What were Keats’s contributions?

MODERN ENGLISH LITERATURE NOTES

- Keats was the greatest of the young Romantics.

 

  • - The theme of his poetry: the everyday world of chaos dominated by death and decay vs. the eternal beauty and lasting truth of poetry and the human imagination.
  • - Elements of Hellenism, feeling for the Middle Ages
  • - A special conception of what a poet should be: suffering is necessary for the understanding of the world; great poetry grows from deep suffering and tragedy

His work:

  • - Poems: attracted very little attention
  • - Endymion: a poetic Romance: extensive use of Greek mythology; search for an ideal love and happiness beyond earthly possibility
  • o Theme: A shepherd’s love for the Moon and his search for her
  • - Lamia and Other Poems (Ode to a Nightingale; Hyperion; Isabella,…): Keats develops a poetic language; everything in the poems is balanced; Keats’s odes are considered to be the best of short poems in the century
  • o elusive beauty: tends to escape from whoever wants to possess -> the subject of Keats’s ballads written between 1818-1820
  • - La Belle Dame sans Merci: his most famous ballad; full of magical and fantastic images; Keats uses unfamiliar vocabulary: OE words, archaisms
  •  Themes:
  •  Dream vs. reality
  •  Imagination vs. actuality
  •  Superstition vs. supernatural
  • o Influenced Robert Graves and the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

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