The Ultimate Love Letter
Love and sexuality play a significant role within the poetry of John Keats. His failure to consummate his passionate relationship with Fanny Brawne by marriage not only adds a sense of pity towards his use of the themes of love and sexuality but also explains his expressions of passion within his poetry and odes. The characters Keats depicts within his “Ode to Psyche” can be taken to symbolize his love for and obsession with Miss Fanny Brawne. In 1819 Keats lived in the house of Charles Brown. While Keats and Brown studying in Scotland, Brown had rented his house to a woman named Mrs. Brawne. She lived there with her sixteen-year-old daughter Fanny. When Keats and Brown returned to London, Mrs. Brawne and her daughter moved to a different house, but remained in the city. Keats quickly became acquainted with the two women, and subsequently fell in love with the beautiful and chic, Fanny Brawne. Engrossed in his relationship with Fanny Brawne, as well as writing his poetry, Keats began to feel emotionally and mentally drained. Thus, in autumn of 1819, Keats tried to pursue a commonplace profession so that he could detach himself from the world of literature, and recover some of his emotional and mental strength. However, in February of 1820, all his future plans had to be put on hold because Keats stated noticing obvious symptoms of tuberculosis. This marked the start of what Keats referred to as his “posthumous life.” He was a man in love, yet because of his illness, he could not pursue the relationship which he so yearned for. Keats could not even take pleasure in the encouraging feedback from the publication of his first volume of odes and poems. The volume was called Lamia, Isabella &c, and it is comprised of some Keats’s most renowned literary works.[i] The volume contains “Ode to Psyche,” in which Keats uses the character of Psyche, the Greek Goddess of soul, to portray his feelings of love for Fanny Brawne, and...
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