Analysis Of John Keats 's Poem, La Belle Dame Sans Merci ; Keats Choice Of A Dramatic Poem
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With its emphasis on the imagination, idealism and individualism, Romanticism emerged as a response to the discouragement with the Enlightenment values of reason and order in the aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789. In his poems, the Romantic John Keats explicitly shows an occurrence of feeling and creative energy instead of insight and reason. Keats use of strong imagery ranges among all our physical sensations such as sight, hearing, touch and smell, and Keats combines these senses into one image to produce a sensual effect and shape our interpretations of his Romantic poems. Keats opens to others to the world and the immortal subjects of Love, Death, Time, and Loneliness. Certainly, this intensity of feeling, the transcendence to the sublime, and rich imagery that suggests emotion in the reader is evident in "Ode to a Nightingale." In “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” Keats choice of a dramatic poem because it consists of a speaker narrating what happens to the characters along with dramatic scenes. With the dramatic poem structure Keats is able to represent the perceptions and state of mind of the knight, reflecting that the knight is imagining all that he speaks of. Both poems “Ode to a Nightingale” and “La Belle Dame San Merci” by John Keats’ show sheer association with Romanticism.
With "Ode to a Nightingale," Keats 's speaker begins his fullest and deepest exploration of the themes of creative expression and the mortality of human life. In this ode, the transience of life and the tragedy of old age ("where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs, / Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies") is set against the eternal renewal of the nightingale 's fluid music ("Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird!"). The...
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...y gone, “the world is described as one from which life has receded, using images associated with natures death each winter: the squirrels have stored their provisions for the long dead months, the grass in the lake has withered, and the birds have quit singing” (Galens 21). “The only signs of living nature after the lady disappears are the fading ones on the knights’ face” (Galens 21).
The characters, the settings, and the images of nature in the poem show romantic characteristics. The background information on the romantic period proves the poem to be a romantic poem. “In the terms of chivalric belief systems, earthly love is mortally serious concept: it is at once an all consuming renunciation of and at the same time the earthly manifestation of heavenly love.” (Galens 20). John Keats was a romantic poet and his poem “La Belle Dame sans Merci” is a romantic poem.