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GCSE: John Keats

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  1. Compare the Way in which the Romantic poet Keats presents paradox and contrast with close reference to at least three poems

    The odes were his most personal forms of poetry. Because of his life; the death of his brother, his diagnosis of tuberculosis, and his experience of rejection by women, his poems include negative capability. This is the ability to contemplate the world without having to understand the principals behind what you are seeing; the philosophy of his poems. In Keats' letter to his brothers, December 1817, he wrote, "I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

    • Word count: 2961
  2. Rousseau stated that 'I felt before I thought' captured the spirit of the Romantic Movement. Referring in detail to one of Keats' poems, illustrate the qualities which make Keats a Romantic poet.

    In 1811 Keats became the apprentice of an apothecary and it was during this time that he became particularly interested in poetry. In 1815 he left his apprenticeship to take up medicine at Guy's Hospital. Within a year, however, Keats had abandoned this profession for poetry. He soon became part of a group of writers including the famous Romantic poet Shelley. Keats' first collection of poetry was published in March 1817, but did not sell well. Following a tour to the Lake District in 1818, Keats returned to find his brother Tom dying.

    • Word count: 2052
  3. Rich Sensuousness, well-wrought form and depth of thought are characteristics of Keats poetry. By means of a comparative study examine how Keats poetry reflects these features.

    The poet commands us to glut first on the rose; then on the rainbow momentarily created as a wave breaks in the sunlight on the sea; and again on flowers, now the blooms of the peony. The lines containing these commands are heavy with synaesthesia, one of Keats favorite stylistic devices, which consist in mingling the impressions of two or more senses into a single image. The rose, for instance, is obviously a delight to see and to smell, but this is a mourning rose, a blossom at its freshest and best, and the poet bids us to enjoy it so completely as to taste it.

    • Word count: 2610
  4. The Writing of "Ode to a Nightingale".

    Stanza I. The poet falls into a reverie while listening to an actual nightingale sing. He feels joy and pain, an ambivalent response. As you read, pick out which words express his pleasure and which ones express his pain and which words express his intense feeling and which his numbed feeling. Consider whether pleasure can be so intense that, paradoxically, it either numbs us or causes pain. What qualities does the poet ascribe to the nightingale? In the beginning the bird is presented as a real bird, but as the poem progresses, the bird becomes a symbol.

    • Word count: 2365
  5. Compare and contrast Keats' presentation of time, transience and mortality in "Ode to Autumn" with that in "Ode on a Grecian Urn and "Ode to Nightingale".

    Keats wants to escape from this depression and also the knowledge of mortality. The main idea of this escapism shows Keats trying to go back to the state of Innocence; he may feel that he wants to be able to enjoy his life with his brother again and to also not have to worry about life's troubles. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale" envy can be linked to escapism, as Keats feels this envy he gets led to wanting to find escapism. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn" Keats writes "Thou foster-child of silence and slow time" (line 2)

    • Word count: 2003
  6. Write an appreciation of "The Eve of St Agnes" as a narrative Romantic poem.

    However a young Knight comes to see her while she sleeping. The girl wakes up, they fall in love, consummate, and in the morning leave. Keats has used the Romantic theme of Williams Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in his poem. There is a feud between the young girls family and the Knights family. Just as in Romeo and Juliet. The introduction to Keats's poem sets the scene. "St Agnes Eve, Ah bitter chill it was! The owl for all his feathers was a cold." Keats describes how cold it its outside on the winter night, and uses the animals to emphasise the freezing weather.

    • Word count: 2222
  7. Compare the ways in which Keats addresses personal concerns in "Ode to a Nightingale and "When I have fears".

    sad, last grey hairs, where youth grow pale, and spectre thin, and dies, where to think is full of sorrow and leaden-eyed despairs, where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes or new love pine at them beyond tomorrow". He is trying to realise the inevitability of death and recalls how he has often tempted Death, personifying Death and calling 'him' in 'soft names in many a mused rhyme'. He longs to transcend his meagre existence through the means of poetry: 'On the viewless wings of Poesy'.

    • Word count: 2479
  8. `A thing of beauty is a joy forever` - How far and in what ways does Keats communicate this belief in his odes.

    The first line introduces us to the personified autumn. The exclamatory phrase `mellow fruitfulness` heightens the syntax tone immediately and prepares the reader for a stanza rich in tactile and visual images which intensify this opening. The beauty of autumn is emphasised through phrases like; `ripeness to the core`, `swell the gord`, ` o'verbrimmed their clammy cells'. Keat's use of the adjective `plump` as a verb excels this `ripeness` and together intensifies the beauty, which is emphasised through the repetition of `more` and `still more`. Keats almost forces his subject at us.

    • Word count: 2428
  9. Discuss The Attitudes Towards Death In Some Of The Poems That You Have Studied.

    Shortly after his brother's death, Keats died of Tuberculosis at the young age of twenty-four. During his illness, he became aware of time passing and of change in the world of nature. In the brief time that he had left, he composed some of the most inspirational and best poems ever written. Keats wrote his poems, with his attitudes towards death and released in them. He loved nature and the paranormal world, and he portrayed his interests into his poetry, they appeared in the two poems I have studied by him. 'To Autumn' is one of his poems that I have studied, this poem has a very positive attitude towards death, and it shows not a complete end but the end of one thing and the start of something new.

    • Word count: 2575
  10. Analyse the different attitudes the poets John Keats and P.B. Shelley have towards nature in the poems "Ode To A Nightingale," "Ode On A Grecian Urn," "Ode To Autumn," "Ode To The West Wind" and "To A Skylark."

    Keats therefore shares his obsession with the subject of "silence and slow time." For him, the stagnant picture on the Grecian urn is far more superior to the flux in human life. To John Keats, even the nightingale is an "immortal bird" which has filled entire "generations" with "harmonious madness."(To a skylark.) Thus to Keats, Man is only symbolic to an individual who will one day "grow pale and spectre-thin," but the nightingale represents an entire species which owns both, symphony and "full-throated ease." Another Romantic poet whose ideas coincide with Keats' is Dylan Thomas.

    • Word count: 2800

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Describe and discuss the following two poems from the course reader: 'When I Have Fears' by John Keats and 'A Minor Bird' by Robert Frost.

    "In conclusion after comparing both of these poems, looking at their formal, structural and linguistic elements, and their thematic contents, I feel that 'When I Have Fears' by John Keats is the more effective poem. I think that this is because the poet, Keats, gets the reader of the poem to look more deeply at the meaning. It is written in the 19th century, and in a more traditional style, and although it is written in the English language, Keats uses some words that are either no longer used today or their meanings have changed since being written. This seems to get the reader of the poem to work harder to un ravel its meaning, where as 'A Minor Bird' was written in the 20th Century and is there fore a more modern styled poem. I think that this is reflected through out the whole poem, it is easier on the eye to read because of the way it is set out on the page, and there seems to be no deep hidden meanings that the poet wants the reader to de-mystify. Because of the rhyme scheme and the way it is set out 'A Minor Bird' seems to me to be almost like a child's nursery rhyme."

  • Compare and contrast the odes we have studied to show the range of subjects covered

    "I found, that the Keats' poems were written in a romantic style, being both very majestic and full of his imagination. In 'Ode to a Nightingale' as he cannot see the ground around him, he imagines it using his other senses. In 'Ode on a Grecian Urn', Keats imagines what the people on the urn were doing when the picture was painted. He reflects on the idea of a thing of beauty living on past his lifetime and he rejoices in the fact that the urn will never change. The people on the urn are frozen in a moment of time forever. This idea is mirrored in 'Ode to a Nightingale', since all nightingales sing the same song, he imagines the other people who have sat, like him and listened to the bird's song, using the idea that the song of the nightingale transcends time. In this way, we see a comparative theme running through Keats' work. This does not include 'To Autumn', which is a much more 'subjective' poem. When compared to 'Ode to a Nightingale' and 'Ode on a Grecian urn', 'To Autumn' seems to be written in a style that is much more narrative, describing the events of autumn. Classical"

  • Compare 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'To Autumn' by John Keats. Write about the verse from, ideas, structure and language of the poems which do you prefer and why?

    "In conclusion 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' has all the characteristics of a ballad. It tells a story with a tragic theme and has short verses with a regular rhyme scheme. 'To Autumn' has no narrative but concentrates on rich imagery to describe the season. It has three long verses with a complex rhyme scheme. It is an ode. The ballad uses repetition-contrasting atmosphere and contains elements of the supernatural. The ode has none of these. The ballad is written as a dialogue whereas the ode has only the voice of the poet. Both poems contain rich imagery and sensory appeal but 'To Autumn' does this to a greater degree. Death plays a part in both poems but there is only a hint of death in the title. The poem I prefer is 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci.' 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' tells a story; this made the poem more interesting for me as it kept me reading to find out what happened to the knight. 'To Autumn' describes the autumn, for me the poem is not appealing and it did not keep me interested. By Lee Baldwin"

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