Literature Study GuidesLa Belle Dame Sans Merci

La Belle Dame Sans Merci | Study Guide

John Keats

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Course Hero. "La Belle Dame Sans Merci Study Guide." April 4, 2019. Accessed July 13, 2020.


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John Keats

Year Published





Drama, Fantasy

Perspective and Narrator

In "La Belle Dame sans Merci" two first-person narrators are in conversation. The first three stanzas are a question posed to the second, dominant narrator. The second narrator carries the remaining nine stanzas.


The poem "La Belle Dame sans Merci" is told in the present and past tense.

About the Title

The French phrase "La Belle Dame sans Merci" translates as "The Beautiful Lady without Mercy." Mercy is used here in its sense of pity. The dominant narrator (a knight-at-arms) meets a beautiful lady who woos him and abandons him.


This study guide for John Keats's La Belle Dame Sans Merci offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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