La Belle Dame sans Merci
For this assignment I have chosen a poem of John Keats ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’. It is actually from the Romantic Period, the late 18th century.
The poem is named after an older poem written by the French author Alain Chartier in 1424.
I like the Romantic Period, since its work is based on emotion, adventure and imagination, its poetry is inspired by nature, imagination, folklore and myth.
I especially like this poem , since it appears to be a typical folklore story about a knight who meets a beautiful lady. But is not. I think the underlying message of this poem is not to rush into things too quickly. If you only focus on that new pleasure that has entered your life, you will get sad or depressed once that pleasure subsides or disappears entirely. This experience strengthens you.
The mood the ballad oozes is gloomy and sad, especially because of the words Keats chose to use, such as ‘woe-begone’, ‘sighed fill sore’, ‘woe betide’, ‘starved lips in the gloam’ and ‘palely loitering’.
The story takes place during autumn, since the unidentified stranger asks the knight why is looks so pale, while the harvest is done, so he should be happy.
A unidentified person ask the knight why he looks so pale and sits sulking on a cold hill’s side. He mentions that the knights forehead and cheeks are losing their colour by comparing his forehead to a white lily and his cheeks to a fading rose. The heart-broken knight tells his story about a lady he has met. ‘I met a lady in the meads, full beautiful- a faery’s child’. She did not speak to the knight. She spoke a language he could not understand and she sang a mysterious song. She looked at him like she loved him and he takes her with him on his steed. She leads him to her cave where she starts crying. He , being a man, cannot look at the sight of this beautiful lady crying and kisses her; ‘And there I shut her wild wild eyes with kisses four’. She sings him a lullaby and he falls asleep. He...