Sonnet 116 and La Belle Sans Dame Merci Comparison

Topics: Poetry, Sonnet, Love Pages: 3 (919 words) Published: January 4, 2013
‘Sonnet 116’ and ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ portrays two different experiences of the power of love. Show how successful each poet has been in representing this idea. In both the poems ‘Sonnet 116’ and ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’, love is a common theme. However, love has had many different interpretations over time and we see this as both poems portray different approaches and emotions about this inescapable part of life. Shakespeare who wrote ‘Sonnet 116’ believes in love being forever lasting and that no matter how hard love can be you will continue to love that person forever. However, in a contrasting view to this, Keats who wrote ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ believes that love can ruin you and describes elements of loss and pain which no one can escape. Firstly, ‘Sonnet 116’ is a classic love sonnet consisting of 14 lines with three stanzas. Sonnets are frequently found in older poetry and end in a couplet to summarise the hypothesis’ which are said throughout the poem. This usually helps shift the mood of the poem and starts to question what has been suggested; ‘If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved’ this suggests that if what Shakespeare wrote is wrong, and that love is not forever lasting, then he has never written and no one has ever been in love. To compliment this, it is written in an iambic pentameter which shows how two people in love would live in perfect harmony and if you are in love you work extremely well together. Secondly, ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ is written as a ballad, in an ABCB rhyming structure. Readers are immediately lead to see the poem as more dramatic and a high level of personal thoughts are shown. There is no proper rhyming scheme which indicates that only one person is in love and their relationship could be unstable. The last line of each verse is kept very blunt and negative to portray the different emotions evoked because of love; ‘on the cold hillside’ this suggests how without compassion...
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