John Keats' Fear That He Might Cease to Be Essay

John Keats' Fear That He Might Cease to Be Essay

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During his last years, Keats ponders about what it would mean to die. He translates this into fears of what he hasn’t yet accomplished and would like to have time to do. This aspect of time is emphasised with the use of the word “when” at the start of the first three quatrains which is also used in Shakespearean Sonnets. The heading, “When I have fears that I may cease to be” demonstrates Keats’ belief, or rather, lack of belief in the idea of an afterlife. In the first quatrain of the poem Keats describes his fertile imagination, yearning to have “glean’d my teeming brain” before it is too late, the image of abundance is instilled with the words “high- piled” and “rich.” The paradox of a field of grain is used to depict Keats’ brain being ‘harvested’ of the knowledge into poems of his own creation. In this stanza, Keats reveals his want for fame through his works and his fears of being unable to fulfil this in his time.

In the second stanza Keats demonstrates his use of nature in poetry. He describes the “night’s starr’d face” which could refer to Keats contemplating the beauty...

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