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A Literary Analysis Of How Keats Spices His Work Up A Bit

1025 words - 5 pages

We all know that person in our lives that can always tell a really good story. Whether it is a camp fire story, or just a life story, some people are just really good at telling good ones. These people probably use different methods to make their stories really good. For example, people can inject little things in their stories that aren’t exactly true to make it better. One man in history that uses certain things to spice up his works of poetry is John Keats. According to the article Romanticism, in Literary Movement for Students, “John Keats was the youngest of the major romantic poets. He was born October 31, 1795, in London, England, to a lower-middle-class family. His father's accidental death in 1804, and his mother's death in 1809 after a long bout with tuberculosis, marked him with a sense of life's precariousness, a theme that recurs in his poetry.” Keats used many different things to structure his poetry including imagery, personification, figures of speech, and sound.
John Keats is one of the greatest poets of all time to use imagery. Imagery is defined as descriptive language that re-creates sensory experience. According to John Keats, an article in the Encyclopedia of World Biography, “The English poet John Keats (1795-1821) stressed that man's quest for happiness and fulfillment is thwarted by the sorrow and corruption inherent in human nature. His works are marked by rich imagery and melodic beauty.” One example of imagery that John Keats uses is in his poem On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, when he writes, “Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes he stared at the Pacific—and all his men looked at each other with a wild surmise—silent, upon a peak in Darien” (Pg. 883, Lines 11-14). This quote uses imagery to make you imagine seeing a captain and his men sailing the Pacific and discovering it.
The great John Keats also uses personification to structure his poetry. Personification is defined as giving human qualities to a nonhuman object. In John Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn, he uses personification in lines 1-3, stating, “Thou still unravished bride of quietness thou foster child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express” (Pg. 891, Lines 1-3). “These metaphors act in opposition to the reality of what the urn actually is. In particular, unlike human life, the urn lacks warmth and life and embodies immortality” (Prudchenko). This quote from Keats is personification because it gives the urn human like characteristics.
In addition, John Keats also structures his poetry by using figures of speech. A figure of speech is a word or phrase that is used in a nonliteral way to add rhetorical force to a passage. Some types of figures of speech are metaphors and similes. Keats uses one simile in the beginning lines of his poem Ode to a Nightingale, stating, “My heart aches, and drowsy numbness pains my sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk” (Pg. 887, Lines 1-2). According to Hou Rong, “These two similes...

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