13 June 2012
“La Belle Dame sans Merci” by John Keats
John Keats was a young, up and coming inspirational poet whose life ended way too soon.
He evoked images as if you, the reader, were there to see it in person. He died from tuberculosis and I think that what he is describing in the poem “La belle Dame sans Merci” is his life, love of
Fanny, his fiance’, and his love of beauty and his poetry disappearing. He had a vivid imagination and that is also what we see in the poem, “La Belle dame sans Merci” as he explains the story of a knight who has lost everything that he loved. This interpretation is one where Keats sees himself as the knight and the lady is what he will be losing upon his death. The poem begins with a passerby seeing the knight wondering aimlessly as if he is looking for something. We can tell by the words of the passer by that it is late autumn or early winter
“sedge has wither’d from the lake and no birds sing’ as he asks the knight what could make him so pale and feverish, possibly sick or near death. “…lily on thy brow, cheeks a fading rose and fast withereth..” The first three stanzas continue in this manner as the passer by questions the knight about his forlorn condition. The knight starts to respond in the fourth stanza explaining that it was a woman that he met earlier she was very beautiful, “a fairy’s child” as he recalls. Keats was comparing his love of beauty, Fanny, his work and his life to the beautiful lady who in the end leaves him wanting more. Keats wants more than he will get in this life. He wants to live life to the fullest, to marry the woman that he loves and he wants to continue to write but that is a dream that will go unlived due to his death from tuberculosis. This could possibly mean that she had an