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

Compare 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'Isabella, or The Pot of Basil'.

Extracts from this document...


Natalie Ward Both the poems 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'Isabella, or The Pot of Basil' are by John Keats and are on the theme of love. 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' is about a knight who is not named and about a woman who seems in-human from another land. 'Isabella, or The Pot of Basil' focuses on two realistic characters called Lorenzo and Isabella. Keats has written in the literary tradition called Romanticism, which is where things are not explained and are just implied. La Belle Dame's appearance is described well: "hair was long... foot was light... eyes were wild". This is making the reader visualise what she looks like and we see that she is unreal and "a faery's child". Isabella's beauty is again emphasised by lists and repetition but unlike La Belle Dame, Isabella is a normal ordinary girl: "poor simple Isabel!" ...read more.


The narrator is asking why the knight is acting in such a strange and unusual way: "O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms", this question is the repeated in the second stanza because the knight has not answered. When the knight tells his story it is only from his point of view. Keats characterises Lorenzo by showing that he is very much in love with her: "And with sick longing all the knight outwear, To hear her morning-step upon the stair", but he is not confident enough to express his love to her: "Honeyless days and days did he let pass". His love is only shown through his feelings for Isabella. Like the knight in 'La Belle Dame', Lorenzo is unhappy in love but for different reasons but at the end of the poem this changes and Lorenzo becomes happy. ...read more.


In 'La Belle Dame' we can only see the story through the eyes of the knight. The female is seen as evil but she may not have been really, the female might have just been unhappy and upset because she knows deep down they can never be together because they are from two different worlds: "there she wept and sigh'd full sore". She knows that they are attracted to each other but it would never work. Isabella and Lorenzo are attracted to each other's voice and know each other's movements well: "hear her morning-step upon the stair", Whereas the knight and La Belle Dame know nothing of each other. Therefore one relationship has quick movement of happiness, then happiness and the other is unhappy until they express their love later on. After Lorenzo and Isabella had confessed their feelings to each other they both feel relieved and fulfilled: "Great bliss... Great happiness". This repetition of the word "great" shows us that they are very happy and in love. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry 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 GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. The two poems which I shall analyse and explore are, "Shall I compare thee ...

    The vocabulary and figurative devices used are dissimilar in each poem because of the style of each poem. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" is a sonnet, as opposed to "La Belle Dame sans Merci" which is a ballad.

  2. La Belle Dame Sans Merci Analysis

    The sixth stanza starts to hint that the lady is possibly enchanted or of magical powers as she sings a 'faery's song'. As the subject takes her away on his 'pacing steed' and sees nothing else but her all day long.

  1. Compare the language and form used to express lost love in 'La Belle Dame ...

    In 'When We Two Parted' Lord Byron uses language that expresses a feeling of physical as well as emotional sickness. 'The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow' This gives the impression that Byron's emotional state is making him feel cold, clammy and feverish.

  2. How do the Poets Portray the Theme of Love in the Poems you have ...

    The woman the knight met actually ends up using him and leaving him whilst he was asleep. To conclude the story of the poem, the knight talks about why he prefers to be alone, and this is because he is not going to have his heart broken whilst he is in his own company.

  1. Compare 'My last Dutchess', 'Porphyria's Lover', 'How do i love thee', 'La Belle Dame ...

    The Duchess' humility and good nature to anyone else disgusted him. The Duchess can never know the cause of his anger because the Duke never tells her why. "Or that in you disgust me; here you miss...and I choose never to stoop."

  2. The poems I have chosen to compare are 'First Love' by John Clare, 'How ...

    So much so that he cannot return to the state he was once in. My heart has left its dwelling place And can return no more (L23, 24) This can have two meanings. The first is that his love now belongs to that girl and can never belong to another.

  1. How is the theme of love and loss explored in these poems: (a)My Last ...

    What the poets could be trying to show is how love can, at times, have such control over a person's actions that he/she is unable to control his/her actions and moves according to his/her partner's 'commands'. But, what people in such relationships fail to realise until it is too late

  2. Compare How Keats And Cooper-Clarke Show The Different Attitudes To Love In 'La Belle ...

    However, even if you are lucky enough to truly fall in love you still need to be continually prepared to work hard and to convince the other person of your true devotion. There is a suggestion in this poem that these two people have had a past relationship.

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