The Poet's Role in the Society Comparison Essay

The Poet's Role in the Society
A comparison between Shelley's and Keats' conception of how a poet is supposed to live in his society.
# 153566 | 2,868 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2012 | FR
Published on Jun 16, 2013 in Literature (English) , Literature (Poetry)

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This paper examines the ideas of solitude, revolution and elevation in Percy Bysshe Shelley's and John Keats' works. The paper demonstrates how both poets incorporate and promote the concepts of elevation and solitude, but Shelley was involved and addresses the political events of the time. In contrast, the paper shows how Keats, who is often seen as the most apolitical poet of his generation, ignored the political events of the time so as to offer the reader an escape from a dreadful reality. The paper asserts that the role these poets seem to be playing in society is one of extreme importance, since they are prophets who are supposed to guide people, to enlighten them with their knowledge of truth and beauty

From the Paper:

"Shelley's point of view on a solitary poet seems to be well explained in his poem "Alastor". The image of the lonely poet who "[...] lived, [...] died, [...] sung, in solitude" (l.60) is surrounded by a lonesome and destroyed nature "the waste", "the fallen towers", "ruined temples" (l. 109-116), "its loneliest dells"(l.146), "empty scene"(l.201) and an obscured reality "[...] He eagerly pursues/ Beyond the realms of dream that fleeting shade; / He overleaps the bounds" (l.205-207) while he is running after a dream he had of "a veiled maid" who appears to be his own reflection, "Her voice was like the voice of his own soul" (l.153), ignoring every other sort of society such as the Arab maiden's one who occupies eleven lines of the poem which seems to highlight her lack of importance for the poet. "Pursuing his illusion, an ideal created by his own mind, he is becoming a ghost "his limbs were lean: his scattered hair/ sered [...]; his listless hand/ hung like dead bone within its withered skin" as everything around him is falling apart and his voice goes unheard which is one of Shelley's great concern. Shelley's constant struggle to be published led to the fear of his poems dying with him the way it happened with the young poet's ones in "Alastor"."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baudelaire, Charles, Les Fleurs du Mal (Editions Larousse, 2006)
  • Keats, John, The Complete Poems, ed. by John Barnard(Penguin Classics, 2006)
  • Ovide, Les Metamorphoses (Gallimard, 1999)
  • Rimbaud, Arthur, Oeuvres Completes (LibrairieGeneraleFrancaise, 1999)
  • Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 'Selected Poems' in Romanticism: An Anthology, ed. by Duncan Wu,4th ed. (Wiley & Blackwell, 2012)

Cite this Comparison Essay:

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