Bright Star and La Belle Dame Sans Merci Analysis

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Jane campions postmodernist values within her 2009 film Bright star and John Keats neo-classical perspective embedded within his poetry effectively assists in reimagining the notion of stories being told by every generation, through the use of intertextuality. Campions Bright star is a romanticised film with reframed, modern perspectives, portraying the love between Keats and Fanny Brawn. Keats poetry focuses on the historical 18th century ideals of love and death. Through the poems of La Belle Dame Sans Merci composed in 1819 and Bright Star would I were stedfast as thou art composed in 1818. Virginia Woolf assists in reimagining the ideals of love and mortality through Campion and Keats mirroring issues from different aligning perspectives, however, colliding with different values.

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Keats La Belle Dame Sans Merci effectively reimagines to a great extent the notion of stories being told by every generation through love between the knight and lady. Keats was diagnosed with Tuberculosis in 1819, causing his death. “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” is a paradox within itself. This contradicts that beautiful ladies are merciless rather than kind. Foreshadowing, her manipulative nature, using her appearance to gain the love of men. The knight, claims he is being fed “manna-dew” - an allusion that the lady is feeding him love however, she is manipulating him to be his primary source of life. Keats uses a ballad, with rhyming verses indicating happiness within love however, the iambic pentameter, creates a jerking rhythm that exposes tension between love and heartache. The lady has left the knight “alone and paley loitering” using anaphora through the repeated concept of loneliness. Ironically, the lady filling him with ‘life’ and love has caused him to feel lifeless. Intertextually, Keats reimagines the story of love through drawing insight from 21st century heart brakes, depicted through a 19th century lens. Overall, Keats notably explores to a high extent the notion of how love stories have to be told from a 19th century perspective, in La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Moreover, Campions Bright Star successfully reinvented to a notable extent the notion of stories having to be told from a 21st century perspective, through mortality within specific relationship gender roles. Romanticism dominated the 18th century, where people shifted to socially unacceptable methods of courtship. In Campion’s Bright Star the protagonist Fanny is shown having a poetry lesson with John Keats. The scene is dark using black and brown colours with a major light source coming from one window illuminating the side of the characters faces, with soft cream tones, thus effectively making use of kicker lighting and colour. This was not socially acceptable as women were not typically educated or courted men. Campion intertextually reimagines a story of femininity through Fanny’s feminism drawing insight from modern values of females, independently courting Keats displays the power of women becoming as independent as the typical male. Campion, intertextually drew inspiration from Keats Poem La belle dame sans Merci as Fanny replicates the characteristics of the Lady. The scene however, differs from La Belle Dame Sans Merci through a more romanticised female perspective, whereas the poem was produced by a male, typically focused on darker themes. Hence, Campions Bright Star remarkably reconsiders to a significant extent the notion of stories describing the mortality of relationship gender roles, being told from a 21st century perspective.

Furthermore, Keats’ Bright Star efficaciously reimagines to a large extent the notion of stories being told from a 19th century perspective, through love between the speaker and star. Contextually, the romantics of the late 18th century valued emotion above rational. thought. Keats wrote “Bright Star” using the reoccurring symbol of the star symbolising Fanny developing Keats motif. The speaker admires the stars presence, colliding with the star being lonely. This mirrors the allusion in Keats and Fanny’s love being dependable but far. The star is said to have “eternal lids apart” using a hyperbole to exaggerate and personify that the ‘eyes’ of the star are forever watching. This implies that it innocently watches earth, not making contact. Aligning with Keats and Fannys love being innocently in love. The speaker tells the story that if they do not live forever they will “swoon to death” using a caesura pausing after the word ‘swoon.’ This reimagines the 19th century ideal that a lack of eternal love causes death, through exaggerating the affects of heartbreak. Bright star is a Shakespearean sonnet, reflecting modern perspectives that eternal embrace is unrealistic in a chaotic reality, thus audiences assume the speakers instability desiring mortality and immortality. This resonates with La belle dame sans Merci through the delusional nature of the speaker and passion for love. Although this differs from Campions film as it was portrayed using a post-modern perspective with film techniques to suit a 21st century audience. Bright star intertextually drew inspiration from the film Bright star resonating with similar ideas of love. Thus, Keats bright star is to a substantial extent effective in reimagining the notion of story telling from a 19th century generation through love.

In addition, campions Bright Star is skilfully successful to a drastic extent in reimagining the notion of stories being told from a 21st century generation, through mortality when Fanny mourns Keats. Keats moved to Rome in hope of curing his tuberculosis in the summer of 1820, although he had died, leaving Fanny heartbroken. The final scene in Campion’s Bright Star shows Fanny walking in the snow reciting Keats poem ‘Bright Star’ in mourning. The shift in tone is emphasised through a monochromatic colour scheme. Fanny is wearing black whereas, the snow is reflecting white. Her composition centred around only nature shows how their love story has become complete with both Keats and Fanny alone. This paradoxically reveals that love is a double edged sword that involves pain. Therefore, effectively reshaping a modern audiences perspectives to tell the story, through Fanny’s body language, that losing a partner is the equivalent to death through a loss of connection and presence. Colliding with La Belle Dame Sans Merci through the shift in heartache of the male to the female. Both scenes resonate with Fanny she is the pivotal focus of each scene being the driving force within he relationship. This intertextually mirrors the ideas of steadfastness that arise in Bright Star, drawing inspiration from the mortality of the idea of eternal love. Overall, Campion’s Bright Star excellently reinterprets to a remarkable extent the notion of storytelling, having to tell the story of 21st century mortality through a 19th perspective.

In conclusion, Keats and Campion strikingly reimagine the notion of stories narrated by every generation. Complimenting Woolf’s perspective, through ideals of love and mortality, through Keats La Belle Dame Sans Merci analysis, Bright star and Campions film Bright Star within intertextuality.

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