Literary Analysis on the Theme of love in Two Poems

Various poets select different subjects to represent in their work. Many different themes are used to captivate readers and thereby show the memorability and popularity of a poem. As seen by the subject arrangement, the chosen themes are continuously established during the author’s writing (Smith 150). The poem “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron contains some interesting substance and organization on the subject of passion. The poem, written in the nineteenth century, depicts a woman’s attractiveness using stylistic techniques such as metaphors and similes. “Through an outstanding rhyme scheme and patterns, he fascinates his readers.” The same theme is also painted by John Keats in his “La Belle Dame sans Merci” poem. His poem’s topic is translated to mean “the lovely woman without mercy.” Similar to Byron’s, Keats’s poem is dated in the 19th century and uses highly compelling language devices too. As a Romantic, Byron’s composition seems to be oriented towards support for the power of the heart over that of the mind. As a result, much of his work shows an admiration for the natural world and expresses a desire to move closer to that world, which Romantics associated with human purity or innocence (Byron and Creeley 100). Our analysis of one of Byron’s and Keats’s most famous works focuses on the ways the poems embrace Romantic ideals. From the comparison of the literary works, it is evident that even though two poets may be talking about the same theme, a deeper dissection of each will shed light on glaring differences.

Both of the poems in question are said to have been composed in the 19th century. They also talk about a similar thing, an attractive lady. In addition, both writers portray a common theme of love although in diverse ways. In the poem “She Walks in Beauty,” the author illustrates about an attractive lady having an innocent heart to love. The preceding two sentences of the first stanza shows a stunning image of the woman in question; “she walks in Beauty, like the night/Of cloudless climes and starry skies” (Coleridge 1-2). The lines have a hidden meaning that needs concentration and proper reading to bring out their meaning. The author first mentions beauty paired with darkness. This may send a contradictory message but as the reader proceeds where “cloudless” and “starry skies” are mentioned then the beauty of the night is shown. And the other sentences continue to enhance the appealing nature of the lady by saying how her eyes contain the greatness of both light and night. Lord Byron as aforementioned is appealed by nature and he tries to bring in its romantic aspect by comparing a woman’s beauty and his love for her with natural occurrences.

On the other hand, Keats’ poem also brings forth the love genre. The romantic poet uses narrative stanzas and short lines too in the love-centered work. In addition, Keats utilizes a stylistic device of shortening the fourth line in each stanza (Keats 137). Hence, the ballad is read in a reduced movement and this creates a pleasing rhythm to the ear. Similar to other old poems, like the aforementioned Byron’s poem, Keats makes use of repetition, simple language, and hidden meaning enigmas. The poem sets its modest narration of love and death in a cold miserable scenery that blends well with the poem. There are depictions of lifelessness around the landscape as the write indicates that no birds are singing or sedge in the lake. These nature comparisons are constantly repeated with little alterations hence creating an emphasis on unfortunate knight destiny.

Additionally, both cases make use of nature to illustrate love. Although Byron uses the appealing side of nature to praise a woman, Keats uses nature to show the harsh side of love. According to Byron, nature and romance goes hand in hand even in darkness he tries to bring the positive side of love. Keats, however, uses the demining realities of its disintegrated nature to show his love theme. Byron tries to compare his love for nature and shows it as part of this woman whom he loves as much. As a romantic, Byron mixes the two aspects and further boosts it with a rare beauty of the night. By so doing, love is spoken of strongly than just the ordinary day nature. Hence, by speaking of the beauty of the night his love is told be exceedingly greater than nature. As the poem, She Walks in Beauty, transits to second and third stanzas, the author extends his praise of a woman beauty simultaneously with nature (Byron and Creeley 80). Byron associates the love of his life’s smile with a glow, which is witnessed in nature. He not only shows a woman’s features as a blend of natural components but also illustrates the balance and perfection that likely interferences would cause. Byron states, “One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace” (Coleridge 7-8).

Interestingly, Keats does not openly disclose the knight, the attractive lady, or his questioner. This style molds an arousing readers’ imagination. The femme fatale mentioned in the poem is the woman without pity who largely attracts men (Keats 78). In this poem, he describes the lady as Circle-like figure who is very attractive. Been aware of this, she uses the attraction ways to destroy men through her stated superpowers. As Keats stipulates, it is in the lady’s nature. As opposed to the innocent beauty described by Byron, the attractiveness of knight in Keats’s poem is destructive. Although both narrations praise the women beauty, one is used in a charming way and the other is used to bring pain to lovers.

Byron’s ballad shows the surrender to love and no reader can dispute the fact that there lacks any pain from the love. The author is full of praises for the beauty. It could be concluded that in the real world the writer appreciates a pure love story. On the other hand, the poem by Keats shows an indication of personal rebellion on love. It also shows the disadvantages of falling in love as it reveals the lack of freedom to love and resulting pain from desiring the wrong person who cannot reciprocate. Hence, Keats poem is a controversial story of love. There are consequences of love shown by Keats’s poem. This would be drawn from their presentation. Particularly, loneliness is witnessed when a mysterious lady, who had given indications that she too felt love for him, leaves him alone. The act brings forth a universal unrequited love theme as he loved the attractive lady who never loved him back. Byron, on the contrary, does not state a point where love needed to be returned.

Another comparison between both of the poems concerns the physical and moral character of the women in question. In the poem, “She Walks in Beauty”, the artist describes the lady as extremely soft and equally calm. He continues to show the radiant flow of the woman as well as her goodness and peace. From the narration readers could be reminded of an angelic character as they read through those descriptive lines. The woman is illustrated as having a good and innocent heart reflecting her purity. Readers, may be compelled to think that the woman in Byron’s poem had not experienced love before. The poet efforts to praise the lady would likely lead to the assumption that her heart had not been compromised in the past. On the other hand, Keats shows a different version of its lady’s character. Readers may view the woman as a vessel of sadness or loneliness. This would be drawn from the painful emotions described by the poet from his love to a person who is not interested in returning his love. Her merciless and despise attitude may have been as a result of unpleasant experiences from past lovers.

Intuitively, the two cases also end on different notes. It would be stated that Keats’ ends in a painful or sad love theme. The hurting and sickened man tries to manage emotions of despair, desolation, and loss. This is as a result of been taken in lightly by the lovely lady. Conversely, natures situation of absence of bird, and approach of winter seems to go hand in hand with his feelings. This is shown by the quote, And this is why I sojourn here/Alone and palely loitering…/And no birds sing (Keats 45-48). In contrast to Keats’s, Byron’s poem is energetic in narrated in a fascinating love theme. Even so, nature seems to be complimenting the writer’s mood although in this case, it is purely used for comparison purposes. The romantic admiration of the surrounding seems to justify emotions out-laid in the poem.

In conclusion, although the theme of love is depicted in both poems, the characters and nature used to bring the message are quite different. Beauty is however, praised in equal measure. For instance, Byron narrates the lady’s beauty in an appealing way. He compares her with many beautiful things and also with a dark nature of night. Hence, it could be concluded that love is a beautiful thing but it also has a dark side. This negativity is clearly shown in Keats’s poem. Our analysis of one of Byron’s most famous works, and Keats’ focuses on the ways the poems embrace Romantic ideals. While Byron praise beauty as a result of love, Keats on the contrary shows the disadvantages of love especially when it is not reciprocated.

Work cited

Byron, George Gordon and Robert Creeley. She Walks in Beauty. ProQuest LLC, 2004.

Coleridge, Ernest Hartley, editor. The Works of Lord Byron. J. Murray, 1898.

Keats, John. “La Belle Dame sans Merci.” Europe, vol. 69, no.751, 1991, p. 137.

Keats, John. La Belle Dame sans Merci. Publications by Wirripang, 2002.

Smith, Philip, editor. 101 Best-Loved Poems. Courier Corporation, 2001.

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