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    ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’, ‘Ballad’, ‘First love’ and ‘The flea’ Essay

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    In this essay I will be comparing the poets present the theme of love in ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’, ‘Ballad’, ‘First love’ and ‘The flea’. In ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ the feeling of love put forward by the poet is that love can be good but once rejected you can fell as though you are at deaths door. The poem ballad gives you a sense of feeling of being used when you love someone then hating them after. ‘ First love’ impression of how you feel when you fall in love for the first time.

    The poem ‘The Flea’ shows the desperation for sex through love. I aim to discover how each poem presents love, the differences and similarities in each one. I will mainly be looking at the language and structure, but will also be taking the audience, purpose and mood into consideration. I believe that all the poems give a different view on love. I will be using quotes to support my ideas on the aspects I choose to look at in the 4 different poems. All four of the poems share the same theme of love but all from different perspectives.

    The Flea’ is wrote about sexual love, the way this man wants to have sex with this woman desperately, but she is turning him down. “A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead. ” He says this to put forward that it wouldn’t be a shameful and that she has had sex before so there is no loss of virginity, so why wont you have sex with me? ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ is about a man who falls passionately in love with a woman who he meets. He is infatuated with her so much that when she deserts him he feels so empty inside he feels he can’t go on.

    Ballad is about the way; a man came and stole a young woman’s heart! And virginity then left her with a child and lies. “He has two hearts and I have none; he’ll be a rogue when I am gone. ” Suggests she feels deeply sad and angry as she is saying she has no heart. Also where it says “when I am gone. ” gives an impression of this woman contemplating suicide. The poem ‘First Love’ describes a situation where a man has fallen in love for the first time. It says “And stole my heart away complete.

    My face turned pale as deadly pale, my legs refused to walk away. Shows that he isn’t in control of what he’s doing; he has just fallen in love with her at first sight, and his legs aren’t responding. The poet tries to create a semantic field of being nervous here. It shows how he doesn’t quite know what to do, as he can’t move his legs, he wants to but also is curious and doesn’t want to move at the same times, this creates a feeling and atmosphere of nervousness To make the reader more involved. All the poems are about love, but different aspects of it.

    The poems ‘Ballad’ and ‘La Belle’ are quite similar in the way that the woman in ‘Ballad’ and the man in ‘La Belle… have both been rejected by the people they are in love with. But the difference is that the man in ‘La Belle… ‘ still loves the woman after she leaves him. But the woman in ‘Ballad’ hates the man for leaving her. Also in both these poems they are committing/thinking of committing suicide. In ‘Ballad’ she says, “Left me to want a bed of clay. ” Meaning she wants to die as her life has fallen to pieces.

    However in ‘La Belle… ‘ the man is just “loitering” and doing nothing, which is killing him slowly. Ballad and ‘La Belle… both have similar stanza lengths, syllabic counts and have around the same amount of stanzas these lengths/amounts have been chosen so the poems rhyme better and to make the poem easier for reading. However the poems ‘The Flea’ and ‘First Love’ have the same amount of stanzas and have a similar syllabic count. All the poems have a regular rhyming scheme some better than others. The two poems ‘La Belle’ and ‘Ballad’ are both written in the ballad form, they both tell a story. The poem ‘Ballad’ has a better form as it starts on “A faithless Shepard courted me.

    He stole away my liberty. ” They are talking in the past, and straight away you can tell that the poem is going to be a ballad. Whereas ‘La Belle… ‘ starts “O what can ail thee knight at arms alone and palely loitering? ” This doesn’t show that the poem is a ballad, to find out the poem is a ballad you must read on. The poems all use nature to represent something or to express a feeling. ‘La Belle… ‘ uses a picture of “cold hills. ” To express his loneliness as the woman had left. The poem ‘The Flea’ uses the flea to represent the man and the woman’s love and their sexual contact.

    The poem ‘Ballad’ uses nature to show the woman’s feeling, where it says “My soul with god, my body clay. ” Expresses her contemplating suicide, also when she expresses how she has made an awful life for her and her child. She uses nature to represent it “I’ve made its pillow on a thorn. ” ‘First Love’ uses nature in the third stanza to show confusion “Are flowers the winters choice? ” and “is loves bed always snow? ” The poet uses interrogatives here to show that the man in the poem is confused and doesn’t understand why things are happening the way they are.

    To conclude my essay I would like to say that I have looked very closely at all 4 poems and have thoroughly compared and contrasted them all. I have decided that the poems ‘Ballad’ and ‘La Belle… ‘ are the most similar of all the poems in several different ways. They are both about being in love with someone then being rejected, they also have a similar stanza length, syllabic count, amount of stanzas and both have a regular rhyming scheme. ‘First Love’ and ‘The Flea’ are more alike with each other, than they are with the other 2 poems.

    All 4 of the poems are similar in that they are all aimed at a similar age range. All the poems are about love but each a different aspect of it. I believe that ‘La Belle… ‘ delivers love in the most effective way. The idea of it being in a fairy tale has put forward quite a defined image of love. It shows the emptiness felt by the person who has given their heart away then been rejected very well. The choice of word helps to do this, where the writer uses the word “woebegone. ” This in one word says that he is so far gone that the empty feeling has pushed so far through him that there, is no return.

    My opinion on the way the poets present their views on the aspect of love they have chosen is good but ‘La Belle’ in my opinion is the best as I think the point gets across very quickly thoroughly and well, especially the idea of the story being told by and onlooker. The woman in ‘La Belle… ‘ says “I love thee true. ” At first I thought she was telling the truth and she did love him, but then four stanza’s later she has left him when he awakes. Why would she say this? To draw him in and make him believe she loves him.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’, ‘Ballad’, ‘First love’ and ‘The flea’ Essay. (2017, Oct 26). Retrieved from

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