Keats To Sleep Analysis Essay

Keats To Sleep Analysis Essay-89
Keats opens the poem with a description of a dreamy, Romantic state: he feels as though he must have drunk hemlock (an ancient poison used to kill, among others, Socrates) or have taken opium.

Keats opens the poem with a description of a dreamy, Romantic state: he feels as though he must have drunk hemlock (an ancient poison used to kill, among others, Socrates) or have taken opium.

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Keats' narration goes on to express Keats' frequent wish to live in a realm of Platonic perfection -- this time, of Poesy (poetry).

In this poetic world, which the nightingale occupies, the moon shines bright.

There is no temporal reality for the nightingale, who "wast not born for death" (61).

The nightingale's song, unchanged, was heard by the ancients as clearly as it is heard today.

In Keats' world, however, there is only darkness, and here he contemplates a beautiful, "rich" death.

He seems to be courting Death itself, calling Death "soft names in many a musèd rhyme" (53).He says that even the Biblical figure, Ruth, may have heard it during her exile.The nightingale's song is also thought to open treasure chests on "faery" (70) seas.Analysis of "When I have fears that I may cease to be": Keats' fear of death, here, is nuanced: it is not just mortality taken broadly, but specifically the chance that he will not have produced enough in his short span of life to be "satisfied," that he fears.However, the closing lines suggest that, while mortality is the enemy of artistic production, it also somehow frees the artist from worry.In the end, no matter what, "love and fame to nothingness do sink" (14).Perhaps such matters are not worth worrying about anyway.He metaphorically describes the nightingale as a "Dryad of the trees:" Dryads were Greek mythological beings who embodied the spirits of trees.Keats longs for the happy oblivion that would come after drinking an ideal wine, a wine that itself recalls the pleasures of life in southern France (Provençal).Keats declares that he will not drink wine, but that he will instead achieve bliss by writing this poem.He contrasts the world of the nightingale with his own, real world: one (the nightingale's) has a visible moon, and the other (his) does not, so that he remains in darkness.

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