John Keats La Belle Dame Sans Merci

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John Keats – La Belle Dame Sans Merci La Belle Dame Sans Merci is a poem written in 1819 by John Keats, who is one of the most famous and talented poets in England during the romanticism. He is a romantic poet, who gives his poems a touch of imagination, dreams and feelings, which are three important signs of this particular time period. La Belle Dame sans Merci is a ballad that tells the story of a knight who fell in love with a beautiful lady, and now suffers the consequences of falling in love: a broken heart. The poem starts with the writer describing a solitary knight who is walking around lonely. So already from the poems start the reader gets sympathy for the knight. In the two first stanzas, the scene of autumn is described: The grass stopped, no birds sing, squirrels and other animals have hoarded food to sustain them throughout winter, and the harvest is done. The writer makes the knight look so exhausted and miserable, by saying: So haggard and woebegone. By saying this, it makes the knight seem to be in a terrible condition: “And on the thy cheek a fading rose – the poet is comparing the color on his cheeks with a fast fading rose. The poet also says: I see a lily on thy brow – which means that the knight-at-arms forehead glistens with sweet like a lily (white). In the fourth stanza the knight starts to tell his tale: He had met a beautiful lady in the meads. She was the most beautiful lady he had seen, with long hair and wild eyes, which led him to believe that she must be a fairy’s child. Her eyes however had struck him as wild and doleful. His eyes were only for her and he did not notice anything else. She was open for his attention and she sang to him sweetly. He tried to win her by making garlands and bracelets out of flower and she gazed at him lovingly by giving him things to eat such as sweet roots and wild honey. Although she spoke in
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