La Belle Dame sans Merci Questions and Answers
by John Keats

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How is "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" a romantic poem?

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Nona Stiltner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The poem "La Belle Sans Merci" can be considered a romantic poem because of the fleeting love between the fairy lady and the knight. The poem ends tragically, with the knight losing the love of the beautiful fairy woman, but the love still existed, and the knight is sick and forlorn specifically because of his romantic feelings. The poem may be a reflection on the fleetingness of many romantic encounters and may even be a declaration of how, so often, romantic love does not last the length of one's lifetime and often ends in hurt. The knight, even in his sadness and corpse-like state, is still enthralled with the lady and is consumed by the romance that he had with her and the love he has lost.

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Scott David eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It's important to keep in mind that Romanticism was, at its core, a reaction against the cold rationalism espoused by the Enlightenment. The Romantics emphasized ideals such as passion, emotion, and beauty. It was a spirit founded in fierce individualism.

"La Belle Dame sans Merci " is certainly a...

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