Themes Of Bright Star And La Belle Dame Sans Merci

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Key themes and experiences in Keats’ poems are reflections of the Romantic concepts popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Themes such as the importance of feelings, experiences in nature and the realities of being in love. These key themes and experiences are explored throughout Keats’ poems ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ and ‘Bright Star’ through the use of a variety of literary devices.

The theme of love is conveyed in both poems but they are portrayed in very contrasting manners. In La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the love is portrayed as courtly love and the suffering that accompanies love whereas the love in Bright Star is demonstrated as pure, innocent and eternal.

In ‘Bright Star’, Keats’ presents the intense and passionate
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The knight is infatuated with “a faery’s child” but as the poem progresses, the readers realize that this beautiful, mystical lady is actually a femme fetale. This is a symbol of Keats’ presentation of love. The knight is in pain and is suffering in love but he is still drawn to the magical, mystical lady. “…she lulled me asleep” further emphasizes Keats’ interpretation of the reality of love. This enchantment alludes to mythical figures such as the Greek goddess Circe who enchanted knights and soldiers into her lair and then turns them into pigs. This is a symbolic reference to love and how one is entranced by a lover’s attraction. Keats’ describes the fantasy of love as “I made a garland for her head, And bracelets too.” Flowers are commonly associated with love and life and this is an innocent symbol of the knight’s love for the femme fetale. Keats’ contrasts this innocence with the reality of love “I see a lily on thy brow”. Lilies are associated with death so these flowers symbolize the death of the knight’s hope in getting the love of the lady. This is further explored in “…on thy cheeks a fading rose.” Roses are a symbol of love but the knight’s rose is “fading” and “withering”. This is a metaphor to indication the end of the relationship and the realization by the knight that the lady doesn’t love him back. It shows that as his rejection increases, it is slowly seeping the life out of him, draining away his youth. The use of personification and pathetic fallacy of nature further extends and emphasizes the melancholy mood of the knight. “The sedge has withered from the lake, and no birds sing” uses nature to reflect the knight’s emotional state. The dull and weary landscape of winter mirrors the misery and disorientation that the knight is feeling because the femme fetale does not return his love. Therefore the

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