Context and notes onKeats, Aspects of Narrative

A few brief notes on J.Keats' "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" along with the important sontextual elements. AO2,3 and 4.

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Keats ­ Narrative Poetry
Background
Liberal Education
Father and Grandfather died at an early age NO PATERNAL FIGURE
Worked at Guy's Hospital ­ explains his focus of human form/physical pain and suffering
Work and love for Fanny Brawn could not co-exist- he left for Italy
Other
Victorian readers enjoyed pictorial/luxuriant/sensuous language.
19C readers regard Keats as "a forerunner of the arts for arts' sake movement".
1920s considered his ideas as universal truths.
Industrial Revolution
Patriarchal view of women
La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Structure
Circular
Knight discovered ­ met/"wooed" beautiful woman ­ nightmare ­ discovered by narrator
Form
Ballad ­ Folk like / often told stories which conveyed morals or warnings
ABCB Rhyme Scheme
Iambic Pentameter disrupted every 4th line ­ sense of confusion/mystery/lack of resolve etc.
Metre is constant BUT UNEXPECTED
Voice
Narrator ­ unknown (reliable?) present tense, first person
Knight ­ direct speech, unreliable, past tense, action orientated
Belle Dame ­ no narrative voice
NOTE: Narrator could be (male) imagined by the knight narrative voice is so similar/ never
opposes his actions.
Setting
Desolate represents Knight's mentality "wither'd"
Winter in the countryside: unusual
Medieval moral/mystical elements: BALLAD

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Language
Archaic Language authenticity of medieval setting
Assonance "O" gives haunting aural affect; emphasised by repetition...her singing?
`Faery' repeated supernatural/unknown/dangerous
Emotive language "wild","stranged", "lulled" attitude distorts reception
Theme
Patriarchy ­ suppression of women/importance of men
Role of Women ­ temptress/seductress; is she responsible in this case? (paradox of women)
Magic v.…read more

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