Boccaccio v Keats

678 Words2 Pages

Boccaccio v Keats

In reading Lisabetta (Boccaccios version) and Isabella (Keats version)

it can help us understand Keats intentions, plans and achievements


Keats deliberately begins his poem with the lovers, Keats sees the

lovers as the main focus and he wants to reinstate their importance.

Keats puts effort into portraying the lovers as young and innocent and

due to the brothers their relationship is ruined.

'fair Isabelle, poor simple Isabelle

Lorenzo, a young palmer in loves eye.' Keats seems to write in such a

realistic way, it comes across as autobiographical.

Keats characterises the lovers differently to Boccaccio. In Keats they

are shy with each other. 'So spake they to their pillows.' 'I may not

speak and yet I will, and tell my love all plain.' Keats portrays them

as being in tune with nature 'voice pleasanter than the noise of trees

of hidden rill' and 'Lorenzo is more watchful over her than the

falcon.' The main attraction between the two lovers happens in

May/June. These are the summer months when love occurs, and eventually

it 'grew like a lusty flower in Junes caress' Keats keeps the lovers

innocent. In Boccaccio, Lorenzo is experienced 'he gave up all other

amours' and the lovers quickly slept together 'each that they most

desired' Keats on the other hand 'purifies' the lovers. They keep

close company' in a bower of hyacinth and musk.' In Keats the brothers

notice the love between them 'found by many signs' instead of caught

popping into each others bedrooms. In Keats they noticed each other

all the time. In living in the same house Keats takes trouble over

unfolding their frustrations and love, for there is not much they can

do (autobiographical). We now start to care about them.

Both know the danger of the lovers class difference, but the fact that

they cant be together seems to fuel their lust. 'Even bees knows there

is richest juice in poison flowers'

Another big difference between the poems is the concentration put

towards the brothers. In Keats the brothers are introduced late on and

the characteristics have been moulded around evil. In Boccaccio the

brothers are introduced at the very beginning of the poem and their

decision about killing Lorenzo is more to do with wanting the sister

to be happy without consulting the sister. (In Keats) the brothers

work their servants to death. 'The Ceylon diver went all naked to the

hungry shark' Their money is made on the back of great cruelty 'the

workers did melt in blood from the stinging whip'

The brothers cruelty seems to stand for the abuse of the early

Open Document