• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Eternal Love Through Death in John Keats Bright Star

Extracts from this document...


Kwok Kwok Lai Chu, Yukie Prof. Michael O?Sullivan ENGE 2370 18 Oct 2013 Eternal Love Through Death in John Keats? Bright Star Love, being one of the most debated topics in literature, often serves as a source of inspirations for many of writers and poets, including John Keats. Throughout his life, he wrote countless love poems and letters, addressing his lover ? Fanny Brawne. The star, apart from being the symbol of steadfastness and constancy, it is also a metaphor representing Keats himself. Through Keats? idea of ?Mansion of life?, the poem is consisted of two floors where the first floor displays his passionate love for Brawne while the second floor talks about his inner desire for death. Keats first expresses his ideal, however paradoxical love. There are two essential yet conflicting qualities in this poem ? the reality verses the ideal and the immortal verses the mortal. On one hand, he would like to be like a star, steadfast and unchanging. On the other, he dislikes the solitude of the star as it has to watch ?the moving waters? and ?the new soft-fallen mask/Of snow? from afar like a ?sleepless Eremite?. ...read more.


While I was reading Bright Star, I could not help but catch the similarity between Keats and Shakespeare?s idea of love. In the opening of Shakespeare?s sonnet 116, ?Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth?s unknown, although his height be taken.? (Shakespeare) Shakespeare talks about his ideal love and marriage. Keats, being a reader of Shakespeare, is in some way affected or inspired by him. Shakespeare describes love as an ?ever-fixed marks? that ?is never shaken? even in the wildest storms. Keats transformed Shakespeare?s ?ever-fixed? into steadfastness. Keats then moves on to talk about a more sexual and sensuous love. With more explicit descriptions of ?my [his] fair love?s? body parts, those descriptions hint the idea of sex and orgasm. ...read more.


Keats? obsession with death and his love for Fanny are intertwined seamlessly throughout the poem. In one of his letters, he states ?I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your loveliness and the hour of my death? (Poet.org). Not only is Keats intimidated by death, to some extent he is also intrigued by it. Even though he is worried about the approaching death, to him the promise of death is comforting and soothing. The only resolution to achieve the paradoxical ideal of being eternal as well as experiencing love is death. Through death, immutability and steadfastness can be achieved. Keats has seen many people died in his lifetime. His father died when he was eight; his mother died from tuberculosis when he was 14; his brother Tom died also from tuberculosis when he was 19. Along with his family?s deaths, he has also seen a lot of patients died as he was also a medical student. Therefore, constantly seeing people die in a way reminds him of the transience and the mutability of life. There are some religious references in the second quatrain of the poem. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level John Keats section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level John Keats essays

  1. The interplay of dreams and reality is frequently found within John Keats' poems.

    For I will fly with thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards." Poetry is the next means of escape. Here, I believe the metaphorical significance of the bird seems most clear.

  2. Commentary on John Keats' "When I Have Fears".

    The final quatrain is an address to a "fair creature of an hour," the narrator's beloved. By referring to her as a "fair creature," the reader does not think of a woman; he thinks of a beautiful goddess. Once again, Keats's diction emphasizes his point.

  1. A2 English Literature

    The Grecian Urn is believed to exist outside of time in the human sense as it does not age and it does not die. In 'Ode to a Nightingale' the speaker meditates over the themes of creative expression and the mortality of human life, whilst the speaker's meditation in 'Ode

  2. How successfully does Keats address the theme of love and loss in La Belle ...

    The knights cheeks are like "a fading rose" as if the life force within him is being drained out, and that he will be just like the pale and once mighty warriors, kings and princes who "la belle dame" has conquered and destroyed.

  1. John Keats was born on October 31st, 1795 in Finsbury Pavement near London.

    The poem is all about a 'knight-at-arms' who is doomed by a fortunate meeting in the meads with a beautiful lady. Enchanted by her sensual attraction, he sets her upon his steed and spends the day bewitched by her captivating company.

  2. theme of loveliness

    Here he is focusing on the fact that life is fleeting and the physical beauty and loveliness of his beloved would not last forever, neither would his love. This shows that he is a staunch believer of the inner beauty because it is immortal and it does not need camouflage as opposed to physical beauty.

  1. Is "To Autumn" by Keats a purely descriptive poem?

    This could be of comfort to Keats and since his poetry had only just become rather successful, he may have felt like his family were in a way, watching over him. To Autumn is also a very analytical poem. Keats analyses throughout, how autumn brings goodness to nature.

  2. How is Romanticism conveyed in Keats To Autumn'?

    It helps to portray the abundance that occurs when autumn does. It goes along with the themes set already in the poem of sheer excess and plentitude. The seasons prior to autumn in the 1800 would have been very sparse when it came to fruits and fresh produce, so Keats

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work