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

In tragedy, the boundaries between antagonists and protagonists are continually blurred. Explore to what extent you agree. Analyse closely Keats Authorial methods in two of the texts.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In tragedy, the boundaries between antagonists and protagonists are continually blurred. Explore to what extent you agree. Analyse closely Keats? Authorial methods in two of the texts. Keats? desire to be remembered in history as a great literary writer lead to him taking on inspiration from traditional tragedies such as Shakespeare?s plays. However he wanted to make his own mark in history by advancing his own ideas in his literature. The influence of both traditional tragic literature and his own new ideas meant that the boundary between antagonists and protagonists were blurred. Aristotle set out that a true tragedy must have a tragic hero and a villain, however some of Keats? poems are far more open to interpretation. A key example of where that boundary between antagonists and protagonists is blurred, is in the poem ?La Belle Dame Sans Merci.? At the start of this poem Keats attempts to identify the tragic hero as the ?knight-at-arms?, the fact that he?s knight establishes a medieval setting, this is also reinforced through archaic language such as ?Woe betide!?. ...read more.

Middle

This is later reinforced by Keats? authorial interventions (?why were they proud? Because their marble founts?). They also completely juxtapose Lorenzo, who?s a hard worker described as a ?servant of their trade designs.? The two brothers are further presented as the clear antagonists through the image of them presiding over their ?torched mines and noisy factories.? Keats thought the industrial revolution was attacking nature and here he takes a very anti-capitalist tone by presenting the two brothers as essentially slave owners. They are totally opposite to the two lovers who, despite being separated by class, see each other as equals, shown in romantic metaphors such as ?The inward Fragrance of each other?s heart?, presenting a more socialist view. I therefore disagree to some extent as this poem contradicts the statement made as the boundaries are clearly defined through both the politics and language Keats? instills in his writing. However the knight in La Belle Dame sans Merci also fails to follow the conventions of a tragic hero, as does La Belle Dame herself. Here we see Keats? own ideas come into play as neither of the characters are tragic hero?s as defined traditionally by Aristotle. ...read more.

Conclusion

This all defines Isabel as the tragic hero and the main victim of the poem. First she loses the love of her life and is lied to by her brothers before even having her pot of basil taken from her. Her character falls further again and again, designed to truly reinforce the tragicness of her death and therefore defining her as the tragic hero. From this we can see that the statement is incorrect to a large extent as the boundaries are very distinct In conclusion, Keats most certainly blurs the boundary between protagonists and antagonists, more specifically where he adds his own ideas to his poetry. In his want to be remembered as a poet he pushes away the traditional conventions to a large extent in order to create characters and poems with far more depth and interpretation and in doing so he avoids establishing a clear protagonist and a clear antagonist. However when he takes poems from older literature such as Isabella he does stick to the classic tragic conventions of a tragic hero in order to remain true to the original stories. ...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.

    This conflict between dreams and reality lies at the heart of the poem. In the next few lines, for instance, there is a moment of pure spiritual transfiguration: "Already with thee! Tender is the night / And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne / Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays."

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

    "There she wept and sigh'd full sore, and there I shut her wild wild eyes with kisses four", this makes the woman seem vulnerable but it also seems as if she is just playing with the man, being his muse, encouraging him to get even more emotionally attached to her by using her "wild wild eyes".

  1. Lamia is a Narrative Poem in Which Keats Seems More Interested in Describing Than ...

    At the end of this poem her true identity is discovered by Apollonius. At this point Keats almost makes us sympathize with Lamia and we begin to feel sorry for her.

  2. Write a detailed critical analysis of ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’, based upon your ...

    Why is this worth noting? Apollo's curly hair, associated with the controlling idea of poetry and Imagination, and carrying secondary connotations of beauty, fertility, youth and vigour, is transferred to La Belle Dame.

  1. Keats wrote Isabella because he wanted to produce a commercial success, but he also ...

    to its publication, and so he looked back on it as inferior to his later poems.

  2. How does Keats use language to create contrast?

    such as "wan" (stanza I), which means something that is lacking in intensity or brightness.

  1. From your reading of 'Sleep and Poetry' what have you learnt about Keats and ...

    And so, Keats may have thought of poetry as a god like message to describe the things that have been created, such as nature which Keats has repeatedly used through 'Sleep and poetry'. At this point in his career Keats is very passionate about what he's going to do, and his youthful enthusiasm is portrayed when he writes 'Oh Poesy'.

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

    This idea of death is taken a step further when Keats writes, "And on thy cheeks a fading rose..." Line 11 Here the "rose" is used as a metaphor for death. Also, when describing the enchantress, he writes, "And her eyes were wild" Line 16 This gives the reader a

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