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The Eve of St. Agnes'' (Keats), ''LaBelle Dame Sans Merci'' (Keats) and ''Mariana''all depict different visions of women hood - Compare the contrasting views of women in the three poems.

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Introduction

''The Eve of St. Agnes'' (Keats), ''La Belle Dame Sans Merci'' (Keats) and ''Mariana'' all depict different visions of women hood. Compare the contrasting views of women in the three poems. In the two poems "Mariana'' and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci'' and the extract from ''The Eve of Saint Agnes'' the poets portray three diverse perceptions of women. The reader distinguishes a woman as a temptress, a woman whom is vulnerable and is dependent on man, and a woman who is nubile and is innocently seductive. "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" is a ballad, written in 1819. In this ballad, the femme fatale deceives the Wretched Wright she meets. He falls in love with the Belle Dame instantly and is convinced that she too is in love with him; "She look'd at me as she did love". The Tempter is "beautiful, a faery's child"; the Belle Dame looks magnificent on the outer surface however beauty is only skin deep as there is an inner wickedness about her. Her "eyes were wild" and she enchants the Wretched Wright with "faery's song's". 'Faery's' were thought to be from 'another place'. ...read more.

Middle

In 'The Eve of Saint Agnes' and 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' the reader understands man to be dependant on woman, he is cast under loves spell, blinded by his lovers seduction. In both these poems the male becomes enchanted and entranced, "she took me to her elfin grot", is how La Bell Dame captivates the Wretched Wright. In the Eve of St. Agnes" the woman naively and unintentionally temps Porphyro, "She seem'd a splendid angel, newly dust, Save wings, for heaven: -Porphyro grew faint: She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint." In the poem ''Mariana'' love is negative and it makes Mariana sick and lonely, "I would that I were dead." At this point the reader now recognizes the third vision of woman. Unlike Porphyro who is dependent on Madeline, "Stol'n to his paradise, and so entranced, Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress" Mariana is vulnerable and dependent on men. Her world is collapsing before her eyes, "The broken sheds looked sad and strange." She constantly mourns for her lost lover, "Her tears fell with the dews at even; Her tears fell ere the dews were dried." ...read more.

Conclusion

The "Wintry moon," is associated with cold colours and therefore has a negative emotion, though when the cold image "...Threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast," the icy picture is turned into an optimistic sensations by changing the feeling to warms colours which we associate with love. In "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" the Wretched Wright is additionally given a likeness by Keats, "Alone and palely loitering", we too connect this image with gloomy, suffering love. As if he is colourless like the "Pale warriors, death-pale were they all." Love had taken away all their cheerful colours along with leaving them weak and defenceless. In conclusion through these poems the reader explores the limitations of society and the influence of these restrictions on women. The reader also observes the power and beauty of love as well as the result it has on people. In all three poems the last line of the poems and the extract demonstrates this; "Oh God, that I were dead!" "For if thy diest, my Love, I know not where to go", "And no birds sing." I think that in all three endings Keats's and Tennyson some up the distress caused by love and the penalty of its addiction very admirably when looking into the poems not at first glance. ...read more.

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