Poetry Analysis: "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"

1084 words - 4 pages

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...

Find Another Essay On Poetry Analysis: "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"

La Belle Dam Sans Merci Essay

1661 words - 7 pages The poem "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by John Keats is a ballad that expresses all of Keats' philosophies of happiness and the ideal world while, at the same time, being an enchanting love story on a simpler level. The poem contains his "pleasure thermometer" which leads to Keats' idea of happiness. The poem also contains Keats' vision of an ideal world where nothing ends or dies. The poem begins with a narrator questioning a Knight at arms

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

1530 words - 6 pages Archetypes in John Keats' "La Belle Dame Sans Merci: A Ballad" During the Romantic Movement in literature, numerous writers fed off one another’s ideas; thus, creating various patterns which reoccur throughout literary works. According to “The Literature Network,” John Keats is “usually regarded as the archetype of the Romantic writer.” Therefore, Keats himself is thought to be the original model for the writer during the Romantic Era

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

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

1092 words - 4 pages repeatedly creating stark images of a solitary existence. This is a parallel to "The Eve of St. Agnes" where Porphyro is forlorn, until his mistress awakes. In the poem "Mariana", and "La Belle Dames Sans Merci" love is pessimistic. In conjunction with the structures and the format the poetry reflects the way in which the reader perceives the strength of love and its consequences. "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" is written to create a

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

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 to describe a beautiful woman. His patterns and rhyme scheme enthrall the reader into the poem. Another poem with the theme of love is John Keats' “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” meaning “the beautiful lady without mercy.” Keats, another nineteenth-century writer, uses progression and compelling language throughout this poem to engage the reader. While both of these poems revolve around the theme of love, they are incongruous to each other in many

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

'"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 "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" translates to 'the beautiful woman has no mercy'. This is not the first time in Keats's poetry that we have heard this phrase- he also used it in "The Eve of St Agnes", another romantic poem rich "negative capability". It is as if these syllables have continued to haunt him; he has expressed this questioning in "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by presenting us with the set for a story, but no conclusion or closure. Initially

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 The Themes of Love and Loss in My Last Duchess, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, When we Two Parted, and Villegiature Works Cited Missing The poems, 'My Last Duchess', 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'When We Two Parted' and 'Villegiature' by Robert Browning (1812-1889), John Keats (1795-1821), Lord Byron (1788-1824) and Edith Nesbit (1858-1924) respectively, have all been written in the nineteenth century. All these poems deal

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 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 of a relationship, due to an imbalance of power. However there are dissimilarities between the poems - for example where in "La Belle Dame Sans Merci

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

1474 words - 6 pages poems bring out different types of emotions. When We Two Parted is melancholy throughout, and is a lament for a lost love. This is different to La Belle Dame Sans Merci, as it is more enchanting and more to do with desire than love. It becomes exotic and bewitching, with the mood of the poem continuously changing. John Keats starts his poem, hoping that the reader will feel sympathetic for the character, and curious to what is wrong with this

Similar Essays

La Belle Dame Sans Merci Analysis

1204 words - 5 pages evidently expels him without his knowledge. The only non-supernatural aspects of the poem are that of the passerby that dialogues with the knight, the knight’s superficial traits according to the passerby, and the setting of the poem in the beginning and end. Keats suggests that the consequences of love hurt those who find love but cannot keep it in La Belle Dame sans Merci, as is seen in many of Keats’s poetry [Hirst]. This can be seen through

La Belle Dame Sans Merci Analysis

1141 words - 5 pages John Keats’s “La Belle Dame sans Merci” parallels the predicament of a dying knight with the final moments of his life, and love for Fanny Brawne. Keats’s obsession with willing suspension of disbelief and shadows of the imagination are exemplified in the ballad. The poem displays romanticism with hyperbole describing each character. Keats’s poem, “La Belle Dame sans Merci”, is explicated through the structure, tone, hyperbole, and parallels

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

Analysis Of Keats' Captivating And Dismal Ballad "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"

1412 words - 6 pages John Keats is a spell binding poet, who lived a short life of 25 years, but left behind a towering legacy in the Romantic period. His work “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” is an imaginative masterpiece written in 1819, which was near his death in 1821. During the time he wrote the ballad, his brother died of tuberculosis; an ailment that swept over many members of his family, including him. He also became devoted to young woman, Fanny Brawne, but