Your thrilled, your focused on it, and it overwhelms you.
“la belle dame sans merci” was written April 21, 1819 by John Keats. A Romantic poet who despite his reputation as being one of the most beloved poets of all time, was not well received during his short lived life. In fact Keats reputation didn’t grow till after his death near the end of the nineteenth century. He is now considered one of the key figures in the second generation of the romantic movement. Keats major works did not focus on religion, ethnics, morals, or politics. He wrote mostly of sensational experiences about the richness of life. Though experiences may be pleasurable at first they don’t always have fairytale endings, sometimes the pleasures of life can become overwhelming, such is the theme of Keats ballad “La belle dame sans merci”.
There are different suggestions to what gave Keats the idea for “La belle dame sans merci” At the time, Keats was very upset over a hoax that had been played on his brother Tom, who was deceived in a romantic relationship. He was also undecided about whether to enter into a relationship of his own with Fanny Brawne, who he loved but whose friends disapproved of the possible match with Keats. Shortly before the poem was written, Keats recorded a dream in which he met a beautiful woman in a magic place which turned out to be filled with pallid, enslaved lovers, and just before the poem was written, Keats had read Spenser's account of the false Florimel, in which an enchantress impersonates a heroine to her boyfriend, and then vanishes. All these experiences probably went into the making of this powerful ballad.(Friedlander Ed)
The setting takes place late autumn in England during the Age of Chivalry. The ballad is a dialogue between an unnamed passerby and a love sick knight. First three stanzas The unnamed passerby comes across the knight, alone and palely loitering, looking quite ill. He asks him why he is there and stanzas four through twelve the knight answers stating that he has been in love with and abandoned by a beautiful lady. This speaker sees no reason for the knight's presence "loitering" in such a barren spot, the grass had "wither'd" and no birds sang. Even in this spot, not all life was wasteland, however; the squirrel's winter storage was full, and the harvest had been completed. In other words, there was an alternative or fulfilling life which the knight could choose. Life goes on yet he stays the same awaiting something that can never be. Thus lines 3 and 4 of stanzas I and II present contrasting views of life. (Melani Lilia)
We see the lady only through the knight's eyes, he did not know her. He describes her a "faery's child," saying she sings a "faery's song," takes him to her "elfin grot." And she speaks "in language strange" (VII). He’s sure she said “I love thee” but it is only an assumption for if it’s a language strange he cannot know for sure what exactly she is saying. The lady is an object of...