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By comparing Boccacios 'Lisabetta' and keats's 'Isabella' what do we learn about Keats's interests in his writing?

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Introduction

By comparing Boccacios 'Lisabetta' and keats's 'Isabella' what do we learn about Keats's interests in his writing In Keats's version of 'Decameron' he uses the original as a base to reflect his own style and writing techniques. He basically makes it his own and he does this in a number of ways. The most obvious of these adaptations is the fact that Keats has turned a novel style piece of writing into poetic verse. 'Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel! Lorenzo, a young palmer in loves eye!' This is the first two lines of Keats's Isabella, from the start Keats uses imaginative description, this again is another difference of the two. Boccaccio's writing is far more factual, this creates a good affect but Keats chooses the other option and lets his imagination and also the reader's imagination to tell the story. 'Know then that there were at Messina three young men, that were brothers and merchants, who were left very rich on the death of their father' As you can see by comparing the two beginnings of each piece, it is easy to see their differences already. In the beginning of Keats's version he immediately refers to the lovers, he bases his whole poem around the love of these two people, however Boccaccio's original is quite different, he starts off by talking of the brothers, and he instead of love his story revolves around murder and treachery. ...read more.

Middle

'With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt, Enriched from ancestral merchandise, And for hem many a weary hand did swelt' This was taken from Keats's version, I feel that Keats has placed a personal burden upon the characters of the brothers. Keats had lost his brothers to TB and I sense a sort of maliciousness in his writing when describing the two brothers. They appear to me as shadowy characters that play an influential role in the piece. Boccaccio however sees the brothers in a different light. To him they are the main part of his story; they create all the murder and sinister acts. They watch over Lisabetta as she sneaks off to the servants room, they are so ashamed of this they kill Lorenzo. 'All unwitting, was observed by the eldest of the brothers, who, albeit much distressed by what he had learnt' One of the main parts of Keats's adaptation is in verses 35 - 43, in these verses the ghost of Lorenzo is described, it is the main part of the story and keates spends seven verses on it 56 lines in total so it takes up a large chunk off his adaptation. However Boccaccio hardly takes any notice of this detail, his ghost scene is a mere ten lines, just from this it highlights the main difference between the two, once again Keates emphasises the relationship between Lorenzo and Isabella, in his ghost scene, Lorenzo's ghost begins to weep before Isabella. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Fair Isabel, poor Isabel' This is the first line on Keates's poem and you can see straight away the similarity between the two. ' A man, confined as he may be, he none the less still preserves in in his heart the sweet sensation of freedom, and the knowledge that he can quiet this prison whenever he wishes.' This is a paragraph taken from a paragraph of 'the sorrows of young werther'. This poem was written in 1774 so there is quiet a time difference between the two. This shows that keates had obviously studied and admired Goethe's writing and it inspired him to write his own. So through this analysis we have seen many contrasts between the two writers. One obviously being the time difference, this is always going to affect the differences in vocabulary and style. This is shown by the lack of interest in love by Boccaccio and the opposite by Keates. Also the difference between the two is individuality; every writer is different and chose to write in different ways. The main differences were the different points of concentration; from my view it seems that they are completely opposite. Keates concentrating on the love and relationship between the two lovers. And Boccaccio concentrating more on the mystery and sinister front of the poem, which was popular for this time. I find these differences very interesting for they have sprung up from the same poem. ...read more.

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