La Belle Dame sans Merci, John Keats Flashcards Preview

Mrs Latham IGCSE Revision Poetry > La Belle Dame sans Merci, John Keats > Flashcards

Flashcards in La Belle Dame sans Merci, John Keats Deck (13)
Loading flashcards...
1
Q

Meaning

A
  • Summary: Knight falls in love with mysterious young woman (or faery) who charms him but then leaves him alone & desperate to see her again
  • Celebrations of ballad traditions, stories, classical literature
  • Explores negative destructive effects of overwhelming love
2
Q

Discuss the 3 themes

A
  1. Reality/dream
    1. Can’t really tell when it switches from third person to knight’s POV
      1. Confusing/ambiguous shift in speakers
      2. Blurs lines between reality and dream
  2. Power of love
    1. Knight is emitted and destroyed
    2. Rebellion against of love
    3. Universal pain of love
  3. Brutality of humanity
    1. Belle Dame abandons him without mercy
3
Q

Context

A
  • Part of Romantic movement in poetry
    • (Response to Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment = sought beauty and wisdom in nature and emotion)
4
Q

Imagery #1

A

Floral Imagery

  1. Knight has “a lily on thy brow”
  • Forehead = white as flower: lily
    • Pale and possibly ill
  • Lilies associated with death
    • Suggestion of fear and mortality lingers
  • Symbol of Virgin Mary
    • Effeminises knight = make him seem womanly
  1. Complexion losing colour as “a fading rose fast withereth too” on his cheek
  • Metaphor = roses symbolise love, but rose dying
    • = knight’s love is abandoning him
  • Ironically = poem about beautiful woman without pity = speaker is kind, concerned and sympathetic
5
Q

Imagery #2

A

“my pacing steed”

  • Symbolically = knight gives fairy his manly power
    • Setting fairy on his stallion = knight has raised her above himself
    • Given her masculine power of horse & placed himself in position of servant/squire
  • OR fact has to help her up, shows his dominance
6
Q

Tone

A

Elegiac, impassioned

  1. “on the cold hill’s side”
    * Returned to conscious world = without his lover, feels that winter has come + has no purpose
  2. Repetition: “Alone and palely loitering”
  • Knights = warriors of medieval period
    • Involed in noble mission to help someone vulnerable
  • But here: without his horse
    • Symbolically unmanned = lost vital part of his power
  • “loitering”
    • Waiting without a purpose
      • Something a knight should never do
      • Should be in mission to help others
      • ∴ something dreadful must have happened to knight
7
Q

Structure #1

A

Ballad

  • Simple language & absence of detail
    • Excludes information, don’t know what’s fantasy or real = don’t whose dream it is
    • Lends poem ambiguity
  • Typically invoke supernatural + themes of love
  • ABCB rhyme scheme
    • Narrative quality = storytelling
    • Conveying dramatic romance of story effectively
8
Q

Structure #2

A

12 quatrains with iambic tetrameter rhythm

  • 4th line of stanza ends on unstressed rather than stressed
    • Ends on dull note = poem feels unresolved and sad
  • Poem uses shorter 4th line in each stanza (dimetric)
    • Incompleteness of narrative = no clear conclusion
    • Abrupt, slightly ominous ending
9
Q

Comparisons 4x

A
  1. “Piano”
  2. “Sonnet 116”
  3. “The Tyger”
  4. “My Last Duchess”
10
Q

“Piano” Comparison

A

Both about power of much-loved woman to control a man

11
Q

“Sonnet 116” Comparison

A

Both offer different descriptions of love is

12
Q

“The Tyger” Comparison

A

Both depict a powerful and beautiful force which is beyond
nature & our control

13
Q

“My Last Duchess” Comparison

A

Offers different view of gender relationships in which man is the powerful one