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The phrase reflects that the knight is in ail or trouble and distress.The poet asks him why he is sad and wandering alone near the lake where no green grass is left and no bird is singing.
By the very name of the ballad people can deem is to be about negative female stereotypes. Middle The cold wintry weather and the desolate landscape depicted- 'wither'd'- in the first two paragraphs reflect the desolation that poets must endure after their inspiration has left them. harvest's done'- this could be interpreted as the knight being starved for inspiration.
The knight looked hungry as indicated by the 'squirrel's granary is full . The pitiful state of the knight is caused by the sudden lack of poetic imagination and inspiration. 'wild eyes' and long hair are said to be two physical characteristics of Keats' muses, by D'Avanzo.
'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' literally means- 'beautiful woman without pity'.
It is, on the surface, a simple story describing the ill fate of a knight-at-arms.
Introduction LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI Question: Is 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' a poem about negative female stereotypes or about poetic creation and poetic sensibility?
'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' is written in ballad form.The season described in the poem is that of winter.In literature, winter symbolises solitude, sorrow and grief.Her 'elfin grot' could be a metaphor for a sanctuary of imagination and poetry.Poetic inspiration and imagination come to a peak at the grot.This also refers to the fact that the knight-at-arms is grieved.In the second stanza, the poet repeats the same question.There is a refrain in each stanza and incremental repetition.Keats differs slightly in the ballad stanza format making the last line of each stanza shorter than the others.Typically the ballad is dramatic, condensed and impersonal: the narrator begins with the climactic episode, tells the story curtly by means of action or in this case by means of dialogue alone.It is told without self reference or the expression of personal attitudes and feelings. Ballads also employ set formulas including stock descriptive phrases like 'blood-red wine' and 'milk-white steed'.