Keats wrote Isabella because he wanted to produce a commercial success,

Keats wrote Isabella because he wanted to produce a commercial success,

Length: 1094 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Keats wrote Isabella because he wanted to produce a commercial success,
but he also thought it was too smokeable, i.e. that critics would
ridicule it. What do you consider to be the positive aspects of the poem?

Why might it also have been susceptible to criticism?

‘Isabella; or the pot of basil’ was written soon after Keats had
attended lectures by a critic. The critic had suggested that a poetic
translation of the 14th century works by the Italian writer Boccaccio
‘could not fail in the present day’. Keats’s poem is based upon the
Italians story called the ‘Decameron’ in which Isabella’s love
strengthens due to her loss of her true love, Lorenzo, who her
brothers were unable to accept into the family and so disposed of him.
The fact that the poem is based upon someone else’s story may have got
the poem ridiculed by critics because it was not original; also Keats
was not yet a well established poet (as he was from a humble
background) and so he might have been ridiculed for using other
authors hard work just for profit and due to the fact that someone
else thought it would make money Keats may have been scorned as he
couldn’t come up with his own inventions. ‘Stealing’ ideas from
another may also have caused mocking at Keats’s ability to produce his
own works.

Another reason that Keats believed that his work was ‘too smokeable’,
in other words his poem would go up in smoke too easily, because the
critics may have thought that Keats would go to any lengths for fame,
even taking a well known fairy tale story and turning it into a money
maker for himself. In a letter written to his friend in October 1818
Keats revealed that fame was not on his agenda as he described himself
as a “camelion poet”, ‘camelion’ has connotations of something which
takes on the colours of its background in order to camouflage, in
other words, Keats was not interested in the conventional things of
poetry, he wanted to be invisible to others, but his work to be seen.
Keats did not want fame, but a reason for him believing his work would
be subject to ridicule is that others may have believed he was only
writing for fame.

When Keats was preparing for the publication of Isabella he condemned
it’s ‘inexperience’; ‘simplicity’ and ‘mawkishness’ in terms of its
language and the storyline, Keats may have just been covering for
himself and his reputation in case of ridicule, or his writing skills
had improved during the eighteen months prior to its publication, and

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Keats wrote Isabella because he wanted to produce a commercial success,." 123HelpMe.com. 06 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=103444>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about John Keats' Isabella

- John Keats' Isabella Love is everywhere, and, even though love is not tangible, people refuse to believe that it exists. Perhaps their belief in love is what creates love, or perhaps it is the other way around. The greatest love is found when one least expects it as well as in people one least expects to find it in. Such an occurrence takes place in Isabella by John Keats. In this poem, two young people, Isabella and Lorenzo, fall in love, only to find that the sweetest and deadliest love is the love hidden away from the prying eyes....   [tags: Poetry Poems Poet Keats Isabella Love Essays]

Research Papers
963 words (2.8 pages)

Comparison of Boccacios Lisabetta and Keats' Isabella Essay

- Comparison of Boccacios Lisabetta and Keats' Isabella In Keats's version of 'Decameron' he uses the original as a base to reflect his own style and writing techniques. He basically makes it his own and he does this in a number of ways. The most obvious of these adaptations is the fact that Keats has turned a novel style piece of writing into poetic verse. 'Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel. Lorenzo, a young palmer in loves eye!' This is the first two lines of Keats's Isabella, from the start Keats uses imaginative description, this again is another difference of the two....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' Keats ' Essay

- In 1818, Keats met Fanny Brawne, his next-door neighbor. Although Brawne was not the first woman in Keats’ life, she was most certainly the one foremost in his mind and the woman he wanted to marry. At first, when one looks at Keats’ first writings about Brawne, it would appear that he was entirely indifferent to her, even going so far as calling her a “minx” and saying that she was “ignorant” and “monstrous in her behavior,” (Roe 287). Yet the more Keats became acquainted with Brawne, the more he became interested in her, reversing what he had thought he felt about her previously....   [tags: Poetry, John Keats, Romanticism]

Research Papers
1515 words (4.3 pages)

John Keats's Ode to Indolence Essay

- John Keats has many memorable and distinct poems. He is well known for his ability to write and adored by many. Ode on Indolence is a poem that can be relatable to its readers due to its idea of how indolence interferes with life’s opportunities, in particular the three mentioned in the poem, love, ambition and poesy. Keats refers to these three figures as “ghosts” (51) therefore insinuating that they once lived, but now they are mere figments of energy and air. Keats’ poem six stanzas of ten lines each in iambic pentameter, he begins his poem with a passage from Matthew 6:28, “They toil not, neither do they spin”, he uses this as reference for describing the three figures of the poem....   [tags: Keats, indolence, poetry]

Research Papers
998 words (2.9 pages)

The Romantic Era Of John Keats Essay

- John Keats, a poet of the romantic era was born in 1795 lived until the young age of 26 years, dying in the year 1821. His young death would be caused from the same sickness that first took his mother’s life. After the death of his father from falling off a horse, Keats went to go live with his grandmother leaving his mother and new stepfather behind. His mother remarried very quickly, her actions upset Keats very much, which made him want to move out so fast after his father’s death. He questioned if his mother actual loved his father if she could move on so fast....   [tags: Romanticism, John Keats, Sonnet, Life]

Research Papers
1398 words (4 pages)

Dying At Age By John Keats Essay

- What is one thing you want to do before you die. If you were to go into the doctor with a bruise that won’t go away and he tells you its bone cancer how would you react. Not to mention, that same day, the doctor also informs you they must amputate your leg with the bruise to try and save your life. This sounds awful, but that is exactly what happened to Kris Sheaff. After hearing this news, the first and most important thing for her to do before she died was to graduate. Anyone who knew Kris Sheaff knew she was an exceptional athlete who was going to play volleyball at Standford with the help of her ACT score over 30....   [tags: John Keats, Poetry, Life, Romantic poetry]

Research Papers
1205 words (3.4 pages)

The Poem, By John Keats Essay

- The poem, “To Autumn” by John Keats is as the title implies, an ode to autumn, but it is also an ode to the death of spring and summer and the life that they held. As an ode implies this poem celebrates autumn, but it is also a celebration of life and more specifically Keats’s life. This being said it is also an ode to the end of life and the end of innocence. Without knowing the meaning behind even the title one cannot understand this poem. Stanza three encompasses this best as it is the closing stanza....   [tags: Poetry, John Keats, Sonnet, Rhyme scheme]

Research Papers
1848 words (5.3 pages)

John Keats 's Life And Life Essay

- John Keats was born on Halloween, October 31st, 1795. He was born just outside of the city of London. Keats was one of four other siblings, making a total of 6 children. The four others were boys while only one was a girl and then there was Keats. His father Thomas was a stable keeper and his mother France was also a stable keeper. Keats’s writing is believed to have much influence from his life’s misfortunes as well as those around him at certain points in his life. Keats started school when he was eight years old and went to an only boy’s school in a place called Enfield....   [tags: Poetry, John Keats, Twelve Olympians]

Research Papers
1570 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about Hyundai Commercial Analysis

- The Hyundai commercial caught my attention due to its interesting plot. It seems to be a typical car advertisement until you look at it with deeper thought. The situation reveals something totally opposite of what they actually meant to do. Hyundai may have known exactly what they were doing, putting an advertisement out there that would not be easily forgotten. However the impact of this message can be an extremely negative image for Hyundai. The image they end up portraying can cause extremely negative publicity or send people the wrong message....   [tags: suicide, hyundai commercial]

Research Papers
981 words (2.8 pages)

The Publishing Career of Isabella Whitney Essay

- The Publishing Career of Isabella Whitney The English Renaissance was a time of great literature. The world was changing and people were exploring their boundaries. In a time of such opportunity, women were often excluded. For instance, it was very difficult for women to receive education. Even if they did, it was extremely difficult for them to be accepted as writers and nearly impossible to have their work published. Only a small number of women writers succeeded in having their works published because of the many social barriers....   [tags: Author Writer Isabella Whitney Essays]

Research Papers
918 words (2.6 pages)

Related Searches

so he looked back on it as inferior to his later poems. The idea of
‘inexperience’ can be viewed during the introduction of the poem,
which is quite nursery rhyme like in structure:

“They could not in the self-same mansion dwell

Without some stir of heart, some malady,

They could not sit at meals but feel how well

It soothed each to be the other by;

They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep”

The use of repetition of ‘They could not’, along with the AB rhyming
structure can be viewed as quite an immature poetical approach, which
would be cause for ridicule, however, it is quite in tone with the
poem which is a fairy tale, and these are nursery rhyme like, and also
the repetition is a medieval feature and so keeps the poem in tone
with it’s original story time setting. However, it is an example of
one of Keats worries he held about Isabella’s publication. Also at the
time of writing the poem he was in need of money and so his heart and
soul may not have been involved so much in this one as his other work,
because it was developed for a very different reason to Keats’s normal
love of poetry.

Keats’s friends thought well of the poem, and this may have been
because it suggests that beauty can be found in the darker aspects of
life, and so this shows that Keats stuck to what he and other Romantic
poets alike believed in writing about, negative capability. Negative
capability is when a poet takes inspiration from not only the
beautiful and cheerful things, for example life, and then contrasts
them with inspiration from ideas such as death.

“Nurture besides, and life, from human fears,

From the fast mouldering head there shut from view:

So that the jewel, safely casketed,

Came forth, and in perfuméd leafits spread”.

This quotation highlights the main source of negative capability
viewed in Isabella, from the heart-rending death of Lorenzo; Keats
describes a positive effect which this has placed into the world,
which is life. Although it is not human life, which Isabella (as
described in stanza forty seven) realised could not happen with
Lorenzo, even after she had invested everything on him, it is the life
of a plant. The basil which she had placed his decomposing head in is
thriving upon the dead head and Isabella’s tears of grief for her
loss. Negative capability holds quite a powerful message that all
events in life have positive and negative ideas attached to them, and
as Keats stuck to his usual techniques of poetry, he has made the
story into his own and so this would not be subject to ridicule,
especially among his circle of Romantic writer friends who would use
negative capability in their own work.

At the time of writing this poem Keats was already experiencing love,
and it was also in a vaguely similar situation to that of Lorenzo and
Isabella, because he was forbidden to love Fanny Brawne and so this
could have fuelled his ideas for the poem along with the original
story. Therefore, this poem should not have been susceptible to
criticism because Keats may have been writing down his feelings upon
his own love in the form of two characters, and it wasn’t just
‘stealing’ another’s work, he was adapting a story that connected with
his life and filling it with his passion. This is viewed in a letter
to Fanny when Keats identified with Lorenzo:

“In my present state of Health I feel too much separated from you and
could almost speak to you in the words of Lorenzo’s Ghost to Isabella:

Your beauty grows upon me and I feel

A greater love through all my essence steal.”

However, it could have been that after all his own criticism when
Keats was ill he finally appreciated this poem as he could identify
with it more.
Return to 123HelpMe.com