Womanhood in The Eve of St. Agnes and La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Mariana by Keats

1207 Words 5 Pages
Womanhood in The Eve of St. Agnes and La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Mariana by Keats

In the two poems "Mariana'' and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci'' and the extract from ''The Eve of Saint Agnes'' the poets portray three diverse perceptions of women. The reader distinguishes a woman as a temptress, a woman whom is vulnerable and is dependent on man, and a woman who is nubile and is innocently seductive.

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci" is a ballad, written in 1819. In this ballad, the femme fatale deceives the Wretched Wright she meets. He falls in love with the Belle Dame instantly and is convinced that she too is in love with him; "She look'd at me as she did love". The
Tempter is "beautiful, a faery's child"; the Belle Dame looks
…show more content…
At this point he seems to relate to the Wretched Wright as they both undergo suffering during the wait for their loves. Madeline and the Belle Dame give the impression they are similar too, they together appear beautiful, pure virgins. "Her hair was long, her foot was high", the Belle Dame was un-married. In the 'Eve of St. Agnes' the title proposes to the reader that 'St. Agnes' is Madeline, she is "like a saint", "so pure a thing". With this supremacy they both seduce their men. Nevertheless the reader knows that Madeline wakes up and puts Porphyro out of his misery and yet he may not appear as fantastic as in her dreams. They love each other and Porphyro does not need to suffer any longer and love now becomes a positive thing unlike in ''La Belle Dame Sans
Merci'' and in ''Mariana''.

In all three poems love is associated with suffering and anguish.
Although the hapless victim of loves intent differs from poem to poem.
In 'The Eve of Saint Agnes' and 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' the reader understands man to be dependant on woman, he is cast under loves spell, blinded by his lovers seduction. In both these poems the male becomes enchanted and entranced, "she took me to her elfin grot", is how La Bell Dame captivates the Wretched Wright. In the Eve of St.
Agnes" the woman naively and unintentionally temps Porphyro,

"She seem'd a splendid angel, newly dust,

Save wings, for heaven: -Porphyro grew

Related Documents