Talk:La Belle Dame sans Merci

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opium?[edit]

La Belle Dame sans Merci is actually another name for opium. The writer was, at the time, addicted to opium. So the poem is simply a metaphor for the drug. The man wants to keep seeing the fairy, so he can have a wonderful time, but he knows he will end up in a depressing state if he does.

yea but, no but, yea but, no but,yea but, no but,yea but, no but, —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.71.42.153 (talk) 19:54, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

No, it's not. This poem is dumb dont read it!!

The opium theory is plausible. Dark Ladies have often been used as a symbol of destructive self-indulgence (Shakespeare sonnets, Swinburne Dolores). The use of opium was common in Bohemian circles of that day. Keats' contemporary, De Quincy, was a self-advertising opium addict.

-- I think, however, that if he were ever addicted to opium, we'd have heard about it. Opium would have been hard to get away from, as it was for Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Surely Keats would have written about it in his letters and it would have affected his work...and if he's writing the poem from an addict's standpoint, I find that hard to believe. None of his other work would give credibility to that.


--I agree: a statement like "The writer was, at the time, addicted to opium" is pretty serious: could you give us a source for the claim? Dom Kaos (talk) 16:02, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Feminist Rape Theory!!![edit]

"More recent feminist commentators have suggested that the knight in fact raped the Belle Dame, and is being justly punished"

Where did you get this from? There is no actual basis or reference for this whatsoever. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Badger23 (talkcontribs) 15:23, 7 March 2007 (UTC). --Badger23 16:02, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

i dno what u lot are on bout....i dont even understand the ballad fing !!!!!!!!!!!

It was the other way around wuith the woman on top. I saw the painting here  : http://zasda.tripod.com Raphael.C —Preceding unsigned comment added by Raphael corleone (talkcontribs) 06:08, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

There is a more plausible feminist identification of La Belle Dame with Lilith at http://feminism.eserver.org/theory/papers/lilith/labelle.html. Xxanthippe (talk) 11:06, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

There's no clear indication the woman ACTUALLY told him she loved him. In some readings, "in language strange" (27) is seen as an indication she spoke a language he did not know and he interpreted her as saying "I love thee true" (28). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.89.22.60 (talk) 23:46, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

One of the basic ideas of Feminism is that all men rape women someway some how even if it's not a sexual assault. In other words, everything is the fault of men, so castrate them all. I recommend that the phrase be struck. IF a feminist wants to write a book on the subject and get it published and then make her case here, so be it. Medusa is also a poor "raped" character who gets her revenge. Considering it was a FEMALE god that turned the beautiful Medusa into a Gorgon, I don't see how it's all men's fault. medusa In most artwork of the day, predating feminism, and post dating the middle ages, when the brutish edge was taken off of knights and they were romanticized, it's always the knight at the mercy of the fairy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.113.80.189 (talk) 15:57, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Basis of line for title of Sci-fi story[edit]

The famous Sci-fi author James Tiptree Jr. wrote a story called "And I woke up and found me here on the Cold Hill's side" based on a line from the poem, about humanity becoming infatuated with aliens.

Does it deserve a mention?

Comparing La belle dame sans merci with j keats when he wrote it[edit]

Keat was suffering from TB when he wrote this poem and knew he was going to die and his description of the knight represents himself and his own illness, so words like peel and fever reflect his systoms. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.240.217.150 (talk) 12:04, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Why not post the poem itself in the article, or a link to it?[edit]

Many of the other articles on Keats' poems have the entire poem, or at least a link to it. Suggest the same happen here. (Forgive me, I'm too caught up in other things to do that myself at the moment.) Softlavender (talk) 03:48, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Origional French Poem[edit]

In Harold Bloom's 'How to Read and Why' he states on page 136 "Keats's "Beautiful Lady Without Pity" takes its title from a French Midieval poem..." Perhaps we should mention that the title was not origionally his.Mrathel (talk) 00:58, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Noted in Roger Zelazny's Hugo Award-winning series[edit]

This statement was deleted as "trivia".

In The Courts of Chaos by Roger Zelazny, the character Corwin encounters a beautiful woman with wild eyes. He dines with her as Chaos advances, and then refuses her offer to wile away the few remaining hours. He closes her eyes "with kisses four", and Zelazny notes that the "the sedge was not withered, but he was right about the no birds."

Is a mention of a lesser-known Genesis song more important than one of the most influential works of the modern fantasy canon? Snuppy 20:48, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

None of the trivia is appropriate. References in later works is not encyclopedic. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:01, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply. Edited appropriately. Snuppy 21:05, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Expression/Idiom[edit]

What does the expression “a belle dame sans merci” mean? What does it mean when a thing, as opposed to a person, is called “a belle dame sans merci”? Felicity4711 (talk) 01:18, 5 December 2011 (UTC)


Merci means Mercy. The French say it for "thanks". English "thank" is related to "think" so you are basically saying "i'll remember what you did for me". French "merci" for thanks is basically saying "you have shown me mercy" ("what a mercy" is also an English idiom for expressing a feeling of relief. Belle is beautiful, and Dame is Dame, i.e. lady/woman of high status.

So "Belle Dame sans Merci" means Beautiful lady without mercy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.73.101.73 (talk) 17:35, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

The translation of the title of the poem is an example of uncritical referencing. I have searched extensively on the net and have not found a correct translation from the French. All translations are circular references, as is common with uncritical research. The correct translation of the title "La Belle Dame sans Merci" is "The Beautiful Woman without Thanks" "Thanks, or "Thank You" is the English meaning of "Merci" in French. If we wished to say "The Beautiful Woman without Mercy" it would translate back to French as "La Belle Dame sans Clemence" (the English word "clemency" which is a shade of meaning of mercy, is derived from "clemence") Indeed, in reference (1) after the translation, the reference gives the correct translation/meaning: (("The technical term for the woman's granting of herself was "merci." The woman grants her "merci." Now, that might consist in her permission to kiss her on the back of the neck once every Whitsuntide, you know, something like that — ..."))(or it might be an immediate response to a kindness ) Whatever the reference, the translation is just wrong. "Merci" is "Thanks" and "Mercy" is "Clemence" The correct English version of the poem title is "The Beautiful Woman without Thanks" And I believe this fits the words and meaning of the poem better, as anyone who has suffered as the writer obviously has, will attest to" — Preceding unsigned comment added by The lady of the lake (talkcontribs) 09:25, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

The English humourist Michael Flanders once translated it as 'The Beautiful Lady Who Never Says "Thank You"' JHobson3 (talk) 20:07, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Poor wording[edit]

The 'analysis' section of this page reads like someone's personal research paper, not like an encyclopedic article. It needs some serious work and some sources. 2601:6:7780:725:61EA:9F46:E7FA:E83F (talk) 02:25, 17 August 2014 (UTC)