Words and Clauses

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"The word "happy" occurs six times in the first five lines of hte stanza. The phrase "for ever" appears five times in the stanza, with an additional "ever" used in the second line...the fact of repetition may spring from the poet's envy of the happiness the figures on the urn appear to be experiencing, although "envy" is precisely what Keats repudiates as a motive in the similarly empathic experience of the companion "Ode to a Nightingale"."

YES. We are finally looking into the textual structure for once and maybe a little bit of author intent.

When I read this paragraph on page 114, I became suddenly interested in the rest of the essay. Kent examines Keats' grammatical style that allows me to comprehend the poem in depth.

Looking into the text, one can find words, punctuation, metaphors, allusions, etc. to help interpret the poem and/or story.
The word and phrase used in the quote make sense in Kent's idea that maybe Keats was envious of the figures being happier than he was. He went on to say that the urn has a "superior status" maybe higher than Keats's.
Kent also backed up his point by relating another poem written by Keats talking about envy being a motive of "Ode to a Nightingale".

Kent really looked into not only words and phrases but also independent clauses, commas and exclamations to emphasize his main objective.

Personally, I just really enjoyed this essay. It was not dull, obvious or dragging out the main point.

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2 Comments

Erin said:

It was a fast read! I liked the idea that even the simplest comma placement can shape the entire work. It really does make you see the amount of thought and feeling poets put into their work and gives us another aspect of criticism to expand on.

Nessa said:

I take it you're a fan of formalism and reader-response criticism, Denamarie? I'm all with you on that- often time literary criticism is obscured with enough historical information that I soon lose track of what subject I'm reading for- history or English.

While I'm not sure I agreed with all of Kent's points during the essay, I do see how he brought a new light on the poem and examined something I would never had thought to catch, considering the controversy of the last few lines of the poem.

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This page contains a single entry by Denamarie published on February 17, 2007 9:43 PM.

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