Essay about The Presentation of Women in La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Mariana

Essay about The Presentation of Women in La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Mariana

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The Presentation of Women in La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Mariana

Though both poems have the common theme of unrequited love, Keats and
Tennyson assign very different characteristics to the women in their
poems. In "Mariana", the woman is submissive and a victim of cruelty,
whereas La Belle Dame in "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" is the more
powerful of the man and woman in the poem, and the one inflicting the
cruelty. In both poems, the landscapes mirror these characteristics,
and even the feelings of these two women. The landscape is also
symbolic of Mariana, as she is mortal and will eventually die as
plants die, and seasons change. She is therefore more naturalistic
than the mysterious Belle Dame is. Her mystery is further enhanced by
the Arthurian flavour which Keats associates with her, just as
Tennyson writes of the Mariana in Shakespeare's "measure for measure".

Mariana is presented by Tennyson as passive due to the lack of action
she takes in her situation. Instead, she simply wishes she were dead,
and does not even take action into killing herself, showing he...

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