Theme Of Romanticism In Frankenstein And La Bell Dame Sans Merci

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Many Romantic works have placed an important focus on the interesting figure of the strange, mysterious and the Other. The essay will be concerned with the paramount role the Other plays in Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and Keats’ poems. Since this entity entails elements of unusualness and is thus incomprehensible, it already dwells within the realm of oddness and unknowability. Therefore, the figure of the Other in this essay will be treated as synonymous with that which is ‘strange’ or ‘mysterious’. Through installing such a disruptive figure into the orderly narrative structure as the perplexing site of exoticness and peculiarity, the Romantic authors are not only creating a fascinating appeal within their works, but are also inviting readers…show more content…
As the foreign element in the poem, she already emanates a curious vibe of exotic fantasy displayed from her "strange" language (23), such an impression then leading to her positioning as the Other whom which the knight fails to comprehend. But she is also mystical in that her very being is subjected to unfixable definition. The lady is attributed to be both “belle dame” and “beldame”, her dual identity presenting as a “macaronic pun” (Williams 214), as a bilingual mix of words operating within the same context. While “belle dame” in French depicts a pleasant beautiful maiden, the English version “beldame” contradictorily points towards the figuration of a malicious old hag. Thus, the lady’s name itself already signifies a kind of perplexing fluidity. Her true nature can never be clearly captured by the knight, akin to how one can never grasp flowing water within the palm. Right from the start, she is already portrayed as an elusive Dionysian entity which cannot be readily subsumed within the Establishment’s fixed Apollonian codes of understanding. The knight regards her brows as washed out with “feverish dew" (10). Dew holds a refreshing quality and symbolically represents the vitality of renewal. However, this pristineness is quickly being transmuted into that which enacts agony and

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