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John Keats: The Next Shakespeare (An Analysis Of John Keats Usage Of Poem Structures)

1191 words - 5 pages

John Keats can easily be ranked as the top British poet to ever live; or at least in the top five ranking mark. His usage of his poems structures has become famous, just as his poems have become famous. Due to the young death of this famous poet, his literary work was cut short. Ever since he knew he was going to die, when he discovered he had contracted tuberculosis, he had thought that he would never be remembered; so much so that according to the web-site “Poets Graves” which states the inscription on his tombstone read, “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water,” meaning that Keats was certain that he would never be remembered. However, contrary to his belief, Keats is still remembered ...view middle of the document...

The second structure Keats uses in his poems is personification, which can mostly be seen in “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” The use of personification in this poem can be seen when the poem states, “Sylvan historian, who canst thus express.” (Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn, page 891, line 3) In these lines Keats is comparing the urn to a historian because of the ancient art work that covers the side of the urn. Keats throughout the entire poem talks to the urn as if it is a real person, he almost has a real conversation with is almost like two people would have together. The web site “Shmoop” states about the poem, “Also, the speaker uses a metaphor to compare the urn to an "unravish’d" bride and "foster-child." The urn is being personified, or treated as if it were a person who could actually get married.” From this statement Keats is treating the urn as if he could become married to, is through Keats’s use of personification.
The third poetic structure Keats uses is the use of figures of speech through his poem, “Chapman’s Homer.” When Keats’s states in the poem, “When a new planet swims into his Ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes he stared at the Pacific…” (Keats, Chapman’s Homer, page 883, lines 10-13) Keat uses similes and metaphors to convey his happiness in reading this poem. He compares himself reading this poem Homer’s Iliad, to discovering a new planet or being Cortez, the first European man to lay eyes on the Pacific (which is actually incorrect.) In fact, according to the National Geographic “History Book” the Iliad was written approximately 800 B.C.E. and then translated by George Chapman some 2,400 years later. This discovery by John Keats propelled him to us figures of speech to help him describe his excitement in the reading of this ancient poem.
The final structure Keats uses in his poetry is the usage of sound which is mainly found in his poem, “Ode to a Nightingale.” Overall, a nightingale is a bird that is nocturnal and can be heard at night. The use of sound can seen in the poem when it states, “The voice I hear this passing night was heard in ancient days by emperor and clown; perhaps the selfsame song that found a path…” (Keats, Ode to a Nightingale, page 889, lines 63-65) In this statement...

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