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I will be comparing the poems Lochinvar written by Walter Scott in 1808 and Le Belle Dame Sans Merci written on 1820 by John Keats.

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Introduction

Comparison of Poems I will be comparing the poems Lochinvar written by Walter Scott in 1808 and Le Belle Dame Sans Merci written on 1820 by John Keats. Lochinvar and Le Belle Dame Sans Merci are two Romantic poems that claimed popularity in the movement of Romanticism simply because they were short in length, they both tell a story and contain a plot, they were fashionable for the Romantic movement also they were easy to remember and recite. The main and most obvious similarity between the two poems is that they are Romantic. The Romantic period began about 1798 and ended approximately around 1832. Romantic poetry concentrated on nature, feelings and emotions. Furthermore the subject matters of the supernatural and medieval were used. It was a break with the old tradition, that was until the Victorian movement moved in and people, actions, outward morality and reason were more important. Poems such as 'Porphyria's Lover' were written during the Victorian movement. One of the main differences between the two poems would be that Le Belle Dame Sans Merci is a ballad whereas Lochinvar uses rhyming couplets and archaic language. In addition Le Belle Dame Sans Merci could be described as being tragic and heart-rending where Lochinvar is the perfect fairytale with the idyllic ending. ...read more.

Middle

Their families attempt to follow them. The main characters in Lochinvar would be Ellen and Lochinvar. Lochinvar is a Scottish Lord and Knight. He is very brave and bold. We know this because, 'He rode all unarmed and, he rode all alone,' also 'He stopped not for break, and he stopped not for stone,' and 'He swan the Esk River where ford there was none.' There is some speculation that he could be dangerous. We know that Ellen's family is quite well off, the live at Netherby Hall. And Ellen's parents do not approve of Lochinvar. It could be possible that Ellen's marriage could be arranged. Lochinvar and Ellen have been in love for some time so maybe Ellen's parents arranged this marriage to try and exclude Lochinvar from Ellen's life. The story of Le Belle Dame Sans Merci is that of a tragic one, ending in possible death and mystery. The narrator in the poem meets a knight who looks extremely unwell. The narrator asks the knight what is wrong. He continues to tell the narrator that he met a fairy in the field. He made her some jewellery consisting of flowers, then the fairy tells him that she loves him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both Lochinvar and Le Belle Dame Sans Merci concentrate on nature, feelings, emotions and both contain some aspect of supernatural or medieval subject matter. In Lochinvar the feelings and emotions of the two main characters are concentrated on, they are in love but there are some difficulties. Lochinvar himself is the medieval subject matter because he is a knight. In Le Belle Dame Sans Merci the main emotion showed is the heartbreak of the knight. He has fell in love with the fairy but she has left him and now he may face death. The fairy is the supernatural subject matter here. There is a fair bit of natural imagery used in Le Belle Dame Sans Merci, one example being, 'I see a lily on thy brow.' The tone and mood of both poems is different. Lochinvar is quite a dramatic poem. It has a very eventful plot with a heroic love story and a happy ending. This pleases the reader but at some points in the poem may keep them in suspense. The medieval subject matter enhances this. Whereas Le Belle Dame Sans Merci is very dreamlike, within the plot of the poem there is nothing too stimulating. However the poem does not come across boring because the plot itself is quite complex. The element of supernaturalism adds to the poems dreamlike effect. English Literature Kieran Walsh 10E ...read more.

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