There are times when a situation may seem to be true love, but will soon turn out to be nothing of the sort. This is exemplified by the ballads “Lord Rendal” and “La belle dame Sans Merci.” The two poems share a similar theme about love. Both poems express the effects that a woman can have on a man in a relationship. They suggest that love can start off as this incredible feeling of warmth and happiness, but can quickly turn deceitful and untrue. The male in each poem is in a state of misery as a result of abandonment and betrayal by a woman. Although the themes are related in a number of ways, each poem takes a different approach.
“La Belle Dame Sans Merci” conveys this theme through a knight, who explains his story of falling in love with a woman in the forest. He speaks of her beauty and how her actions convinced him that she, too, was in love. Then suddenly he finds himself alone, abandoned, on a cold hill side and the beautiful woman was nowhere to be found. This is illustrating how a man can get caught up in a woman’s beauty and elegance, but she can turn wicked and disappear without a trace, leaving him alone and miserable. “Lord Rendal” expresses the theme through a man who is speaking to his mother. He tells her that he met with his true love in the woods and that he is poisoned.
Where did all those romantic fellas go? With all that can be, all that is within us, romance lives forever! So why not take advantage of it. Did you ever look around and wonder why a woman will chose another man over you? Maybe you are more handsome, intelligent, richer and so much more than that other plain fellow what's his name. But he's romantic and obviously knows how to treat a woman and ...
The poem relates his sickness to the dinner he ate, but truly, his pain comes from his true love. Lord Rendal is weak and dying because of the ongoing pain that is put on him from his true love. The main similarity in the love themes is how the male in each poem has been mislead and forsaken by a woman. They both feel weakened and heartbroken.
The obvious difference, though, is that Lord Rendal was in love for a period of time and his pain came gradually, whereas the knight had been in love for merely one day and his pain came without warning. Both men, however, did realize that, sometimes, love isn’t all it seems to be. In “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”, the knight is found “alone and palely loitering” (2).
He begins to tell his story in attempt to explain his sorrow. He speaks of a woman he met in the forest. He was captured by her grace and beauty and instantly felt that he was in love with her.
He describes her as “full beautiful, a fairy’s child” (14).
“Her hair was long, her foot was light / And her eyes were wild.” (15-16).
He explained that she looked at him “as she did love” (19) and “in language strange she said — / I love thee true.” (27-28).
This shows how she made him think that she was on love without actually saying those words. He goes on to tell of how she took him to “her elfin grot” (29) and then “lulled him to sleep” (33).
In his deep sleep he dreams of a terrible place filled with “death pale” (38) men who cried to him, warning him of his enslavement.
Then, he awakes and finds himself, alone, on that same cold hill side. The author of this poem was trying to capture the feeling of a man after he has been deceived or mislead by a woman. The knight represented all men and the woman represented all women in general. She gave him the impression that she was in love with him, just as he was her. He made her gifts and she gave him fruit. They spent the day together and she sung to him, “A fairy’s song” (24).
She, then, took him to her home and began to cry. He, just as any man in love would do, dried her tears with love and kisses. The theme of the poem comes into play once she puts him to sleep and he begins to dream. He is dreaming of this awful place where there are other men present. They had “starv’d lips in the gloam” (41) and were all very pale.
Christine de Pisan's book, The Treasure of the City of Ladies, explains in detail the various aspects of women's lives during the late Medieval and Renaissance culture. She addresses all women of this time from those with power and authority to the poorest peasant women. Christine de Pisan focuses on three main areas of a women's life during this time period. First she discusses the role of ...
These men symbolized all the other men that this woman had hurt and suffocated. They were cautioning him of her danger. “La belle dame sans merci / Hath thee in thrall!” (39-40).
Then he suddenly wakes up and realizes that it is too late.
He is already alone, imprisoned in his dream feeling lifeless and heartbroken. “Lord Rendal” expresses this same theme about love being painful and makes the same attempt to express the feelings of a man being destroyed by a woman. Lord Rendal is explaining to his mother about his day in the “wild woods,” (3) where he met with his true love. There she fed him dinner. The leavings were fed to his hawks and hounds and they “swelled and died,” (23).
He tells her that he is poisoned and is ready to lie down.
His mother asks what he will leave behind for his loved ones. His father, mother, and sister all get these wonderful things such as cows, a golden box, a horse and saddle and rings. She then asks what he will leave for his true love and he replies “The tow and halter” (43).
The author of this poem masks Lord Rendal’s illness to appear from the dinner that she fed him, but truly it was her love that poisoned him. The dinner of fish with “Black backs and speckled bellies,” (19) symbolized her love.
The dinner she fed caused his hawks and hounds to swell and die, just as the love she feds him causes his heart to swell and die. This was one of many kings that this woman had done to him in the past. He experienced a long, drug out period of time where he was trapped in the torture of this woman. He says he is dying and is willing to lie down. Lord Rendal was sick and tired of this burden in his life. This woman had pushed him to the limit and he is now ready to die.
At the end of the poem, when he speaks of the gifts he will leave behind for people that are important to him, he decides to leave magnificent things for his family and nothing but a rope with a noose for his true love. Although, he refers to her as his “true love”, he clearly doesn’t have as warm of a feeling towards her as he does his family. It shows that family will never leave you and family will always be there, but when it comes to women, you may not be so fortunate. His death resulted from being gradually poisoned by his true love. The author of this poem was saying that love can increasingly eat away at you until it drives you to bereavement. Both ballads express the same impression of love, but there are differences amongst the two themes.
In this essay, I will be comparing the poems; ‘Our Love Now’, ‘Rapunzskiltskin,’ ‘To His Coy Mistress’ and ‘The Beggar Woman.’ I will look into conflict and power between men and women and how it is revealed. The first poem I will look at is ‘The Beggar Woman,’ by William King. This poem is about a gentleman in seventeenth century ...
The men in each of these poems are ready or going to die. In “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”, the knight has “a lily on thy brow” (9).
The lily is the flower of death and therefore symbolizes that the knight is approaching death. Lord Rendal speaks of how he is “wearied with hunting and fain would lie down.” (4).
He is saying that he has grown tried of going through all this pain and is willing to let it go.
He is ready to give up on her and on life as well. The most significant difference amongst the themes is that Lord Rendal was involved in a long term situation and seemed to have been gradually “poisoned” by this woman. Unlike the knight in “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”, Lord Rendal made a decision. He has grown so weak and exhausted with her over time and has finally decided that this woman will be the end of him. The knight, on the other hand, was clearly not ready to lie down. He was abandoned on a hill side without any input at all.
He was in love with a woman, who mislead him and then completely disappeared from his life. He fell in love, had his heart broken and was left to die alone all in one day. Lord Rendal’s situation had been drawn out for a while and he made a decision to let it all go, but the knight had no choice in the matter. Both ballads were explaining that love can turn devious in the blink of an eye or over a period of time. “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” was more effective at expressing this theme because it was much more descriptive in the individual occurrences.
This ballad was very good in the way of taking the reader through the entire story. It began with the resulting feeling of the knight and led into how he felt when they met. It explained the single performances of the woman and the results of her actions upon the knight. Once he was deserted, his feeling of misery was very understanding. “Lord Rendal” was effective, but didn’t create much of a mental image for the reader.
Is femininity in mythology? Yes because there is a division between men and women in mythology. Biology tells us that we are two different people. Men and women see the world in different ways. Women are passive, intuitive, submissive, and subjective. Women value love, communication, beauty, and relationships. Men are aggressive, rational, dominant, and objective and they value power, competency, ...
The agony he had experienced was conveyed through repetition. The theme of this poem was expressed more through symbolism and the underlying meaning, rather than the actual story. It is shown by evidence from both poems, that themes are based upon the views of males against females. Love isn’t always the amazing joy of two people being bound together in a world of happiness. Love can be the most hurtful and life-threatening experience one can encounter. The loss of love can be equivalent, or even worse, than the loss of life itself.
Word Count: 1635.