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Themesin John Keats poems

Thepoemswrittenby John Keats continueto defythetestof time,andtheyare imperativeforeducationpurposesbecauseof their richliteraryaspects(Pedersen4).His two poems“La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad” and“When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be” haveseveralthemesin common.One of thedominantthemesin thesetwo poemsis thethemeof death.

In“When I havefearsthatI may ceaseto be,”John Keats expresseshis fearof death(Pedersen13). Inhis analyticalandcloseobservationof his surrounding, hefeelsremorsefulthathewill one dayfailto wakeup andenjoyits beauty.Thetitleof thepoemis a reflectionof thepoet’sfearof death.Thepoetwrites,“And I thinkthatI may neverliveto tracetheir shadowswith themagichandof chance…(Brotter 1)” He fearsthathewill not usehis skilledagainto drawtheromanticclouds.Thepoemsendin a sadmoodwhenthepoetthinksof all thethingshelovessinkinginto nothingness.

In“La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad,” The persona meetsa fairladywhois caring andlovely.Thepersona refersto her as, “A fullbeautiful—a fairy’schild(Keats 1).” Thefairladylureshim into sleep.In a dream,thethemeof deathgetsa revisit. Thepersona dreamsof deadpeoplewhoincludekings,princesandwarriorswhopassthrough a painfulprocessbefore theydie.Hedescribestheir physicalstatein their death,“I sawtheir starved lipsin thegloam, with horridwarninggapedwide,”something that hefears.

Theauthorusesvariousliteraryformsto bringout thefearthathehas towards death.In thetwo poems,a collectionof richlanguagestylesis present.Forexampletheauthorusesan explanationof theuniverseto explainto thereaderthethingshewill leavebehindwhenhedies.In fact,hefeelssadat thethoughtof leavingthebeautifulworld.Hepaintsa pictureof beautifulcloudsandchance.Keats usespersonificationto painta pictureof clouds.Herefersto thecloudas romantican attributesetout forbeingswith feelings.Hesays,“When I behold,upon thenight’sstarredface…hugecloudysymbolsof a highromance(Keats 166).” Thenightgetsa humancharacteristicof possessinga face.Keats usespersonificationto makethereadermovealong with his attitudetowards death.Theseare someof thebeautifulornamentsof naturethathewill neverseeagain.

Keatsalsousespersonificationin line5, wherehedescribeschanceas something that can performfunctionswith its hands.Hesays,“And thinksthatI may neverliveto trace…theirshadowswith themagichandof chance…(Brotter 1)” thepersona is stillgrievingtheimpendinglossfacinghim whenhebreatheshis last.Hewill not be ableto dreamagainof thegoodthingsof life.Thelineenablesthereaderto experiencetheinjusticethat comeswith death.Thepersona fullyconvincesthereaderthatwhendeathcomes,an individualloseseveryotherthing.

In“La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad” Keats usesa metaphor embedded in an ancientballadas a wayto writethispoem.Heusesan iambic patternwhereeverylinehas four wordsto stress.Thepoemthusbecomesverymemorableandeasyto understandespeciallyin thenativeland.Theknight-at-arms describesthepeoplewhoheseesin his dreamincludingkingsandprinces.Hesays,“I sawpalekingsandprincestoo,Pale warriors,death-pale weretheyall…(Keats 1).” Keats usesa metaphorto maketheconditionof thedeadpeoplevividto thereader.Whenhesaysthattheir facesweredeath-pale, thereadercan figureout in his mindtheconditionof thedeadpeople.

Thetwo poemsalsosharethethemeof love.However,theloveexpressedin thetwo poemsgetsdirectedto differentsubjects.In “When I haveFears thatI will Cease to Be” The persona directshis loveto theuniverse.Heholdsitsodearlythathefeelsremorsefulwhenhethinksof dyingandleavingit.In “La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad,” theknightat –armsdescribeshowhemeta fairladyandfellin lovewith her. However,thewomanleaveshim in a coldplace.Shesaysto theknight,“I lovetheetrue(Keats 1).”

Thetwo poemsare richin bothstyleandthemes.Eachof thepoemshas morethan one theme.Thepaperhas givena descriptionof thetwo majorthemesin poemsandthewaytheygetemphasizedthrough theuseof literalworks.Thelanguagestylesbringout thethemes,andthereaderfindsthepoemsinterestingto read.

References

Keats,John. Labelle dame sans merci: A ballad.Cherub Press, 1986. Print.

Keats,John. Completepoems.Harvard University Press, 1982. Print.

Pedersen,Eric. English B1b Bradley Stiles 13 Nov 2013 Keats’ Pathway toAcceptance. 2013. Print.

Brotter,C. “Analysis of john Keats: when I have fears: Death and thefreedom of limitation.” TheInternational Students Journal,2.11,(2010): 1-3.Print.