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Keats Journal

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Assignment 1: Controlling Ideas 1. "La Belle Dame sans Merci" : * Throughout the poem "La Belle Dame sans Merci", Keats utilizes similes to compare the acquisition of love to how it can be misleading. This further illustrates the ephemeral nature of love, which can lead to ambiguous and unexpected outcomes. 2. "Ode on a Grecian Urn": * In "Ode on a Grecian Urn", Keats employs the central paradox of perfection and idealism to demonstrate the existence of platonic ideas of beauty, youth, and love. The dramatic shifts in tone demonstrate his inability to neither accept nor reject the idea of perfection. 3. "Ode on Melancholy": * In the poem "Ode on Melancholy", Keats connects the sublime natural world to the human race in order to propose the eternal nature of melancholy which leads to ultimate happiness. He implements the dichotomy of "joy and pain" to express the idea that in order to express happiness fully, we must also experience sadness. 4. "Ode to a Nightingale": * In the poem "Ode to a Nightingale", Keats employs vivid imagery to communicate the fatality of life, thus conveying the methods of escape in the form of alcohol, imagination, and death. 5. "On first looking into Chapman's Homer": * In the poem "On first looking into Chapman's Homer", Keats expresses the intensity and beauty behind his journey through Chapman's Homer. ...read more.


"withered" line 47, 3 f. "easeful Death," line 22 "Ode to a Nightingale" g. "quiet breath;" line 24 "Ode to a Nightingale" h. "die" line 25 "Ode to a Nightingale" 6. Keats symbolizes women in this poem with water; men who mess with women end up getting all soggy and wet. Therefore, men become weak by their contact with women, thus revealing that love is not perfect nor is it ideal. a. "dew" line 26 b. "wept" line 30 c. "fever dew" line 10 d. "moist" line 10 e. "Lake" lines 3, 47 7. Implications: a. Love is self- destructive b. More feelings of beauty and love-->the more desolate and more painful the world becomes. c. Love is temporary d. Man's feelings are deceiving Assignment 3: Essay Option 2: "Ambiguity in a poem is perhaps its greatest attraction." Referring closely to Keats' poetry, examine how multiple meanings can be suggested in a poem and how the ambiguity relates to larger themes. Ambiguity is a literary technique used by poets and writers that is used as a suspense mechanism. It creates a conflicting mood and allows the reader to interpret the language in various ways. Keats' poems are immersed with literary ambiguity primarily to create themes of death, change, and love. He displays these themes in such a way that the reader is unsure of his feelings; the dark imagery that he refers to also enhance these obvious yet ambiguous ideas he poses in his poetry. ...read more.


He knows that he has to die, but does not understand why. He makes the readers go on the same journey as he is and causes the reader to feel the same way he does. This creates a relationship between the reader and Keats which allows us to think deeper and create different meanings of the emotions that are being presented. In conclusion, ambiguity, in poetry serves to enhance the readers' experience by revealing little, and allows the reader to use their imagination. This leaves a broad region of interpretation; Keats' use of ambiguity allows him to evoke certain tones and moods that are similar to his own. This effect would be impossible without being ambiguous. In all of his poems, Keats emphasizes the importance of themes such as beauty, love, and the ephemeral nature of life. He wishes to conquer each of these ideals, but realizes that they are unattainable or they are very short-lived. In many cases, he concludes that pain is a by-product of each of these ideas. He uses ambiguous terms, structures, and language to demonstrate these ideas. His use of ambiguity in the endings of his poems keep readers interested and helps ensure lasting significance. He also uses other figures of speech such as paradox, imagery, unpredictable shifts, and dramatic metaphors to help improve the ambiguity in his poems. This deliberate use of ambiguity contributes to the effectiveness, richness, and beauty of his work. ...read more.

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