Theme Of Love In La Belle Dame Sans Merci

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Love can exist as affection, infatuation, obsession, pleasure and in many other ways, as love is abstract. Hence, there is no one single interpretation of love. Love is a theme that has been embedded into language and literature over the centuries, yet due to the ever changing perception of love people continue to search for a universal definition of love. Poems are able to showcase the inner feelings and desires of a poet as well as their own unique views on love. Nevertheless, through poems “La Belle Dame sans Merci” by John Keats, “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning, “Mother in a Refugee Camp” by Chinua Achebe, “The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!” by John Keats, “Remember” by Christina Rossetti and “Piano” by D. H. Lawrence, this essay will explore how and why different poets present the theme of love in a variety of ways.

‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ is a romantic ballad written by English poet John Keats in 1819, when the artistic, literary and intellectual movement of romanticism was at its peak. Set in the medieval period, Keats aims to use this setting to juxtapose the different perspective people, originating from different times, had towards the theme of love. Through the relationship of the knight and the woman as well as the setting of ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’; Keats is able to reflect upon the faithful and truthful expression of love in the medieval times as well as the freedom of individual expression and imagination in the romantic period.

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