La Belle Dame Sans Merci Allusion

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La Belle Dame sans Merci by John Keats means, "The Beautiful Lady without Pity/Mercy”. Keats uses symbolism, allusion and comparison to show that love and abandonment lead to a weak mental state. Keats has the first character, although not actually introduced, as the speaker of the poem use symbolism to show that the images that come with reading the poem have an ambiguous meaning. The first character appears to be a concerned passerby, who sees that the soldier is losing the color of his cheeks, comparing him to “a fading rose, fast witherth too” (Keats 11-12). But there could be another possibility, perhaps the speaker imagines the knight’s “haggard and woe-begone” (Keats 6) condition, and the knight is not wounded after all. In stanzas I and II, the first line “O, what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,” is the same. However, there is a small variation, the second line of stanza I is “Alone and palely loitering” and the second line of stanza II is “So haggard and so woe-begone.” In the first stanza, the speaker describes the knight’s physical…show more content…
The passerby sees “a lily on thy brow” of the knight, he is pale and pallor, the lily could be a symbol for death. The rose or beauty in a sense is “fast withereth” from his cheeks. The “anguist moist and fever death” symbolize sickness as it pulls him closer to dying. The description of the area the knight lays in is particularly interesting, though. The speaker questions the knight why he is hanging around in a “sedge (that) has wither’d from the lake” and in a place where “no birds sing”? But perhaps there is hope, “the squirrels granary is full and the harvest is done”, there is enough to last the winter and bring a new rising in the spring. The knight has a chance, once he overcomes his longing for his long lost

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