John Keats La Belle Dame Sans Merci

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As one of the most famous poets in the history of English Literature, John Keats is thought to be the epitome of the Romantic poet. He was a second generation Romantic poet along with others such as Lord Byron and Percy Shelley. Most of their works were written in the 1800s and followed the original romantic breakthrough of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Keats’ odes are best distinguished by the combination of opposites such as elation and anguish or bliss and desolation. ‘To Autumn’ and ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ were both written by John Keats in 1819. In the poems ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ and ‘To Autumn’ Keats utilises a ballad and an ode respectively, two structures that have been used to a great extent all…show more content…
‘To Autumn’ is written in stanzas and is addressing somebody (the season of autumn which has been personified as a youthful maiden). It also has the customary pentameters of an ode and is very complex. Besides the palpable distinction of a French title, all the essential components of a ballad are found in ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’. It has visibly shorter lines compared to ‘To Autumn’ and is a quatrain with the second and fourth line of each stanza rhyming. ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ is a good example of Keats putting in his individual approach to the traditional composition. The final line of each verse is considerably shorter than the former three which causes it to become melancholic and…show more content…
The faery who has given the knight so much pleasure and is the most natural thing in the poem as if sucks the life out of him which he is clearly not expecting-‘And there she lulled me/—Ah! woe betide!—/The latest dream I ever dreamt/On the cold hill side’. The knight is spiritually lifeless. The faery as if embodies life and nature itself giving pleasure and then taking it away so suddenly. The faery seems to be unattainable. One can go as close to her as one wants to yet despite all efforts cannot seem to touch her- this has connotations with the concept of romantic agony. No matter how hard the poets tried to express themselves they could not- between the experience and the expression laid the shadow of execution. When the knight did not know of the ‘Belle Dame’ he was content but now that he knows of her existence and has experienced her, he is doomed to craving for her for the rest of his
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