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Show how "Kubla Khan" and "La Belle Dame sans Merci" create imaginative effects rather than specific themes and meanings. Describe your response to the poems, and explain how the writers create it.

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Introduction

ictl Show how ?Kubla Khan? and ?La Belle Dame sans Merci? create imaginative effects rather than specific themes and meanings. Describe your response to the poems, and explain how the writers create it. The poems ?Kubla Khan? by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and ?La Belle Dame sans Merci? (The Beautiful Woman without Pity) by John Keats were both published during the early 19th century, although Kubla Khan was written in the late 1790s. Although the poems differ in many ways, they both depict many vivid images and both are ambiguous in meaning. Both also involve some sort of dream: ?Kubla Khan? was written based on an opium-induced dream and the knight in ?La Belle Dame sans Merci? has a dream on the hill?s side. Both Coleridge and Keats were poets of the English Romantic movement, and both focussed on emotion and natural surroundings in their poems. In ?Kubla Khan?, Coleridge starts the poem in iambic tetrameter in the first four lines: ?In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man?. The first line features sound reversal: ?In Xanadu did Kubla Khan? and the first two lines feature alliteration: ?Kubla Khan? and ?dome decree?. ...read more.

Middle

The alliteration here helps to create an image of a dark and unnerving place. A simile is used to compare the chasm about to erupt: ?As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing?, again creating an image of magma or water about to be erupted. Coleridge describes ?dancing rocks? being flung up. The use of the word ?dancing? helps to illustrate an image of how the chasm flung the rocks ?like rebounding hail?. Coleridge then revisits the Alph river, first described earlier in the poem. It is again described and repeated as ?sacred?, showing the importance of the river. Coleridge combines assonance and alliteration in one line to describe the river flowing: ?Five miles meandering with a mazy motion?. The river then runs ?Through wood and dale? and ?caverns measureless to man? and ends at ?a lifeless ocean?, similar to the ?sunless sea? described in the first stanza. All of these quotations depict a strong image of the river and allow the reader to think back to the introduction, where the river was first described. Coleridge seems to completely change the subject away from the river and the pleasure-dome to ?A damsel with a dulcimer?. ...read more.

Conclusion

The quotation ?anguish moist and fever dew? shows that the knight is ill, possibly sweating. The fourth stanza switches the narration role to the knight, who depicts the ?belle dame? as ?full beautiful ? a faery?s child?. The knight goes on to describe her: ?Her hair was long, her foot was light, And her eyes were wild.? Here, Keats illustrates an image of the ?belle dame? and introduces her as an interesting character, a mysterious woman. The sixth stanza shows the knight putting the ?belle dame? on his steed, from which they saw ?nothing else [?] all day long?. This further shows the emptiness of their location. Keats also describes how the ?belle dame? ?would she bend, and sing A faery?s song.? This creates an image of the ?belle dame? enchanting the knight. The next stanza features assonance and alliteration in the first line: ?She found me roots of relish sweet?, which shows an image to the reader of the ?belle dame? offering the . The last two lines also create an imaginative effect: ?And sure in language strange she said - / ?I love thee true?.? This quotation raises two points. One of them is that if the ?belle dame? is speaking in ?language strange?, the knight should not have understood what she was saying. ...read more.

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