La Belle Dame Sans Merci- John Keats (Context (Keats is distancing himself…
La Belle Dame Sans Merci- John Keats
Keats is distancing himself from his experiences by using medieval and supernatural characters
Keats is questioning himself and his feelings from a distance
Keats was insecure and unsure about love between him and his family
Some of Keats' family died of TB
Keats dramatises fear that women betray men and are rejected by 'True Love'
Knight should be strong, brave and manly
He seems pathetic
Broken-heartedness has a physical impact
Symptoms described are similar to TB
Contrast between expectation and reality
The narrator is not just a disinterested observer
Frame narrator then seems to disappear
Is the Knight hallucinating
Narration slips seamlessly from observer to protagonist
At first the Knight seems in control of 'La Belle'("I set her on my pacing steed")
Usually the knight rescues the maiden but here the maiden rescues the knight
"She found me roots of relish sweet, And honey wild and manna- dew"
La Belle gains control of Knight
"And there she lulled me asleep"
"'I Love thee true'"
Keats uses speech marks in the poem
adds more ambiguity about the narrator
Knight is a victim or a ghost
Knight warns narrator suggesting that he could be the be the next victim of La Belle
He is palely loitering suggesting that he looks unwell and is wondering around without purpose. He could possibly be lost
"O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering?"
Poem is set in autumn/ winter
"The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing."
Faery contrasts to this as she has connotations of summer and flowers and life
"Cold hill's side."