John Keats On Seeing The Elgin Marbles Analysis

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A short bittersweet life. A difficult lovelorn life. A misunderstood talent in life. John Keats did not have a perfect life. His short life contained abundant misery until he died. From the death of his parents, leaving his career of an apothecary-surgeon in order to pursue poetry, to caring for his dying brother, and falling in love. When he caught tuberculosis in July of 1820 many of the sonnets he wrote contained his recognition of mortality. The sonnet “On Seeing the Elgin Marbles” tells the reader how John Keats struggles with mortality and that struggle brought this sonnet to express that accepting fate exceeds denying an inevitable death. John Keats’ sonnet begins with a statement about mortality. He states how he knows that his mortality means that one day he must die. “My spirit is too weak--mortality / Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep, / And each imagin 'd pinnacle and steep / Of godlike hardship, tells me I must die” (lines 1-4). He informs the audience about his thoughts on mortality. Saying that the thought of it weighs him down; similar to exhaustion and how he cannot simply ignore the thought of his lack of sleep. He can only lie awake and dwell upon his fate. Through every moment, everything reminds him of his upcoming death. He could only watch his life go by. …show more content…
However, he was not great until the last years of his life. His best work emerged when he wrote more on his inner thoughts and emotions. He wanted the world throughout the ages to look on him as a great poet. His sonnet “On Seeing The Elgin Marbles” portrays his desire to go down in history. Keats never gave up his love for poetry; and he showed the, that even when he was not in the prime of his life he could still produce amazing poetry. His sonnets on mortality and his final acceptance of death made his work great. His mortality did not stand in the way of his work. As a result, John Keats lives on as an immortal through his

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