La Belle Dame Sans Merci. A ballad Flashcards Preview

ENGLISH-Keats > La Belle Dame Sans Merci. A ballad > Flashcards

Flashcards in La Belle Dame Sans Merci. A ballad Deck (34)
Loading flashcards...
1

"Alone and _______ loitering"-beginning

palely

2

"she looked at me __ ____ ___ love"-early middle

as she did

3

What is the significance of
"she looked at me as she did love"-early middle

the prefix "as" is ambiguous in determining whether the omniscient narrator means "while" she loved the knight, or "as though" she loved the night. The lack of clarity is used by Keats to create a sense of mystery surrounding the female construct's intentions. If the woman is duplicitous in her stratagem Keats could be possibly presenting women as seductresses who tempt and destroy men's hearts, tragically this would mean that love is unattainable, thus the "knight at arms" will inevitably fall from the heightened position founded in this false love.

4

What is the significance of
‘pale kings’, ‘pale warriors’, ‘death pale’?
Middle end

Keats’ use of language emphasises the absence of colour. In turn \ suggests that they are not in a place of vitality or idealism, therefore love cannot exist. The "pale kings" obsessive love is ironically tragic, as they inadvertently cause their own inability to find love due to the established hierarchical position of men that "kings" reflects. It is tragic that the "pale kings" do not have the anagnorisis which is needed in order to transcend the patriarchal confinements of society, as they act as their own barrier to love from their conditioned perspective of women as inferior; this social order ultimately determines the 'pale kings' fall as inevitable. The dream-like nature is a key theme peppered throughout the poem, through this Keats alludes an almost hypnotic tone through the phonetically slurred words. The atmosphere created from this compares to that of a purgatorial state, which the description of the "faery lady" furthers. It is important to Keats' key message about the futility of love that the "knight-at-arms" made a "garland for her head" as it is possible he uses the male construct to illustrate the male ownership of the female which was a fact of life in the early 19th century. The "garland" which associates, in this context, to a crown, suggests that the 'knight-at-arms' attempts to make the female construct his queen, although appearing as a gesture of true love, Keats arguably plays on the known concept of the traditional potency of a king which is historically greater than that of a queen. Ultimately Keats criticizes this official declaration of love, using the "garland" to symbolize a proposal of marriage early in the play, coupled with the use of natural imagery, in order to associate the fall of their free love to the restrictions imposed by the social order, upon a man and woman who enter the legality of the real world through marriage. Therefore from this interpretation, the "garland" crown veils the actual truth of marriage, suggesting that this declaration of commitment is really a mechanism used by men to entrap women as property, further supported by the conventional vows of the 19th century, where a woman must "honour, love and obey" her husband, thereby promising their subservience.

5

What is the significance of the structure of the verses?

This shortening of the final line gives each stanza a rather abrupt, slightly ominous ending, as if it were not quite finished. From this structural method, it can be interpreted that Keats implies that their love could never be complete due to the restrictions of the social order, which the 'knight-at-arms', 'pale kings' and 'pale warriors' symbolise as figures of the feudal hierarchy

6

"I see a ____ on ___ brow"- beginning

lily
brow

7

What is the significance of
'I see a lily on thy brow"

The conventional association of lilies to death, adds to the general sense of desolation and barrenness which Keats peppers throughout the poem. The semantic field of death thereby creates an atmosphere whereby the "knight at arms" appears to fall ill which "I see a lily on thy brow" indicates. It is possible that Keats exposes the harsh realities of love, suggesting that as it consumes the "knight-at-arms," it consumes his entire life, this infatuation of which is presented as deathly. On the contrary, Keats could actually be exploring the concept of pure love, and when it can exist. Therefore the fact that the "faery lady" has consumed his mind with an obsessive love actually reinforces the unearthly word of love which Keats depicts as both superior and independent from the real world; as the knight is a microcosm for the social order of reality, he cannot survive in the dream world where love exists as he cannot accept the equality, he instead tries to entrap her, marry her, own her. Therefore his attempt to "shut her wild wild eyes" results in his rejection from a world in which he cannot exist, resulting in his death which "I see a lily on thy brow" signifies.

8

What emphasises the fact that the Knight is in isolation?

The hillside is cold, all is pale and ‘the sedge has wither’d. There are no birds, the crops have been harvested and the fields are deserted, making the knight’s desolation even more complete.

9

"no birds _____" beginning and end

sing

10

"fever-___"-beginning

dew

11

"on thy cheeks a ______ ____"-early middle

fading rose

12

What is the significance of
"on thy cheeks a fading rose"-early middle

Roses are often associated with love, so the fact that the knight’s rose is ‘fading’ from his cheeks combines the idea of physical pallor (pale appearance) with the idea that his love affair with the beautiful lady is fading. Keats continuously uses the negation of natural imagery to illustrate the detraction of love, implying the purity of love which conditioned, societal ideals taint.

13

What is the significance of
"her eyes were wild"?-early middle

The past tense "were" infers that her eyes are no longer "wild", perhaps suggesting the female constructs subservient conditioning under the dominance of a 'knight' whom is arguably used by Keats to represent the patriarchal society of the 19th century. Later in the ballad he announces that he "shut her wild wild eyes" which hints to her lack of control, the loss of sight thereby enforcing her dependency on the male. It is significant that Keats highlights it was "he" who "shut her wild wild eyes" as it is implied through this that her submission was involuntary which in turn demonstrates the hierarchy within their own, supposed, love. The power struggle between the "faery child" and the "knight at arms" arguably presents the injustice for women who are continuously overpowered by men in a society which tragically, in turn, restricts the attainability of love. Furthermore, the idea that eyes are symbols of religion as doorways to the soul, could thereby suggest that the man is going against God's will, taking away the free will which was intended for all human beings. Another interpretation would associate the adjective "wild" to an animal, thus presenting the female as a creature which has to be tamed by the knight, almost as a pet, which again exposes the inferiority of women within the patriarchal hierarchy.

14

What is the significance of
"I made a garland for her head"
in terms of where it is in the poem? middle

The "garland" which associates, in this context, to a crown, suggests that the 'knight-at-arms' attempts to make the female construct his queen, although appearing as a gesture of true love, Keats arguably plays on the known concept of the traditional potency of a king which is historically greater than that of a queen. Ultimately Keats criticizes this official declaration of love, using the "garland" to symbolize a proposal of marriage early in the play, coupled with the use of natural imagery, in order to associate the fall of their free love to the restrictions imposed by the social order, upon a man and woman who enter the legality of the real world through marriage. Therefore from this interpretation, the "garland" crown veils the actual truth of marriage, suggesting that this declaration of commitment is really a mechanism used by men to entrap women as property, further supported by the conventional vows of the 19th century, where a woman must "honour, love and obey" her husband, thereby promising their subservience.
It is possible that the knight could be trying to ensure that his love is everlasting, cementing it within marriage before God, however the objectification of woman in marriage during the 1800's indicates that his intentions are questionable. The giving of the "garland" is the point of lusis in the ballad, as to tame his "faery child" in marriage he later had to "shut her wild wild eyes", in order to deny her, her sight, meaning she became unable to her own oppression as her position of the wife. Keats ultimately projects a message of the in-attainability of love in the real world. It is also structural important to Keats' criticism of marriage that the knight places a "garland on her head" before setting her on his "pacing steed" because of the obvious sexual connotations that implies the females' submission with the loss of her innocence from being a "faery child", to the "Belle Dame". The french name contributes to this idea that love cannot exist within the real world, as it suggests that it is a foreign concept to men who impose the patriarchy.

15

What is the significance of
"faery's child"?

Keats uses the "faery child" and the "knight" to illustrate that fundamentally they are from different worlds, presenting the female as a symbol of women's sexual liberation from "free love" as opposed to the patriarchal love where a woman belongs to her father or husband. The fact that she is portrayed as a "faery's child" at the beginning of the novel, which changes once the knight has both placed a "garland on her head" and placed her on his "pacing steed," to "La Belle Dame" which indicates that as wife, love is now a foreign concept as within the confinements of marriage the woman is subject to cultural submission as a wife. The fact her name has turned french, a foreign language, metaphorically symbolizes her voice being taken away by a man. The transition from the "faery child" to the "belle Dame" as well indicates that the knight has taken her away from the safety of the dream world where pure love can exist .

16

What is significant about the medieval underlining of the poem?

The medieval underlining's permeate the poem as a conventional tragedy, using the lens of Romanticism to explore the concept of the unattainable idea of love. The medieval, courtly undertones of love can be seen between the story of a "lady" and a "knight," however when coupled with Keats' pessimism towards love, the tragic fall of both the male and female construct arose from their hamartia, that love could exist between them.

17

"Her ____ was long, her foot was _____" early middle

hair
light

18

What is the significance of
"her hair was long, her foot was light"?

The observation of physical beauty implies the superficial aspects of love which Keats arguably poses as a fault of society. Both men and women become products of the ideals imposed by tradition, therefore they both suffer as a result from being unable to attain equality from a society which creates a gender divide. Keats presents the dual tragic fall of the knight at arms as well as the female through their residence in a purgatorial state where love is in-existent, possibly because of the concepts of marriage, and female submission which he explores within the ballad. Therefore the cultural obsession over beauty forms the male ideal of perfect, in turn reducing women to a mere image; which creates the inevitable fall of both constructs who are conditioned to their gender roles.

19

"manna-____" middle

dew

20

What is the significance of "manna dew"?

Keats invokes a sense of entrapment of love expressed through "manna-dew" which the female fed to the knight at arms. The historical context of "manna-dew" relates to the food the Israelites ate when freed from slavery and left enslaved to hunger, given "manna" at the mercy of God. Keats could possibly be arguing that in turn, the knight is enslaved to the "lady" in love. Though it could be perceived as a positive image of perhaps the fame construct saving the knight, the extract follows that he "saw their starved lips" supporting the idea that he has been enslaved to love as she entraps men, thus depriving them of their freedom of their minds by obsession. This obsession is sustained by the love, ("manna-dew") the lady provides until she "starve{s}" them of this, resulting in their tragic end.

21

What is the significance of the structure of the stanzas?

Keats hints both through religious imagery as well through the structure of the ballad stanzas that the male lovers are in a state of purgatory, he does this by shortening of the 4th line making each stanza appear a self contained unit to slow the pace. In doing so their love is implied to be entrapped in the dream world as they cannot escape into the reality due to the pain of their unrequited love, creating despair.

22

Where does the title of the Ballad derive from?

From a medieval romance by the French poet Alan Charter and so hints the medieval aspects of courtly love from the outset.

23

"in ________ strange she said/
I _____ ____ ____"- middle

language
love thee true

24

"the latest ______" middle-end

dream

25

What is the significance of "the latest dream"?

It is implied that he has not dreamt since, indicating he is in a purgatory state, enslaved to love. An evil presence can be inferred from this, as the "faery child" has seemed to deprive him of his sound mind after he deprived her of pure love in which he entrapped her in the patriarchy shutting her "wild wild eyes".The fact he shut her eyes, making her sleep, ergo blind to the patriarchy he has entrapped her within, she in turn takes away his sleep forcing him live in the reality of his loneliness without her, and without love.

26

What is the significance of "the latest dream"?

It is implied that he has not dreamt since, indicating he is in a purgatory state, enslaved to love. An evil presence can be inferred from this, as the "faery child" has seemed to deprive him of his sound mind after he deprived her of pure love as he has entrapped her in the patriarchy shutting her "wild wild eyes".The fact he shut her eyes, making her sleep, ergo blind to the patriarchy he has entrapped her within, she in turn takes away his sleep forcing him live in the reality of his loneliness without her, and without love.

27

" I saw their ________ ____"- end

starved

28

What is the significance of
"I saw their starved lips" -end

This is significant as in the middle of the ballad the female feeds the knight "manna-dew" which was fed by God to the Israelites after being freed from slavery. The fact that the "pale kings and princes too" have been "starved" suggests that they have gone against God by constraining the lady shutting her "wild wild eyes" and taking her innocence by setting her on his "pacing steed". It could also be inferred that the lady has entrapped the men into loving her, Keats here suggests that love is painful and therefore indicates the tragedy of love which ends the same for everyone, "no birds sing".

29

"The ____ hill side"middle/end

cold

30

What is ironic about the fact the knight says
"And this is why I sojourn here"?

Sojourn means a temporary stay, however it is clearly implied that he is entrapped , the cyclical structure of the "no birds sing" substantiate this further.