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Write about how Keats uses places in telling of "The Eve of St Agnes".

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´╗┐LYDIA GEORGE Write about how Keats uses places in the telling of The Eve of St Agnes. The Eve of St Agnes opens with the place of the cold and desolate chapel, we are immediately plunged into senses; a theme which continues through the rest of the poem. There is a semantic field of cold, for example, words such as ?bitter chill?, ?frozen grass?, ?numb?, ?frosted breath? and ?icy hoods? all convey a sense of chill that surrounds the Beadsman at the start of the poem. The religious setting, the stone tombs with their ?black purgatorial rails??, present not only a compelling visual picture but also a comfortless religion, where not even death promises a release from pain. ...read more.


From this stillness and taciturnity the Beadsman leads us to the joy inside to a hall full of wealth and energy ?scarce three steps, ere Music?s golden tongue?; yet the Beadsman decides not to join the feast and this could symbolise the rejection of life's joys. This is a stark contrast of atmosphere from the chapel and therefore emphasises both the bleak and pitiless feel of the chapel as well as the welcoming and vivacious sensation inside the hall. As Keats moves the attention to the inside the castle, he uses vibrant descriptions to give a sense of liveliness such as ?burst in the argent revelry, With plume, tiara and all rich array? with the words ?revelry?, ?tiara?, and ?rich array? Keats is appealing to indulgent and extravagant senses, showing the wealth Madeline?s heritage holds. ...read more.


The music and sounds of celebration are very prominent in the setting of the hall with use of the sibilance in the "snarling trumpets", and ?The music, yearning like God in pain? illustrate human activity and animation, however the ?snarling? and the idea of ?God in pain? are sinister images perhaps showing it is all not as it seems in the supposed warmth of the hall. Furthermore, in the place of the hall a dream vs reality concept is introduced as part of a transitional states theme; as Madeline?s ?heart was otherwhere? and as ?shadows haunting fairly?. This imagery of dreams and unreality hints to fairy-tale and surreal elements which are used as motifs throughout the poem. ...read more.

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