La belle Dame Sans Merci

BEFORE you post a request for help concerning study assignments or research papers here , PLEASE check with the SEARCH ENGINE above to see if there's already a thread on the subject.

Moderators: Saturn, Malia

La belle Dame Sans Merci

Postby uniqueniqueib » Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:00 am

in this poem in the fifth stanza, second line, last word keats capitalizes the word zone. why? What does it mean? Why is it being personified?
uniqueniqueib
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:37 am

Postby Saturn » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:00 am

'Zone' is not capitalised in any editions I've seen.

A 'fragrant zone' is a kind of belt made from flowers.

There's no suggestion it is being personified.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

Capitalization of Zone in "La Belle"

Postby Papillon » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:55 pm

I have a copy of the manuscript version of "La Belle" in my anthology of Romantic and Victorian Literature that clearly capitalizes Zone, as in . . .

"I made a Garland for her head,
And bracelets, too, and fragrant Zone;
She look'd at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

English Romantic Poetry and Prose by Russell Noyes Published by the Oxford University Press originally in 1956.
"The true voyage of discovery lies not in discovering new landscapes but in having new eyes." ~ Marcel Proust
Papillon
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:38 am
Location: Florida

Postby Saturn » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:10 am

Okay but capitalisation in Keats' day was not as rigidly enforced as it is today.

It still doesn't mean zone is being personified.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

Postby shenbaby » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:13 am

Zone may be representative of a woman's genital "zone", as we know that in this part of the ballade he is having sexual relations with this woman. If it is in fact a belt made from flowers, then there is the reason as to why the Zone is fragrant. As for the capitalization, we have seen in Keats other odes that he idolizes women and their body. We assumed that his "Ode to a Grecian Urn" is a tribute to women: as most of the pictures on the urn portray women and also the urn is significant of a woman's reproductive part due to its shape. Therefore, by capitalizing the word Zone and not any other word besides "La Belle Dame sans Merci" in the whole ballad, he may be emphasizing the sacredness of this woman.
shenbaby
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:38 pm

Postby Papillon » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:16 am

Shenbaby,

Interesting interpretation! I had never thought of it that way before, but I really like what you said. That makes sense to me.
"The true voyage of discovery lies not in discovering new landscapes but in having new eyes." ~ Marcel Proust
Papillon
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:38 am
Location: Florida

Postby dks » Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:22 am

shenbaby wrote:Zone may be representative of a woman's genital "zone", as we know that in this part of the ballade he is having sexual relations with this woman. If it is in fact a belt made from flowers, then there is the reason as to why the Zone is fragrant. As for the capitalization, we have seen in Keats other odes that he idolizes women and their body. We assumed that his "Ode to a Grecian Urn" is a tribute to women: as most of the pictures on the urn portray women and also the urn is significant of a woman's reproductive part due to its shape. Therefore, by capitalizing the word Zone and not any other word besides "La Belle Dame sans Merci" in the whole ballad, he may be emphasizing the sacredness of this woman.


Yes. It is widely interpreted as sensual, erotic imagery...the entire undertone of the poem is just that...with the metaphoric element of good and bad or dark and light--the "faery's child" is illustrative of Eve. She causes the knight to stray from his pure, chivalric code of duty: a quest...as a result he is "alone and palely loitering"--something anathema to what a knight is supposed to do...she takes him away from his path by means of an erotic, and an almost otherworldly feminine allure.
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
User avatar
dks
Dante
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Texas

Postby Saturn » Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:56 pm

shenbaby wrote: we know that in this part of the ballade he is having sexual relations with this woman.


We do not.

Or maybe I'm just being naieve.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

Postby shenbaby » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:11 am

I disagree. Interpretations are the result of one's own personal analysis, and I believe there are many examples that support the sexual relations here.

The inderlying tone here is clearly sexual when Keat's says in the fifth stanza that "She looked at me as she did love, and made sweet moan." Also stanza six, "I set her on my pacing steed, and nothing else saw all day long. For sidelong would she bend, and sing a faery's song." Although there may be a more connotative meaning to these actions, literally these all represent sexual relations.

Also, artwork depicting "La Belle Dame sans Merci" support my argument as all of them are in a meadow (stanza four, "I met a lady in the meads"), paralleling the idea of the common phrase "lying in the grass", which further signifyies sexual relations. Women in the picture have their hair down, as women's hair was thought to be seductive during those times. Some artwork even depict scenes where the man and woman are almost kissing.

So obviously we can assume sexual relations occur in the ballad. I'm not saying that there is not a way to look at the actions in this piece of work more connotatively, however it is obvious that a theme of love and sexuality is found throughout.
shenbaby
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:38 pm

Postby Richard » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:00 pm

Shenbaby I totally agree.
Confessions of a Fairyophile, I have for the last couple of years read 'Pacing steed' as a sexual organ :wink:

richard
Richard
 

First forum post

Postby Halcyon » Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:17 pm

8)

I agree with your arguement shenbaby, there are a lot of sexual connotations in this poem thtat solidify your claim.

Switching gears here though,

In my Ib english class I received this question about the woman potrayed in this ballad.

Is the beautiful woman merely misunderstood?
Is it possible that she is sad and frustrated at the knight?

At first I did think it possible that she could be upset at the knight, due to the fact that in line two of the eigth stanza it says that she "wept and sighed full sore".

But saying that the woman is merely misunderstood cannot be supported because after the woman lulls him to sleep in stanza nine the knight in stanza ten describes seeing pale kings and princes, which obviously symbolize death, and the visions the knight has don't get any better in stanzas eleven and twelve.

Saying that the woman is merely misunderstood seems like an understatement to me and a misinterpretation of the whole poem.

What do you guys think? :?:
Halcyon
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:35 pm

Postby uniqueniqueib » Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:44 am

well im going to have to disagree with you. you could definatly go the way that she is misundrestood. For one thing the pale knights might not mean death as in a physicial death but a heart felt one. Some times people break other's hearts without meaning to do it. Maybe the woman is crying because she knows the unevitable is about to happen and she is about to break another person's heart. Maybe she knows she is about to break his heart because she is not feeling him the way he is feeling her. I do it all the time but i don't mean to.
uniqueniqueib
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:37 am

Postby acrosstheuniverse64 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:46 am

Honestly, I don't think it is possible that the beautiful woman is merely misunderstood, because there is too much obvious deliberation behind her actions and motives. Especially in the lines "she looked at me as she did love/ and made sweet moan" you can see that the woman purposefully lulled the knight into a false sense of security, only to use him and dispose of him.

I think the line "and there she wept, and sigh'd fill sore" also supports the concept of lulling the knight into a false sense of security, portraying herself as the weaker of the two so that the knight would be at ease and let down his guard, where she disposed of him (in whatever way you interpret it).
acrosstheuniverse64
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:35 pm

Postby Saturn » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:49 am

She is a Lamia; she is the predator, preying on the Knight.

There's nothing ambiguous about her behaviour.

Welcome on board the forum by the way acrosstheuniverse64
:D

Beatles fan I presume? :wink:
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3940
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

Postby acrosstheuniverse64 » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:34 pm

Yes a Beatles fan! Very impressive- not many people pick up on that :D

And I was just wondering- what is a Lamia? Is it like a femme fatale? We had a discussion on femme fatale in class the other day, and it was very interesting to discuss the use of this character in modern day movies and literature.
acrosstheuniverse64
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:35 pm

Next

Return to Help and Homework

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests