The fairy then took the knight to a cave. She cries and he kisses her. The fairy then sings the night to sleep, then he has bad dreams about death. He then wakes and appears to be in a field. A strong possibility is that the whole encounter could have been a dream. The main characters in Le Belle Dame Sans Merci are the Knight, Fairy and the narrator. Nothing of either’s background is given in the poem. We only know the events of the poem. The Fairy is a slight contradiction to what we would expect her to be. Fairies are mostly found in fairytales.
The majority of fairytales are happy, joyful and conclude with a blissful ending. However, in this poem she is portrayed at the end as almost evil and malevolent. The knight also shows some contradiction. Knights are meant to be strong, brave and fearless. This one is dieing and has fallen under the fairy’s spell of love. A very interesting aspect of theses two poems would be the role and view of women portrayed by the poet. In Lochinvar Sir Walter Scott has portrayed his female character as the trapped heroin that is saved by a dashing knight.
Sir Walter Scott’s female character is very feminine. In comparison in Le Belle Dame Sans Merci John Keats has portrayed the fairy as almost evil. This can be looked at in two ways. He has decided to use the fairy like this because he is not particularly fond of women and is determined to put them in a bad light or on the other hand he has decided to make her look powerful and dominant to show women’s equality in society. But the fact that he has used a mythical creature to represent this could mean that he is trying to tell the reader that the idea of women being equal is just a myth.
The style of both poems is Romantic; both were written during the Romantic Movement. Both Lochinvar and Le Belle Dame Sans Merci concentrate on nature, feelings, emotions and both contain some aspect of supernatural or medieval subject matter. In Lochinvar the feelings and emotions of the two main characters are concentrated on, they are in love but there are some difficulties. Lochinvar himself is the medieval subject matter because he is a knight. In Le Belle Dame Sans Merci the main emotion showed is the heartbreak of the knight.
He has fell in love with the fairy but she has left him and now he may face death. The fairy is the supernatural subject matter here. There is a fair bit of natural imagery used in Le Belle Dame Sans Merci, one example being, ‘I see a lily on thy brow. ‘ The tone and mood of both poems is different. Lochinvar is quite a dramatic poem. It has a very eventful plot with a heroic love story and a happy ending. This pleases the reader but at some points in the poem may keep them in suspense. The medieval subject matter enhances this.
Whereas Le Belle Dame Sans Merci is very dreamlike, within the plot of the poem there is nothing too stimulating. However the poem does not come across boring because the plot itself is quite complex. The element of supernaturalism adds to the poems dreamlike effect. English Literature Kieran Walsh 10E Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Keats section.