La Belle Dame Sans Merci Poem

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La Belle Dame sans Merci is a ballad written by John Keats in 1819. The title translates from French to ‘The beautiful lady without mercy’. The fact that the title is written in French shows the love as French is considered to be the language of love. The poem expresses about a Knight who was abandoned by a ‘beautiful’ woman that he met and he tells us what happened and how he ended up alone. The structure of the poem is written in the form of a ballad. A ballad is a narrative poem which is very traditional and follows and is often written in the folk origin. Most ballad poems contains a series of short stanzas and consists of one or more characters developing the story until it ends up with a theatrical ending.
The theme of love is found in many areas of the poem. In the title, it is introduced at a threatening sort of tone ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ unlike the traditional loving tone found in a ballad. In the second line the speaker says that the knight was ‘alone and palely loitering’. The ominous tone indicates that the
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He also finds out that he was not the only one when he says that ‘I saw pale kings and princes too. They also use repetition when he says that they were all ‘death pale’. This is showing that other important and significant people fell into her trap as well and ended in the same fate.
Imagery and symbolism is found in various parts of the poem. In line 3, the ‘sedge is wither’d’, symbolizing that the environment is near autumn. The next line is conveying that the birds are migrating for the winter. Without the birds, the scenery of the poem feels more isolated. In line 8, it says that ‘the harvest is done’. This meant that all crops have been taken away and have not been replanted and the cycle of life has not been restarted. This also can mean that the speaker and the Knight are the only two living
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