Everything you need to understand or teach La Belle Dame sans Merci by John Keats.
The ballad consists of two parts of dialogue, each uninterrupted by the other and each uncouched by the normal story-telling mechanisms for identifying speakers ("I said," "he said," etc.). Because of this, the identity of the first speaker, whose part is completed in the first twelve lines, remains cryptic. Though he (or, it could equally be argued, she) reveals the identity of the other (the "knight-at-arms"), the first speaker says nothing, at least directly, about himself. He does, however, give plenty of information about the situation of the poem. The time is late autumn, the annual grasses having already "wither'd" and the birds having departed on their winter migration. The place, one can infer, is not always as forbidding as it seems to be nowits desolation is simply due to the time of year. There has been a "harvest," but it has ended. There is latent life present around the... View more of the La Belle Dame sans Merci Summary