essay 2 - Abrar Habib College Writing 14 October 2016 La...

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Abrar HabibCollege Writing 14 October 2016“La Belle Dame sans Merci”The ballad form of poetry draws from a medieval were the twelve stanza, quatrainpattern is used. Nineteenth-Century British poet John Keats employs the art ballad to communicate a theme of heartbroken love. The poem “La Belle Dame sans Merci” takes place in English countryside. We mark the time period in the late Twelfth to early Thirteenth Century during the Age of Chivalry. A passerby observes a distressed knight who appears defeated. The poem unfolds in four major movements. Seemingly lost and abandoned, the knight lingers by a mysterious lake.Movement one develops character and setting. In stanza one, a concerned passerby first questions the distraught knight. Making a respectful inquiry, he asks “O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms / Alone and palely loitering?” (1. 1, 2). His appearance seems contrary to the ideal image of a knight. In a further observation, the passerby notes“The sedge has withered from the lake / And no birds sing” (1. 3, 4). A decaying environment reflects the knight’s declining condition.In stanza two, we witness a displaced-knight cast into the bleak change of seasons. Pressing the knight even further, the passerby asks “O what can ail thee … So haggard and so woe-begone?” (2. 5, 6). The knight’s appearance uncharacteristically suggests exhaustion and melancholy. With a final acknowledgment of the unusual setting, the passerby comments “The squirrel’s granary is full / And the harvest’s done” (2. 7, 8). The late autumn season reinforces the knight’s evidently unfortunate situation.Stanza three depicts the night’s deteriorating condition. To engage the downcast knight, the passerby notes “I see a lily on the thy brow / With anguish moist and fever
Habib 2dew” (3. 9, 10). The knight’s sickly demeanor alarms the passerby.

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