• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What similarities and differences are there between the way women are represented in La Belle Dame sans Merci and The Lady of Shallot?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jonathan Green March 2002 What similarities and differences are there between the way women are represented in La Belle Dame sans Merci and The Lady of Shallot? Both of these poems are about mysterious, yet very interesting and beautiful women, 'Full beautiful- a faery's child', this is the opening description of La Belle Dame, in The Lady of Shalott it describes her as a fairy, 'Tis the fairy'. There are many similarities between the two poems: Both of the poems are set in a medieval world with knights and other symbols of the old historical period, 'To many- tower'd Camelot', 'Four gray walls, four gray towers'. The Lady of Shalott is based in a tower overlooking the medieval town of Camelot. In La Belle Dame the poem involves a sad knight who is taken to a cave by the woman, 'O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms'. Both of these poems have been inspired by something that had happened the writer for them to write it. ...read more.

Middle

'As he rode down to Camelot. From the bank and from the river He flash'd into the crystal mirror'. The word, 'flash'd' is significant here because it really showed that he was special to her. Both of these romantic relationships end disastrously, in The Lady of Shallot, she breaks the curse, which makes everything fly out of the window, and she dies in the end in the little boat. 'Out flew the web and floated wide; the mirror cracked from side to side.' The curse took effect, after this she died, 'Singing her song she died'. In La Belle Dame, the knight feels as though he has been cursed by her and he dreams of princes and warriors, all pale as death. They shouted a terrible warning- they were the woman's slaves. And now he was her slave too. 'They cried- 'La Belle Dame sans Merci'' There are a few differences between the women though: Both of the women link to destroying, La Belle Dame destroys the knight but the Lady of Shalott is destroyed by the curse because she liked the knight. ...read more.

Conclusion

The feelings of the Lady of Shalott her centred entirely around her as she is alone, while La Belle Dame's feelings are centered around the knight. La Belle Dame takes the initiative while the Lady of Shalott cannot help herself from looking out of the window and bringing on the curse, 'She saw the helmet and the plume'. From the poems there are some conclusions that we can draw: Both women have a lot of similarities and differences as we have seen Each of us lives partly in a world of make- believe. It shows that all good things must come to an end such as with the knight waking up from his dream. There are some explanations of life, in that telling us we are in a trap, and that eventually we will die. We know this from the experiences of John Keats, the writer of La Belle Dame, who used his own experiences in writing the poem. Life is even like a drug, which Keats had seen of experiences from, one can be on a high and then it wears off and one is on a low. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level John Keats section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level John Keats essays

  1. The interplay of dreams and reality is frequently found within John Keats' poems.

    The beginning of the first stanza's imagery is familiar from 'Ode to a Nightingale': "No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist Wolfe's bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine...." In this poem, however, the theme is predominantly about how melancholy should be confronted, with full consciousness of the experience.

  2. Write a detailed critical analysis of ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’, based upon your ...

    It disrupts what would otherwise be a smooth rhythm. It is not until stanza four that the 'main story' begins, in the style of a flashback. He met an extremely beautiful lady one day in the meads, and obviously got to know her. He says she is "a faery's child".

  1. A Commentary La Belle Dame Sans Merci By John Keats.

    This should be considered as the moment when the knight's misery commences. Another, yet stronger example of this is found in the next stanza, "And there she lulled me asleep," (L. 33). This line is attention-grabbing since it is not only the start of the knight's misery, but can also

  2. How successfully does Keats address the theme of love and loss in La Belle ...

    "In thrall" not only applies that the knight is enslaved or captivated by the woman, but it sounds like "enthral" which means enchanted or obsessed, which the knight is with the woman. The woman, "in language strange", tells the knight that, "I love thee true", the strangeness makes it seem

  1. Compare and Contrast the two poems Ballad and La Belle Dame Sans Merci. Comment ...

    The first three stanzas also show that it is winter when the knight is encountered, which is appropriate for his mood. 'No Birds Sing' 'The squirrel's granary is full And the harvest's done' These all represent winter, as it is winter when the harvest is done and the birds do

  2. How do the poems you have studied portray women? Refer to at least two ...

    'Her hair was long and her foot was light', 'Her eyes were wild', perhaps relating to the empowering side of 'La belle dame'. Keats reinforces his point by using 'wild eyes' once again in the later part of the poem.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work