La Belle Dame Sans Merci : Keeping the Reader Engaged

951 Words4 Pages
The literary elements in the poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci, make it an interesting and engaging story. It is a ballad about a knight and his story of a faery lady he falls in love with. This poem is a tragic one, that includes the love story of a knight and a lady. The three elements that affect the reader is the imagery, the tone, and the theme. Also in this poem are elements such as persona and metaphor. All of the elements presented in this work, help the reader to better understand it. The writer of this story uses elements to keep the reader engaged. “The readers who read the poem find themselves enthralled by the poem’s strangeness and eerieness. They find they are unable to tell exactly what happens in the encounter between the Knight and the Lady. And so, like the knight on the cold hill side left dreaming again and again the same dream of ‘La belle dame sans merci’, they are left to read and re-read the peom in a state of enthrallment to it that seems to have been transferred across from the Knight’s bearing towards the Lady" (Farnell, 2011). The fact that this is partly a romance, allows the reader to relate to the story. Most people have either experienced love, or want to experience it, so this story either lets the reader be reminded of their own significant other, or one that the reader would like to have. Some of us who have been in love know what it is like to lose someone, which is why we are also able to relate to the depression and sadness that surrounds it. While reading the first two stanzas, the reader is able to imagine a man approaching a knight, and asking why he is so sad. The speaker asks, “O what can ail thee, knight–at–arms, So lone and palely loitering? The sedge has wither’d from the lake, And no birds sing.” (Clugston, 2010). After this we are able to picture a lonely knight, who is very pale and weak. The
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