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"Write a detailed comparison of Boccaccio and Keats (Verses 35-43). What do we learn of Keats' intentions from the comparison?"

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Introduction

"Write a detailed comparison of Boccaccio and Keats (Verses 35-43). What do we learn of Keats' intentions from the comparison?" The aims of Boccaccio in his original 1370 version of 'Lisabetta' are far different from those of Keats who wrote 'Isabella' 500 years later. Keats has carefully analysed the original story, and selected various aspects that he thinks are important to develop into his 63-stanza poem, and has also omitted information that he sees as not important and not relevant to the core plot. The foremost topic that Keats' elaborates is the love affair between Lorenzo and Isabella. He tries to evoke many more emotions from the reader than Boccaccio does, as he believes that this is an important aspect of the story that needs to be developed. In Boccaccios story, the love between the two grows rapidly - almost instantly. However, Keats takes much longer to deliver the information, thus building tension and giving the poem more body. ...read more.

Middle

- In the drowsy gloom..." and "Red whortle berries droop above my head..." The writing styles of Boccaccio and Keats are vastly different - for example, Keats often uses labial consonants that portrays a calmer mood ("the love of Lorenzo...the soft lute from his lorn voice, and past his loamed ears"), and also reverses this sense of tranquillity by using the opposite to labial words - short, dissonant, sibilant words ("Strange though it was, when the pale shadow spake, for there was striving...to speak...tremulous shake...sepulchral"), which gives the reader a sense of violence and turmoil in the story. Furthermore, Keats demonstrates to us the importance of various points by repeating key phrases which again emphasise the ideas - for example, he emphasises the intimacy between Lorenzo and Isabella by repeating the word close in adjacent lines ("All close they met again...all close they had met...close in a bower of hyacinth", which explains a concept to the reader - almost subliminally. Again, this is a writing method that differs from Boccaccio. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps Keats has had first hand experience of this, and is using the characters in the poem to portray his personal emotions. I think that the predominant point that he is trying to make is about everlasting love, and how love can go on even after someone has died. Again, this may have happened to Keats personally, but it is definitely an area that he pays much attention to, and devotes a considerable amount of his poem to this concept. I don't think that Keats was overly religious, which suggests that he had a different motive to write so much about the afterlife and life after death. I can only think that he writes this from personal experience. I believe that these are Keats' motives for his writing of Isabella, and he effectively puts his point across through a combination of grammatical techniques & prominent concepts - as I believe I have discussed in this essay. 09/05/2007 Boccaccio & Keats Comparison Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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