Beauty and Evil Are Never Far Apart in Keats's Poetry” How Far Do You Agree with This View?

1490 Words Nov 28th, 2008 6 Pages
Beauty and Evil are never far apart in Keats's poetry” how far do you agree with this view?

“She seem’d, at once, some penanced lady elf, Some demon’s mistress, or the demon’s self.”
Beauty and evil cannot come much closer than when being in the same quote, and much of Keats’s work is pockmarked with references to these two seemingly unrelated conditions, and I feel is notable, if not key, to much of Keats’s work. In a way it could be said to symbolise Keats’s “bitter-sweet melancholy”; the idea which all the Romantics referenced, and which Keats literally lived, with the fact that he had just met the love of his life, and was just coming to prominence, but at the same time would soon be claimed by tuberculosis. The beauty of his work,
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She also gives the many guests fine wine to dull their senses even further to help them accept more easily and more completely the illusion she has created for them. It is sad then, when reality, or more correctly Apollonius and so cold reason, comes in and tears her utopia apart; resulting in her death. This also shows the third and final beauty evil connection, when Lycius dies with her, showing love and loss, how the beauty of love can be so overpowering, and overwhelm the senses that the loss of such a force in one’s life can lead to death. Or in the case of Keats himself his death will result in the loss of love for Fanny Brawne.
Lycius’ pursuit of Lamia, or more his persistence in showing off his trophy to the whole town is his downfall from the pursuit of their ideal love, and so when introduced into the reality of the world and what real love is expected to do, is a portend to her demise, by proxy, at his hand.
“la belle dame sans merci” is a poem which has such specific nuances of Lamia, it depicts perfectly how Keats used beauty and evil were never far apart in the majority of his poetry; for to have two poems with such similarities is no mere coincidence.
La belle is the story of a knight emasculated, for want of a better word, by a chance encounter with a supernatural lady. It is the story as recounted by the knight and so cannot be believed entirely, it must be taken with a pinch of salt
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