Romanticism: Blake and Keats

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Romanticism: Blake and Keats

Blake and Keats were renowned poet during the period where Romanticism played an essential part in creative art and works. Romanticism is an international artistic and philosophical movement that redefined the fundamental ways in which people in Western cultures thought about themselves and about their world. Poets like Blake and Keats writings were influenced by the fundamentals of nature, human emotions, feelings, imagination, instinct and intuition, reflection of his individuality and inner mind, and the belief in symbolism and the supernatural.

In William Blake’s “The Fly” and John Keats’s “When I have fears that I may cease to be”, both poem can be classified as elegies as it dealt with the subject of death. It was by no coincidence that both poets work were influenced by the death of their own beloved brothers although it happened under different circumstances. However, both the writers approach the subject of death in a different way.

In “The Fly”, Blake discussed the theme of nature of the world and its creator and the value of humanity. He speculated on whether his life is similar or of any more value than that of a fly or vice versa. He described himself as someone totally insignificant and unimportant to some blind force in the world, just as the fly is to human beings. Unlike human who is engrossed with life and humanity, the fly may have, if any, little conscious awareness of its life and mortality. In order words, if a ‘blind hand’ is the force of the creator responsible for the world, then the human beings are liken to a fly, something totally of no significant and value. Whether the fly live or die, is has no value to human. Even in death, the fly will have no fears and remain ‘a happy fly’.

Keats however expressed a different perspective of life and death. In his poem “When I have fears that I may cease to be”, the theme he was projecting is about lost opportunity. He articulated his fears of...
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