme Fatales Essay

1540 words - 6 pages

According to, a femme fatale is a woman of great seductive charm who leads a man into trouble or comprising events. This same definition applies to the poem “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” The poem by John Keats, a man describes a lady who is so lovely but eventually leads him to troubling events. Through the theory of femme fatales, and “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” (The beautiful lady with no pity) the poem portrays the woman as evil through the dangers of her appearance, personality, romance, and power. The poem shows that love is not what it appears to be and leads the eager, gullible knight to compromising situations.
The narrator meets a pale broken hearted knight loitering in the forest. The pale knight describes a beautiful woman as “faery’s child” (15) with “wild eyes” (16) to the narrator. The woman is beautiful but she is cruel. She does everything in her power to get the pale knight to fall in love with her. First, she uses her beauty and charm to seduce the knight by saying she loves him. Then she invites him to her “elfin grot” (small cave) (29). There she makes him fall asleep and he has nightmares of pale kings and queens shouting “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” The knight wakes to find himself on a cold hillside all alone and no beautiful woman to be found.
The Woman with no pity uses her appearance to lure the knight in to her ways. This strategy is common practice for a seductress or an enchantress. For example, the popular girl in high school who would flirt with the smart guys just to get them to help her with her homework or other things she needed. The seductress in the poem flirts with the knight to bring him back to her “elfin grot” (small cave) to use him for pleasure (29). The enchantress was described as having “long hair” (15) and “wild eyes” (16). The perfect ideal picture of her is that of an attractive woman.
Though she is beautiful, she is as ugly as Dracula. The readers may picture her as a female Dracula; who feeds and preys off men. Currently in the poem, the knight is the soon to be victim. The beautiful woman could have sucked/fed off his emotions like Count Dracula does when he sucks the blood from his victims. This is common practice for vampires. Vampires were known for making their victims look lifeless (pale colored). In the book Keats as a Narrative Poet, Judy Little states, “The lady’s many victims are particularized-kings, princes, and warriors- and the adjective pale is emphatically repeated, approaching metaphor in the phrase death-pale” (102). This statement describes how the woman fed off the knight’s emotion to gain her more power and motivation. Her motivation was to become stronger to boost her ego through gaining the knight’s heart and soul.
Not only does her looks seduce the pale knight but her personality does also. She does not speak in the poem, but the diction shows how she uses her gestures to lure the man into becoming fascinated with her. Keats says, “She look’d at...

Find Another Essay On Femme Fatales

Blade Runner as a Classic Film Noir and a Science Fiction Film

1240 words - 5 pages on the Film Noir list. An ‘alienated hero of questionable morality’ wearing a floppy brown trench coat and frown is essential to any Film Noir. He features in every classic of the genre, Maltese Falcon, A Touch of Evil and so on. As with the Femme Fatales, several actors made a living from looking miserable and slightly confused, such as Humphrey Bogart, appearing as the cool Sam Spade in Maltese Falcon, and in The

Analysis of the film Double Indemnity

3428 words - 14 pages a genre, it is called a stylistic film. Place and Peterson try to define what noir films are, and in doing so they list out the style of film noir. Noir in turn is categorized as a style since noir cannot be separated without isolating elements like technology or plot and how it is used. In the articles, “My Noir: Double Indemnity” by Michael Connor, and “Monsters, Femmes Fatales, or Misfits” by Wendy Donat, both discuss the idea of gender and

Why Do Fireflies Glow?

600 words - 2 pages Entomologist. 73(1):51- 66. Copeland, J. and A.D. Carlson. (1991). Female Flash Response Delay Classes in a Field Population of Photuris versicolor firefly. (Abstract). American Zoologist. 31(5):110A. Eisner, T. (1997) Lured and Liquidated. Cornell University Science News. Gonzalez (1999) Chemical Egg Defense in Photuris "Femme-Fatales". International Society of Chemical Ecology.

Billy Wilder's Double Idemnity

1759 words - 8 pages film noir genre. Works Cited Allyn, J. (1978). Double indemnity: A policy that paid off. Literature/Film Quarterly, 6(2), 116-124. Borde, R., & Chaumeton, E. (1996). Towards a definition of film noir. Film Noir Reader, 17-25. Bordwell D, 2006. Film Art: an Introduction. 8th Edition. Mcgraw-Hill College. Bronfen, E. (2004). Femme Fatale--Negotiations of Tragic Desire. New Literary History, 35(1), 103-116. Dick, B. F. (1995). Columbia's Dark Ladies and the Femmes Fatales of Film Noir. Literature Film Quarterly, 23, 155-162. Wilder, B. (Director). (1944). Double Indemnity [Motion Picture]. United States.

The Princesses in Disney Movies

1292 words - 6 pages with her, his royal family disapproves. In Pocahontas, she falls in love with Smith who is forbidden because he is the enemy. Her dad disapproves and wants her to marry the village warrior Kocoum, who she doesn’t love. On another note, femme fatales played an important role in the princesses life’s as well. Especially in Sleeping Beauty and Little Mermaid, where the femme fatale uses the princess as a prime tool to wreak havoc in the Kingdom. The

Lesbianism: Femmes and Lipstick Lesbians

2839 words - 12 pages and what is not the norm. Femmes and the general population’s perception about them have been wrongly perceived through the idea of femme fatales. When a feminine woman with power is portrayed as seductive and brings disaster to men, she is called a femme fatale. Jane Caputi shares the limiting beliefs bestowed upon women in her book, Goddesses and Monsters: Women, Myth, Power, and Popular culture. It is no wonder that lesbians are not taken

Women Chained Down

926 words - 4 pages very weak minority; although femme fatales may have been at their most justified primes. James Joyce‘s semi-autobiographical, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is a sort of a historical documentation as it bears the oppression towards women, especially through the Roman Catholic Church. The reason women can’t be priests goes to the establishment of the sacrament of Holy Orders.; it is because Christ established the sacrament, no pope

Film Noir Conventions in The Maltese Falcon

2007 words - 8 pages techniques in lighting as well as other devices, The Maltese Falcon was able to spawn a new generation of movies that personified the femme fatales' and the hardboiled protagonists. In modern times, an array of films has film noir conventions in them, such as L.A. Confidential and The Usual Suspects. This just proves that the genre has never died and recently, within the past decade, a new noir set of films has arisen looking for the success its predecessors established.

My Life Could Pass for an Episode of Sex in the City

1081 words - 4 pages I've watched too many episodes of Sex in the City that somehow my life right now could pass on for an episode of that famous T.V show that all of us went crazy about in the 90's. I hate to admit this but....of all the femme fatales ,in that show that I have the likings to was the single mid 30's heroine, the infamous Sex Columnist of the New York Times who has this fixation for Mahnolo's and Choo's and the "must have accessory every single woman

Dames, Coppers, and Crooks: A L:ook At Film Noir

2869 words - 11 pages ;The females in film noir were either of two types – dutiful, reliable, trustworthy, and loving women; of femme fatales – mysterious, double-crossing, gorgeous, unloving, predatory, tough-sweet, unreliable, irresponsible, manipulative, and desperate women. Femme fatales are not given only sexual powers, but also ambitions. They are longing or looking for independence, often economic, and freedom, often from relationships with men. These women that

Disney's Presentation of Women

1747 words - 7 pages heroine, wicked middle-aged 
beauty or nurturing post-menopausal woman. These are the main 
stereotypes. Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel and Belle are examples of 
teenage heroines. Cruella Deville (101 Dalmatians), Ursula (The little 
Mermaid) and the wicked Queen (Snow White and the seven dwarfs) are 
classical examples of middle-aged villains. They have been called 
Disney's femme fatales (powerful woman defined by their sexuality). 

Similar Essays

Femme Fatales Of English Literature Essay

3766 words - 15 pages Femme Fatales of English Literature The femme fatale, a seductive woman who entices men into perilous and compromising positions by way of charisma and mystery, is a classic, and often enthralling, character who can be found in many sources of literature and mythology of various origins and eras (“Femme Fatale” 1). “If the goddess of virtue is a lily and the vamp is an overripe red rose, the femme fatale is a Venus flytrap.” (Billinghurst 1

The Big Sleep, The Postman Always Rings Twice, And Gilda's Adherence To The Noir Genre

1721 words - 7 pages rain embrace the same somber mood as well when in comparison to Double Indemnity. The femme fatales have differing circumstances that in addition, alters which characteristics they each embody. For example, the character Vivian is stern and coy while Phyllis is brooding and vulnerable. When Vivian makes her appearance onscreen, she is wearing white but only with her blouse. She is not fully dressed in white head to toe like Phyllis. When

Living Beyond The “Femme Fatale” Image

1947 words - 8 pages become femme fatales – women who deceitfully use their beauty and charm to overcome the authority of men. Subsequently, because the femme fatale image is one that is less dignified, men must protect women from losing their dignity. In other words, they have to stay under the supervision of men. But during the 20th century, activism has challenged perspectives about the female gender. One good example is the how women activists fought the double

Disney Princess Essay

1522 words - 7 pages type of film, women were portrayed as femme fatales. ‘Often a seductive femme fatale lured the protagonist into a dangerous scheme for hidden purposes of her own’ (Benshoff and Griffin, 2009, p.409). Femme fatales were women who were dangerous and powerful and would stop at nothing to pursue their goal. During the rise of Film Noir and this particular type of character portrayal, Disney also seemed to incorporate some of these ideologies into