La belle Dame Sans Merci

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Postby Saturn » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:40 pm

If you read Keats' poem Lamia you will know what I mean.

Also check out this wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamia_%28mythology%29
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Kaki » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:22 pm

I read a book once that used Lamia as a Snake-Woman, sort of like a were-wolf with the ability to change from an alluring woman to a hidious creature that's half and half with rather devious ethics... Now I have not yet read Lamia, and I have full intent to, I just thought I'd share where I first encountered the word and its usage there.

The book by the way was in the Anita Blake series, I don't remember which specific novel, but don't read them just cause I mentioned them. It is a fantasy-horror-gore-vampire-zombie-etc sort of book. Good, but quick and easy to read... And there is some suggestive stuff in it just as a warning for the curious.
Last edited by Kaki on Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kaki » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:29 pm

wOw... Wiki has a very detailed explaination...

My only complaint about wikipedia, there aren't authors for the articles. :cry:
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Postby AhDistinctly » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:46 pm

I found a very thorough examination of La Belle Dame Sans Merci on the pathguy.com site. A very thoughtful writer, this doctor puts the poem into its linear context with other events in Keats life at the time . I especially enjoyed the medical perspective on the dying knight!

Here is the link: http://www.pathguy.com/lbdsm.htm
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Postby Black Fire » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:00 am

First of all I do see the sexual side of this poem. But the first time I read a different imagery was shown to me. I saw this poem being about Keats death. Such as Keats is portraying in his mind what he thinks/wishes to happen when he dies.
I do believe that he already had his first sign of his fatal disease when he wrote this poem, and after seeing his mother and brother die of this same disease, he wasn't at that highest of hopes.
In the first 3 stanzas he is giving the reader a setting, what i see in my mind as i read them is a winter morning with dew drops by a lake all in silence, and his body lying near the lake, the fading rose, as if it was left there for some time now is on him showing his death "And on thy check a fading rose Fast withereth too." Then in stanza 4 its like the saying your life flashes in front of your eyes before you die, here i think he is flashing back to when he met Fanny. "I met a lady in the meads......"
And the pacing stead would be his body on the lake, pale. "For sideways she would lean, and sing....." She is saying her last goodbye to Keats. Stanza 7, her last sight of him. Stanza 7, she says her last "I love thee true" to him. Stanza 8, "...And there she gazed, and sighed deep, and there i shut her wild wild eyes..." His death has her lose her wildness about her, as they were to be married but he died before they could. Stanzas 9 and ten:

" And there we slumber'd on the moss,
And there I dream'd - Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream'd
On the cold hill side.

"I saw pale kings, and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale
were they all;
They cried - 'La Belle Dame sans Marci
Hath thee in thrall!'

the latest dream = his last dream, he thinks him dying is a dream, he sees pale kings ext. meaning he sees the spirits/ghosts because he became one.
One the cold hill side = the non-living side / death
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:42 am

Very interesting interpretation Black Fire.
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Postby acrosstheuniverse64 » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:44 am

Thank you for the website link, Saturn- very informative. And I think the "serpant woman" description is very fitting to La Belle. Do you think that this poem represents how Keats felt toward women or that he was voicing laments of past experiences? Or was he simply telling the story of a knight?
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Postby Saturn » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:51 am

I think its a bit of all three.

Keats could be a bit chauvinistic in his way [the Regency period itself was particularly noted for this] so he did sometimes see women as serpents, temping men and distracting them from important things. He often lamented that his love affair with Fanny for example took away from his writing.
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