Complicated Attitudes Towards Female Characters

Topics: Male, Female, Woman Pages: 2 (628 words) Published: November 15, 2008
I agree with this statement, as the female characters are revealed to the reader as being powerful over men, seductive, suspicious, mysterious, bewitching and in the end, cause destruction. However, in the poems, males claim some possessiveness over the females. For example; in the poem 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' a beautiful woman tempts men/ knights with her 'faery' beauty. The knight in the poem, falls in love with her through her seductive actions, but then she abandons him.

' I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful - a faery's child'

This quote shows how mysterious the female is by describing her as a 'faery's child' which basically means a mystical fairy in human form, who is playful and has magical powers. In 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' the reader only gets one interpretation of the female through the knights direct speech, this reflects a complicated attitude to the reader as we have a biased opinion of the female. Also, not having direct speech from 'La Belle' adds to the mysterious-ness of female characters in Keats' poetry. A male contrast in this poem is quite important, as in many of Keats' poetry. The knight claims possession over the female. He creates garlands and bracelets for which could be used to enclose and trap her.

'I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone'
'I set her on my pacing steed'

These quote shows his possessiveness over the beautiful woman.

In the same way, 'The Eve Of St Agnes' portrays these attitudes towards females. The narrator focuses on a virgin named Madeline, describing her as pure, nieve, vague and blinded by superstition. This gives the reader the impression of her being easily led and expressing her as being quite innocent. In the poem Madeline is at a party and is oblivious to everything going on around her, she is only thinking of the legend St Agnes. St Agnes Eve is believed by virgins that on this night they will see their future husbands in the dreams. The poet...
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