La Belle Dame sans Merci Themes

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 924 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the La Belle Dame sans Merci Study Guide

Unrequited Love

With its forlorn, heartbroken narrator suffering the pangs of embarrassment, "La Belle Dame sans Merci" appears to tell readers about the universal situation known as unrequited love. While love felt equally by two parties is a celebrated event in stories and song, unrequited love occurs when the love felt by one person is much stronger than that felt by the person who is loved. The root "requite" comes from "to repay," which indicates a balance that one expects in a love relationship and the sense of unfairness when one person "pays" love out but is not paid back.

In the poem the knight's disappointment would be less severe if he did not believe from the beginning of their affair that the fairy child loved him in equal measure. As it is, she appears to fall in love with the knight just as he is falling for her...

(read more from the Themes section)

This section contains 924 words
(approx. 3 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.