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When I have fears - John Keats

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Title: Slide 1 Author: King George V School Last modified by: defuser Created Date: 3/28/2007 7:52:47 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: When I have fears - John Keats


1
When I have fears - John Keats
  • What are you afraid of?
  • List your top three fears/phobias
  • Why do you have these fears?
  • Are they common to all humans - inherent?
  • Do they result from an experience?
  • Will they change over time?

2
Context of the poem.
  • Keats knew death and was well aware of the
    fragility of life.
  • Father died when Keats was 9 years old
  • Mother died of TB when he was 14
  • He trained as a surgical assistant
  • He nursed his brother Tom through the later
    stages of Tuberculosis until Toms death.
  • He wrote When I Have Fears in Jan 1818 and Tom
    died in Dec 1818
  • He wrote When I Have Fears at least a year
    before meeting Fanny Brawne. (the Brawnes moved
    into part of Wentworth Place in April 1819)
  • He was conscious of mortality evident in his
    poems Bright Star and Ode to Autumn

3
Themes
  • Task Break into table groups and look at each
    quatrain. What themes are evident?
  • Lament for lost opportunities
  • Unfulfilled maturity as a writer
  • Experience the magic of love
  • Experience life and the wonders of the world

4
Form/Structure
  • Shakespearean (or Elizabethan) sonnet
  • 3 Quatrains and a final rhyming couplet
  • Each quatrain progresses the themes in the poem
    with the exception of the couplet that
    drastically changes the mood to one of despair
  • Why did Keats use the Shakespearean sonnet form
    here rather than the Petrarchan?
  • Read the analysis http//www.studentpulse.com/art
    icles/316/analysis-of-john-keatss-when-i-have-fear
    s-death-the-freedom-of-limitations

5
A closer look at the first quatrain
  • When I have fears that I may cease to be
  • Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
  • Before high-piled books, in charactery,
  • Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain
  • Vocabulary teeming overflowing,
  • gleand - extract something/take something
    out/harvested
  • charactery printing/handwriting,
  • garners granary (where corn in stored)
  • What euphemism does Keats use in the first line?
  • Explain the metaphor that Keats uses in
    connection with his writing.
  • How does the use of this metaphor help to
    express his thoughts about his writing and his
    fear in this quatrain?

6
Language/imagery Quatrain One
  • When I have fears that I may cease to be    
    Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
  • Before high-piled books, in charactery,     Hold
    like rich garners the full ripen'd grain
  • Key language features of the first Quatrain 1
  • - Hes afraid hes going to die before his work
    has matured
  • Use of simile for the books compared to the
    garners (granary) of the brain - grain/brain
  • Assonance the rich vowel sounds in gleand and
    teeming express the wealth of the brain
  • Repetition Before conveys a sense of
    unfulfillment

7
A closer look at the second quatrain
  • When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
  • Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
  • And think that I may never live to trace
  • Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance
  • Vocabulary high romance the sublime
  • Explain how Keats uses personification to show
    the power of the sublime, the natural phenomenon
    around him and the imagination
  • What are the cloudy symbols and the shadows?
  • Explain the parallel between the magic hand of
    chance and the poet as a writer.

8
Language/Imagery Quatrain Two
  • When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,    
    Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
  • And think that I may never live to trace    
    Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance
  • Develops the theme in the first quatrain, but
    begins to realise the loss of emotional
    fulfilment and life experiences. The Romantic
    sublime
  • Personification night romantic notion of the
    magic of the natural world heavens are pure and
    love transcends the earth/heavens barrier
  • Metaphor extends the personification by
    reinforcing the notion of poetic inspiration
    derived from the natural world
  • Assonance of round and rich o sounds at the
    start of the quatrain contrast with the harsh a
    sounds of the magic hand of chance

9
A closer look at the third quatrain
  • And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
  • That I shall never look upon thee more,
  • Never have relish in the faery power
  • Of unreflecting love!--then on the shore
  • What is Keats trying to emphasis when he refers
    to his love as fair creature of an hour!?
  • What is the effective of the repetition of the
    negative lexis never?
  • This quatrain is interrupted by the caesura (--)
    What is the effect of this interruption and how
    does it emphasis Keats fears?

10
Language/Imagery Quatrain Three
  • And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
  •     That I shall never look upon thee more,
  • Never have relish in the faery power     Of
    unreflecting love!--then on the shore
  • Develops the themes of love especially mortal
    love and introduces the theme of futility.
  • Change in this quatrain direct address and an
    sense of urgency is expressed an hour
  • ! Adds to the sense of urgency/desperation
  • Alliteration of the soft f sound alludes to the
    beauty and brevity of love
  • Lexis turns negative repetition of never.
    Progressive of the may never, shall never,
    Never increases tension, desperation
  • Unreflecting ideal of romantic love, one sided,
    spontaneous love
  • Caesura breaks the thought process and leads
    into the final rhyming couplet change in mood
    from me, me, me to .

11
A closer look at the rhyming couplet
  • --then on the shore
  • Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
  • Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.
  • Sum up the mood in these closing lines. Identify
    the words which create this feeling.
  • What is Keats final realization about fame and
    love?
  • How does he use the metaphor to emphasize this
    point?

12
Language/Imagery Rhyming couplet
  • --then on the shore
  • Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till
    love and fame to nothingness do sink.
  • Inversion of the mood of the poem, but also a
    logical realisation by the poet of his own
    insignificance in the face of eternity. Overturns
    the rest of the sonnet.
  • Discourse marker Then indicates the shift in
    tone Keats reality check
  • Metaphor of the shore unobstructed view of the
    horizon, I can see clearly now
  • Shore and Alone the image of a lone person
    juxtaposed with the vastness and power of the
    ocean
  • Alliteration Wide World the w sound emphasises
    the image of the vastness of space and time
  • Monosyllabic words think, love, fame, sink in
    contrast to previous flowery romantic
    polysyllabic words this reflects Keats reality
    check
  • Paradoxical ending he resolves his fear by
    asserting the unimportance of love and fame.
    Death makes it meaningless. Death is to be
    feared but in some ways it resolves the fears
    because it ends the fears!

13
Plenary
  • Direct address Why has Keats used this?
  • First Person How has this impacted the message
    relayed in the poem?
  • How important are you?
  • How much do you value yourself?
  • What thoughts does Keats want to leave the
    reader?
  • What image do you have of the poet?
  • Does he progress from arrogance to humility?
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