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

The Women in 'My Last Duchess' and 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' Represent Two Very Different Kinds of Personality. Through a Comparison of Both Poems, Explain What These Differences are and What Effect the Women Have on the Men Around Them.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ellen Adams 11ZA2 The Women in 'My Last Duchess' and 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' Represent Two Very Different Kinds of Personality. Through a Comparison of Both Poems, Explain What These Differences are and What Effect the Women Have on the Men Around Them. Although two very different poems, there are many similarities as well as differences between 'My Last Duchess' and 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci'. In this essay I am going to compare and contrast the two poems written by Robert Browning (My last Duchess) and John Keats (La belle dame sans merci). I am also going to examine what affect they have upon their lovers and the men around them. There are many noticeable differences between the Duchess and the Belle Dame. Firstly, they both have very different kinds of personality. The Duchess tends to be quite sweet and unprovoking. She is also very unaware of the feelings she generates between her and other men :- 'The bough of cherries some officious fool broke in the orchard for her'. ...read more.

Middle

The Duchess was also in love with only one man- the Duke (though he thought otherwise), whilst La belle dame fell in love with many. The Belle Dame is very aware of her beauty and uses it as a lethal weapon against any man who ventures near her. The Duchess is completely the opposite though. Being very shy, she doesn't realise her true beauty and appeal to men other than the Duke. Both women, however, have maddening effects on their lovers. The Duchess by making the Duke so jealous of her appeal to other men, that he murders her, and the Belle Dame, by sending the Knight so insane that he simply ventures around the meads 'alone and palely loitering'. The Duke and Knight play crucial parts in the scenes and themes of both poems. They have very contrasting personalities to one another. The knight is very gullible and naive- in falling in love with a woman he knows is an evil and unreal person- though he can do nothing to prevent this. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem also contains run on lines with no particular punctuation at intervals, unlike in 'La Belle Dame'. The background sources used by Keats and Browning are very unlike. There is a lot of history used in both poems. At the time Robert Browning wrote 'My last Duchess' there was a large influence in Italy in particular over possessions and status. The story of the Borgias family who paid people to kill those they did not like or were not on friendly terms with, also gave him ideas. John Keats, though, was influenced by the thoughts and beliefs of people in 1795-1821. This was the time in which legends such as monsters and witches were at the centre of everyone's minds. It was the idea of witches, which probably gave Keats the name of his poem. In those times, the word for witch was 'Bedlam' which sounds like 'Belle Dame', so that could be significant. So, altogether there are many similarities and contrasts between 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'My Last Duchess' and both teach valuable lessons about life but also give insights into the lives and beliefs of some people in those times. 1097 words ...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 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 GCSE John Keats essays

  1. I will be comparing the poems Lochinvar written by Walter Scott in 1808 and ...

    We only know the events of the poem. The Fairy is a slight contradiction to what we would expect her to be. Fairies are mostly found in fairytales. The majority of fairytales are happy, joyful and conclude with a blissful ending. However, in this poem she is portrayed at the end as almost evil and malevolent.

  2. La Belle Dame Sand Merci

    He starts by describing her beauty, 'full beauty - a feary's child'. The poet is here giving a picture of bright and breath taking beauty as usually fairies are very sweet and pretty creatures. He adds to this description of the lady by saying that ' her hair was long,

  1. Compare how nature is presented in two Romantic Poems

    It gives you the sense that autumn really is slowing down. However, the tempo is a little faster at the beginning of the poem, to emphasise the fact that it is connected to Summer at the beginning by the "ripeness and fruitfulness".

  2. A comparison of To Autumn and La Belle Dame Sans Merci on how they ...

    In La Belle Dame Sans Merci imagery related to the senses is more complicated than in To Autumn. There is imagery appealing to the senses that is a blur between positive and negative. "Full beautiful - a faery's child" describes beauty that is supernatural, somebody so beautiful that it simply cannot be real.

  1. Compare and contrast La Belle Dans Sans Merci and To Autumn by John Keats

    However, Keats cleverly personifies "autumn", he gives it human qualities: "Thee sitting careless on a granary floor" In the second stanza, Keats could be talking of someone he loves and respects rather than a season. Throughout "To Autumn", there is a sense of life and fulfilment, this being the complete opposite of "La Belle Dans Sans Merci".

  2. What similarities and difference have you noticed in 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' by ...

    He asks the knight what's wrong with him. The knight is describes to be "haggard" and look like he's been 'dragged through a hedge backwards.' His face is pale and he seems to be sweating. The knight then starts to tell his tale. The knight uses simple language and explains that he meet a beautiful girl dancing gracefully.

  1. Romantic Poetry - I am trying to ascertain whether 2 certain poems fall in ...

    Calling the skylark "Sprite or Bird," the speaker asks it to tell him its "sweet thoughts," for he has never heard anyone or anything call up "a flood of rapture so divine." Compared to the skylarks, any music would seem lacking.

  2. I have decided to use the following poems in my essay - The Poison ...

    He seems to fall in love with her and does everything for her, like make her garlands and necklaces. " I made a garland for her head, And bracelets too, and fragrant zone " She gives him food and drink and he goes to sleep, waking up later to find

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