La Belle Dame Sans Merci Essay, Research Paper
John Keats is a great British poet. He has written many popular poems.
La Belle Dame sans Merci is a ballad that was written in 1819. In this ballad, the knight is deceived by the woman he meets. He falls in love with this woman instantly and is convinced that she too is in love with him. The woman makes the knight fall for her by making herself beautiful. The woman deceives the knight into trusting her and then when she takes him to her cave, she breaks his heart by leaving him after the knight wakes up from a nightmare.
The first stanza of this ballad describes the knight as being lonely in the wilderness. A Alone and palely loitering. @ The knight is alone and wandering around on his horse. A And no birds sing. @ In this sentence he describes his sadness because the singing of birds is associated with happiness and the birds are not singing.
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel=s granary is full,
And the harvest=s done.
In this quote the knight is troubled because everything is going as it is supposed to, the granary is full and the harvest is done. This is why the knight is also sad and roaming around on his horse. In the next stanza, the knight is described as exhausted in appearance and afflicted. ?And on thy cheeks a fading rose fast withereth too.? The colour of his skin is fading away, and he is dying.
I met a lady in the meads
Full beautiful – a faery=s child.
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
In this stanza, the knight meets a woman in the meadows. He falls in love with her immediately. He describes her as being a small being with magic powers ( faery ). He makes a
wreath of flowers to decorate her head and also he made her bracelets to show his love for her.
He put the woman on his horse and watched her ride all day because the sight of her is so beautiful.
She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said -
A I love thee true.@
The woman makes herself more enticing by giving him the Aroots of relish sweet, and honey wild, and manna dew.@ The woman wanted the knight to trust her more. The knight is convinced that the woman is also in love with him when she says A I love thee true.@
When the knight describes the woman as being A a faery=s child @, he realizes that the
woman has magical powers. She uses her magical powers to make the knight fall for her then she breaks his heart. The woman deceives the knight into trusting her. The woman doesn=t say what she means when she says A I love thee true @ because she says it in A language strange @. After, the woman took the knight into her enchanted cave where the woman cried. This is another way the woman is deceiving the knight. She is making the knight feel sorry for her. The knight comforts her with four kisses. The knight then trusts the woman enough to fall asleep. While the knight is sleeping, he describes a nightmare that he had. The kings and the princes are warning him of this woman. They tell him that he has been captured by this woman.
AThey cried – La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!@. This quote says that the kings and princes are warning the knight that this woman is a beautiful woman without mercy.
After he awakens from this nightmare, he fins himself alone on the hill side. This is why the knight is sad, alone and wandering.
The woman sees the knight as a perfect victim because the knight is alone, sad and wandering aimlessly in this poem. The knight is sad because everything is going the way it is supposed to go. The squirrel?s granary is full and the harvest is done. The woman uses her magical powers to deceive the knight. She is successful in making the knight fall for her. She makes herself more enticing by giving the relish, honey and manna dew to the knight. She takes the knight to her cave and puts him to sleep. When the knight wakes up from his nightmare, he sees that she has left him.
Smith, Philip. 100 Best Loved Poems. New York: Dover Publications Inc. 1995