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This paper discusses how in both the poems "Sonnet 18" by William Shakespeare, and "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" by John Keats, the theme of reading is discussed in different ways. It examines how Shakespeare chooses to examine the idea of reading beauty, whereas Keats examines how reading enables us to travel and explore through our imagination. The paper further discusses how each poem significantly relies on the use of form, meter, imagery and tone as ways to contribute to their depiction of reading. Though the form of each poem is different they nonetheless both offer suggestions as to the importance of reading, where their respective forms affect the way in which the topic of their poems is discussed. Through the analysis of each poem's depiction of reading, their use of form, meter, imagery and tone, as well as looking closely at what each poem suggests about the importance of it, the paper reaches the conclusion that Keats' poem is more effective than Shakespeare's portrayal due to the profound insights and discoveries he makes in terms of what reading can accomplish on a more personal level.
From the Paper:"In comparison to "Sonnet 18", John Keats' poem "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" also relies on form, metre and imagery, but as a means to depict reading as though it enables a person to travel through literature into their imagination. Keats describes how through reading he is able to travel and explore, "Much have I travell'd... Round many western islands I have been..." (1, 3). Though the poem takes the form of a Petrarchan sonnet, "On Looking into Chapman's Homer" is similar to "Sonnet 18" as it too sounds natural when spoken and has a steady metre due to the rigid rules that sonnets must follow in terms of rhyming and syllables. Tone plays an important role in Keats' poem, for the reader gets a sense that Keats' himself is on an exploration of knowledge through reading Chapman, and feelings of discovery and excitement come to mind, "Yet I never did breathe it's pure serene/Till I heard Chapman speak out..." (7-8) Chapman has enabled him to feel like he is out exploring through his words. Linking to such things, the poems imagery of exploration, wide open spaces such as the sea and a journey of discovery allow for us to understand more about what the importance of reading truly means to Keats' himself; he sees it as a way to escape ordinary life and explore the world of literature."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Keats, John John Keats The Major Works: including Endymoin, the odes, and selected letters New York, Oxford University Press, 2001. 32.
- Shakespeare, William The Sonnets Ed. Stephen Orgel. USA, Penguin Books, 2001. 18.
Cite this Poem Review:
Shakespeare vs. Keats (2012, February 05) Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/poem-review/shakespeare-vs-keats-150386/
"Shakespeare vs. Keats" 05 February 2012. Web. 21 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/poem-review/shakespeare-vs-keats-150386/>