Unlike many of John Keats' other poems, he writes "La Belle Dame sans Merci" in a simple manner, without extensive explanations of surroundings. Keats establishes a straightforward time of late autumn and starts the poem with the encounter of the speaker with a very pale and miserable looking knight. It's not hard for someone to get sick through eating something spoiled or having some sort of a disease; however, the sickness that penetrates the knight is supernatural. A beautiful woman, who he met in the meadow and loved right away, puts the knight to sleep and leaves, what actions cause his great affliction. The knight acts on his impulse and blindly gives in for control of a strange woman; however, such desire and unaccountability leaves this knight with a broken heart. Through such encounter between the knight and the woman, Keats explores how can enjoy the physical attractions and pleasures for a very short time and end up unsatisfied.
In the beginning of knight's explanation of his deep sorrow to the speaker, the knight believes he is in control of his acquaintance with the beautiful lady; however, it turns out that the woman is the one who tricks the knight. As the speaker finds the knight in a pathetic condition with a hint of a "fading rose" (11) on knight's cheek, the speaker is curious about what have happened to him. The knight explains his encounter with a "full beautiful" (14) lady in the meadow and how this encounter results the lust to control his situation in order to woo her. Knight expresses his initial illusion of control as he "made a Garland for her hand" (17) and "set her on [his] pacing steed" (21). However, in the seventh stanza Keats makes a vivid transition in the knight's explanation of the story, when before the three stanzas start with "I"(the knight), the next three stanzas start with the woman taking action and present her as the one that is truly in control, not the knight.