La Belle Dame sans Merci Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature at Oakton Community College. In this essay, Kelly examines the many ways in which Keats explores subjective reality in the poem.

One of the most notable things about John Keats's ballad "La Belle Dame sans Merci" is the sly way it presents one of the key issues of romantic philosophy, that of objective versus subjective reality. The quick, simple understanding—the encyclopedia version—is that romantic poets favor subjectivism, particularly those who, like Keats, wrote at the height of the romantic period and helped define the movement, but also those aligned with romanticism to this day. Their world view is generally characterized as a writer focusing on his or her own experience, with no regard for the variety of perspectives that can occur when other points of view are considered.

The central figure in "La Belle Dame sans Merci...

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This section contains 1,683 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the La Belle Dame sans Merci Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
La Belle Dame sans Merci from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.