La Belle Dame sans Merci Essay

This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of La Belle Dame sans Merci.
This section contains 3,265 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the La Belle Dame sans Merci Study Guide

The first three stanzas, which make dramatic the subsequent narrating and excite a symbolic reading, introduce nine precisely balanced stanzas containing the main narrative (4-12). The progress of the knight in the first four (4-7) comes to a climax in the central one (8) when he is taken into the elfin grot, and in the last four (9-12) he withdraws from the grot. The withdrawal brings the poem back to the scene with which it began, the completion of the circular movement being marked by the fact that the last stanza echoes the first.

Whatever the specific source may have been, the narrative clearly belongs to a folk legend best known in the form of the mediaeval ballad "Thomas Rymer." In the version available to Keats in Robert Jamieson's Popular Ballads, 1806 (the variant in Scott's Minstrelsy differs in a few important details), Thomas encounters a beautiful lady whom he...

(read more)

This section contains 3,265 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the La Belle Dame sans Merci Study Guide
Copyrights
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.