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Compare and Contrast the Poets’ View of God in O Loss of Sight and To Autumn

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Introduction

COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE POETS' VIEW OF GOD IN O LOSS OF SIGHT AND TO AUTUMN To Autumn is a poem by John Keats, concerning the season of autumn, and the effect it has on him, and nature. Keats was writing in the early nineteenth century, and was a poet of the Romantic movement that was current at that time. John Milton, a poet of the Restoration period, wrote O Loss of Sight. He wrote this poem in his later years, during the mid seventeenth century, and was, through his lifetime, a devout Puritan. O Loss of Sight is a part of the dramatic dialogue, Samson Agonistes, in which the story of Samson is portrayed. I will compare the views of God that each of the authors portrays in their poems, and the ways in which they chose to do this. I will comment on the language they use, and the effect it has on the reader. To Autumn is written with a humanistic view to nature, and God. He is not mentioned at all in the poem, but the seasons and nature are made to be the god of the earth. God is represented in nature and beauty, but not as an actual being, the creator of heaven and earth, but the God of the humanistic world Keats lives in; he is just the seasons, and Fate. ...read more.

Middle

He is not praising it, but is expressing his disdain at nature. Milton also gives the reader a sense of his confusion and bewilderment. He does not feel alive, neither is he dead: "scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half". This is because he cannot see nature and the things God created. These are the opposite feelings of Keats, who does not wish to look at nature any more. His attitude changes from the beginning of the poem, when he is very optimistic about nature: "fill all fruit with ripeness to the core". He is enthusiastic about the good things in nature, but this manner changes towards the end of the poem. He no longer seems to admire nature, and he becomes apathetic towards it: "or sinking as the wind lives or dies". He does not seem to care any longer about what nature does. The wind can die if it wants, or it can chose to live; it appears to matter little now to Keats. This is possibly because he has realised his own mortality (he was writing To Autumn at the end of his life). O Loss of Sight echoes these feeling too; but not in the same way. Milton feels that even nature is above him - "inferior to the vilest now become of man or worm" - and so he cannot bear to think about a human, himself, being pushed down to the level of a worm. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a clear distinction between good and bad in O Loss of Sight, but this cannot be said of To Autumn. There are no obvious divisions between the moral and the immoral: Keats mentions "the fume of poppies" - referring to opium. This shows that Keats led a life totally absent from God, whereas Milton mourns the loss of his God. Milton knows that God exists, and he feels separated from that God, because of his sin perhaps, or because of the absence of light in his life. John Keats briefly acknowledges that perhaps there is a God, but the thought is all too brief, and fleeting. He feels that nature is too full of sweetness and is overflowing so much that it is uncomfortable, and perhaps he suggests that there is actually evil in nature underlying the fa�ade of goodness. Milton, however, knows that nature is a thing created by God, and he is sorrowful and bitter because he cannot share in its beauty: "all her various objects of delight annulled". Both the writers express a sense of hopelessness, because they seem to realise at some point or other in their poems that their life is futile, and that they are not really in control of where they are eternally headed. The poems are both expressions of the elusiveness of life and God. ?? ?? ?? ?? Victoria Ellis Candidate no 0061 Centre no 16128 GCSE English Literature Coursework Pre-Nineteenth Century Poems - 1 - ...read more.

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