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La Belle Dame Sans Merci Analysis

Author: Poetry of John Keats Type: Poetry Views: 2251

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Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,

Alone and palely loitering?

The sedge is withered from the lake,

And no birds sing.

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,

So haggard and so woe-begone

The squirrel's granary is full,

And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow

With anguish moist and fever dew,

And on thy cheek a fading rose

Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,

Full beautiful, a faery's child:

Her hair was long, her foot was ligh,

And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,

And nothing else saw all day long;

For sideways would she lean, and sing

A faery's song.

I made a garland for her head,

And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;

She looked at me as she did love,

And made sweet moan.

She found me roots of relish sweet,

And honey wild, and manna dew,

And sure in language strange she said,

"I love thee true!"

She took me to her elfin grot,

And there she gazed and sighed deep,

And there I shut her wild, sad eyes---

So kissed to sleep.

And there we slumbered on the moss,

And there I dreamed, ah! woe betide,

The latest dream I ever dreamed

On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings, and princes too,

Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;

Who cried---"La belle Dame sans merci

Hath thee in thrall!"

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,

With horrid warning gaped wide,

And I awoke and found me here,

On the cold hill side.

And that is why I sojourn here,

Alone and palely loitering,

Though the sedge is withered from the lake,

And no birds sing.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

its a rly good poem. i liek it a lot. some advice 4 life: live, laugh, lern + luv. peace out.

| Posted on 2014-02-04 | by a guest

.: :.

Bea Carolin Micheal Janella Kasandra Sherwood Josh Kimberley Valarie Timothy Ricky Janella Moon Carolyn Roberto Janella Chang Myles Andres Tressie Glory Denyse Gordon Tonja Burton Leif Deanne Rubin Dagmar Wilfredo Theron Michael Elois Elvina Andres Tressie Norris Gabrielle Andres Elliot Chauncey Denyse Laraine Tajuana Lyman Debi Robyn Gilberto Leo Reed Juan Carlie Roberto Jeffrey Juan Wilfredo Hyon Genevieve Kenton Clementina Forrest Robbi

| Posted on 2011-10-22 | by a guest

.: :.

keeping in mind about the life of John Keats, I feel the poem is expressing his own feelings for someone. the poem is good but why is this added in syllabus for children?

| Posted on 2011-03-01 | by a guest

.: :.

dis poem is sound blud. ma teacher iz like not very gud , so we had to cum on here to find out what it waz sayin. init , but now we get it and itzzz well sound. thankz bruv

| Posted on 2011-01-19 | by a guest

.: :.

You reeeaalllyy need to get a life instead of explaining poems and playin call of duty

| Posted on 2010-10-10 | by a guest

.: :.

I just read all the analysis\'s on this poem and it made me laugh, thankyou. :)

| Posted on 2010-10-01 | by a guest

.: :.

\"La Belle Dame sans Merci\" seems easy to understand at the narrative level. An unidentified passerby asks the knight what is wrong (stanzas I-III). The knight answers that he has been in love with and abandoned by a beautiful lady (stanzas IV-XII). Because Keats is imitating the folk ballad, he uses simple language, focuses on one event, provides minimal details about the characters, and makes no judgments. Some details are realistic and familiar, others are unearthly and strange. As a result, the poem creates a sense of mystery which has intrigued many readers.

| Posted on 2010-09-29 | by a guest

.: :.

HERE WE GO posted 2008-05-13
No one cares about your poem summary
its a silly poem that makes no sense
he was probally high when he wrote it.
do something better with your life then commenting bulk crap on poems.
get outta the dog kennel matee.

| Posted on 2010-08-19 | by a guest

.: :.

A comment to the person who Posted on 2010-06-18 | by a guest.
If you are going to make a comment, at least use the correct spelling. (DW)

| Posted on 2010-08-19 | by a guest

.: :.

This poem is horrible.it is unbeliveable to understand dis poem ireally hate this poem my teacher is very gud in eng so she taught us but it is horrible.!

| Posted on 2010-06-18 | by a guest

.: :.

this is good poem but i dont get it. it is about love and when i read it i feel warm and fuzzy plus it makes me feel like i need to wee just a tiny bit. its very emotional. beauitful poem and beautiful keats! i think it might be more than just about love though. it might be about the battle of rising bull and cluster. ....just a thought.

| Posted on 2010-06-14 | by a guest

.: :.

i dont think so that this poem is based on keats life. this is keats deep imagination and his ability to make up stories which normal poeple dont have.he makes us think that he has experienced all these things..but think for a moment that all of the things he mention are not mortal they belong to a class of spirits and the unseen..

| Posted on 2010-05-13 | by a guest

.: :.

i dont think so that this poem is based on keats life. this is keats deep imagination and his ability to make up stories which normal poeple dont have.he makes us think that he has experienced all these things..but think for a moment that all of the things he mention are not mortal they belong to a class of spirits and the unseen..

| Posted on 2010-05-13 | by a guest

.: :.

it's a really beautiful poem, it brings out an impact on the reader

| Posted on 2010-02-16 | by a guest

.: :.

I think many people ignore the importance of the anonomous narrator in the begining. If you compare the setting, with the lack of any more visible life, it would not be unreasonable to come to the conclusion that perhaps the Knight is already dead?
The dead kings all claim that the Knight is already in her thrall, suggesting that there is no escape for him now. Theefore, could the narrator be death himslef?
Futhermore, the other knights are dead. Giving us some insight into the knight's future. Plus we do not know what ocurred in his sleep.
If you look at other represented figures of death in litertaure, you'll see he speaks with the same, suggestively positive dialogue.
Futhermore, the cold hill setting much resembles many images of the bardo. The realm in which people wait in order to continue to the afterlife.
In conclusion, I think an appropiate analysis would be to suggest that the Knight has been killed, and has become a waiting ghost, much akin to the other knights and kings in his dream.

| Posted on 2009-12-11 | by a guest

.: :.

."La Belle Dame Sans Merci" is a poem consiting of two sections, in the first section the interlocuter is questioning the knight and in the second part the knight is anwering the interlocuters question of "Oh what can ail thee knight at arms?" This makes the poem far more narrative and story like instead of it just been a regular poem. The question involves the audience with the knights predicement, therefore the audience experiences the feeling of loss as well as sympathy towards the knight. The poem has twelve relatively short stanzas and the consistent form mimics a ballad. The first three lines of each stanza consist of eight syllabels and the ultimate line consists of four syllabels and only two stresses. The contrast in length adds great emphasis onto the last line, for example: "And no birds sing". Here, silence is emphasised creating a cold, lonely and hauntingly dramatic atmosphere. The fact that the last sentence of each stanza only has four syllabels also creates not only suspension but also great tension between stanzas as the reader has no idea what will happen next.
As the knight starts to tell the story, rhyme is introduced in the scheme of "ABCB" ("Zone, Moan"). This rhyming reinforces the fact the poem is a ballad and is intended to be sung. Ballads were often used at the time of Keats as they were easily remembered and also potrayed a story or certain themes. This ballad seems to create the theme of darkness through figurative language.
A dim and dreary atmosphere is created through the Keat's use of imagery. "Cold hill side" creates a desolate place of complete isolation. A place drained of happiness and every pleasant emotion , even the animals have gone "granary is full". "The sedge has withered" also creates a very dreary atmosphere as it shows the land as barren and bare. There is nothing lushious or exciting about it. A negative and gloomy place is also created through this imagery as the fact the sedge has withered suggests it is winter and bleak, this bleak place reflects the knights unhappiness and possibly mirrors the audiences feelings as Keats creates such a dark and dull atmosphere.
The audience experiences death in "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" created by Keats' metaphorical use. "Lily on thy brow " and "fading rose" shows the knight dying. Lilies are often associated with death, roses on the other hand tend not to be associated with death but beauty. As both roses and lilies are been used to show death i believe this therefore is a possible suggestion that it is beauty that has killed the knight. Beauty has affected him. The beauty of this women. "Fast withereth" shows the night is gradually dying, and his death is been witnessed by the interlocuter who can do nothing as this knight is under the spell of the faery. Death is also created by the "starved lips" of the kings, princes and warriors. There is no flesh to these peoples lips, they are just screaming corpses of once important men. The fact that ther lips are starved could also suggest the faery has taken their voices away from them and these men are simply unable to speak. These corpses have lost all control which i believe creates worry.
Keats' language choice seems to appeal to our human senses making us actually part of the experiences within the poem, for example "honey sweet", "beautiful" and "cold". We are experiencing the fear of the knight alongside seduction and pain.
The last stanza in the poem is haunting and creates a haunting atmosphere and an unpleasant experience regarding the audience. Keats uses the word "soujourn" suggesting the knight will be on the hill side for a very long time. Perhaps for eternity. The repetion of language from the first stanza also seems to suggest the knight will be there forever as nothing as changed since the start of the poem.
The line "the sedge has withered" changes to "the sedge is withered". The word has"" makes it appear that the sedge has only just withered whereas the word "is" seems to create a whole different experience for the readers as the fact it "is" withered suggest it has been withered for quite some time now and will be withered for ever more showing the kinght is stuck in a lonely barren place for ever.

| Posted on 2009-09-27 | by a guest

.: :.

This poem has a real story behind it.It is almost like Keats real life.Dont just read it and say its crap.it just shows that u guys dont understand the meaning of love or 'unfair love'.

| Posted on 2009-07-10 | by a guest

.: :.

This poem has a real story behind it.It is almost like Keats real life.Dont just read it and say its crap.it just shows that u guys dont understand the meaning of love or 'unfair love'.

| Posted on 2009-07-10 | by a guest

.: :.

i think tahat this poem is crap becuase i dont get what the language says.

| Posted on 2009-04-24 | by a guest

.: :.

maybe, this guy was just writing a poem that is like a story for fun. and no real reason. just felt like writing a poem and did not think about who the speaker is and stuff.

| Posted on 2009-03-29 | by a guest

.: Here we go :.

Poem Summary
Lines 1 12
The ballad consists of two parts of dialogue, each uninterrupted by the other and each uncouched by the normal story-telling mechanisms for identifying speakers ("I said," "he said," etc.). Because of this, the identity of the first speaker, whose part is completed in the first twelve lines, remains cryptic. Though he (or, it could equally be argued, she) reveals the identity of the other (the "knight-at-arms"), the first speaker says nothing, at least directly, about himself. He does, however, give plenty of information about the situation of the poem. The time is late autumn, the annual grasses having already "wither'd" and the birds having departed on their winter migration. The place, one can infer, is not always as forbidding as it seems to be now its desolation is simply due to the time of year. There has been a "harvest," but it has ended. There is latent life present around the two characters: "the squirrel's granary is full." Therefore, if the setting symbolizes the knight's emotional desolation, one must understand it as a function of an individualized circumstance: of a very specific but not necessarily permanent condition. Come spring, after all, the cycle of the harvest will begin again. Yet, this seems little consolation to the knight the speaker describes. He is "alone and palely loitering," "so haggard and so woebegone." His pallor is described metaphorically in terms of a "lily" on his brow and a "fading rose" on his cheek. Further, he appears physically ill, "moist" from the "fever" of some "anguish." Though through these observations the speaker has already foreshadowed the reasons for the knight's grim condition, the form's rhetoric demands the question be asked: "O what can ail thee?" A knowledge of chivalric lore should prompt the correct guess. Of a knight's three profound allegiances to his God, his lord, and his lady only the last would be described in terms of lily-pallor and a faded rose.
Lines 13 24
The story's twist occurs in the first stanza of the knight's speech. Though a "lady" was bound to figure into the poem, that she is a "faery's child" changes the expectations of the tale's outcome and causes readers to reinterpret the nature of the knight's desolation. Literature and myth are filled with examples of humans who fall in love with gods, and with little exception, such relationships bode disastrously for the mortal party. Particularly in that area of mythology dealing with fairies or fairy-like creatures, humans who become enamored of fairies, elves, pixies, and the like generally suffer extreme emotional consequences once their affairs with the capricious beings have ended. Having loved an immortal, these hapless humans discover that mere mortal beauty which can include not only human lovers but also life itself will no longer do. Based on thse conventions, readers understand immediately that this is the knight's fate, and through his descriptions of his fairy-love's beauty, readers see the caprice that brings on his doom. In keeping with fairies' quick and unpredictable behavior, "her foot was light." Her long hair suggests the sensual nature of such creatures, who in lore are given to continual pleasures, and "her eyes were wild." The knight confesses he was taken in by his lady's fairy-penchant for "seeming:" She looked at him "as she did love." In the terms of chivalric belief-systems, earthly love is a mortally serious concept: it is at once an a

| Posted on 2008-05-13 | by a guest

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