Commentary over La Belle Dame Sans Merci - Commentary on La...

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Commentary on “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” John Keats depicts the idea that love isn’t always what is seems in a rather melancholy and morose story about a knight who thought he had found true love. In this ballad, an anonymous speaker asks a knight who is sitting solemnly the reason why he is so forlorn. The knight responds by telling the speaker the tragic story while also cautioning the speaker of the danger of this land. Employing a parabolic form, Keats fills the ballad with rich visual imagery and the motif of death and decay to teach both the anonymous speaker and the reader to beware of insincere gestures of affection . From the very beginning the motif of death and decay is expressed. In line 2 where it states that the knight-at-arms was “palely loitering”, the reader can easily visualize the weary knight who has been waiting for a long time and who is probably near death. In stanza two, the description of the knight is continued as he is depicted as being “haggard” and “woe-begone.”

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