John Keats was a romantic poet and this paper will focus on the poem "To Sleep." The poem "To Sleep" examines the similarities between sleep and death. John Keats had a short life but it was very full. He went through so much and that was usually the basis of his poems. In this paper, "To Sleep," will be analyzed and will also discuss some of the criticisms.
John Keats basically compares sleep and death and how similar they actually are. This paper will discuss the poems theme, tone, structure, literal and figurative meanings. Even though the life of John Keats was short, there is a lot to say about the 27 years that the romantic poet lived. John Keats was a very important romantic poet that was born on October 31, 1795. He was born to Frances Jennings and Thomas Keats and was the oldest of four children.
All the children were extremely close. His father, Thomas was a stable manager who died in 1804 in a riding accident. Keats's mother remarried soon after Thomas died, but the marriage did not last. His mother died of tuberculosis in 1810. In school Keats was not an excellent student, but he loved to read. He fell in love with English Literature and that was probably why he began writing poetry and letters at all.
He was most known for his fighting. In 1811 Keats went to work under a surgeon. While he studied for his license he finished his first poem "Lines in Imitation of Spenser" in 1814. In 1815 Keats moved back to London to finish studying surgery at Guy's hospital. Before he became a full time poet Keats worked as a junior house surgeon.
While in London John Keats met Leigh Hunt and Leigh introduced him to some romantic poets. Keats published his first book in 1817, but the outcome was not good at all. Sales were very poor. Keats was discouraged by the outcome, so he spent the spring with his brother Tom. While Keats was with his brother he wrote letters often and that is how he would come up with his ideas for his poetry. Some of his works that were considered his greatest were written in the 1810 s, but around 1818 he went on break and took care of his brother who was dying of tuberculosis.
In 1820 Keats published a second volume of poems. This time his works were successful. The feelings in most of his poems were sad because he went through a tough time with the love of his life. Her name was Fanny Brawn e and they were engaged. The problem was that he was not wealthy enough to marry her, so after a certain period of time they had to break the engagement. After all of these tragic events happened his health began to fail.
Keats started to get sick but and that is when his poetry began to express the theme of death. He was diagnosed with the same thing that most of his family died from, tuberculosis. Keats decided to travel to Italy because the warmer climates might have been better for his sickness. He went to Italy with his friend and painter, Joseph Severn to get away from cold Italy.
While in Italy he wrote many poems but his health began to fail so he could not do as much. John Keats died at age 25 on February 23, 1821. John Keats wrote the poem "To Sleep" in 1819 just two years before he died of tuberculosis. "To Sleep" is a common, 14 line sonnet, that was written and inspired by Keats's illness.
Keats decided to write about a poem related to sleep because that was how he felt all the time because of the tuberculosis. Keats felt like he was suffering and dying slowly. So in his poem "To Sleep" he compared sleeping to dying. Keats finds the meaning of common things like sleep and relates it to something more abstract like death. John used words in his poem to compare sleep to death.
He used words like sleep, death, and lords. Keats made it known that his death was getting the best of him because he made it known that his eyes were willing to be closed. This means that he was ready to move on to the next life. He was done with this world and could not take the pain of his disease anymore. He knows that when he sleeps he drifts out of consciousness but he eventually wakes up and he has to deal with the day of pain all over again. Keats is hoping that one day he will sleep and not wake up.
He has nothing positive to look forward to anymore. His life is pretty much over because tuberculosis consumed his life. The theme of the poem is that when we sleep we are considered dead because are not really conscious. We do not really know what's going on. The only difference between sleep and death is that when we sleep we are breathing and we wake up the next morning. The tone the John uses in the poem "To Sleep" is a sad and depressing tone.
He uses this type of tone because even though he wants to die he is somewhat sad about leaving this earth. He also is not really satisfied with the work that he has done as a poet. One major reason that the tone of this poem was depressing was because he lost the love of his life. He felt that he had nothing else to live for. His happiness was gone and his poetry was not successful, so his life was worthless in his eyes. So basically, John uses this tone to express the way he feels inside about everything that has happened in his life.
"To Sleep" had one main meaning. Keats wanted to die and that was expressed in the poem. He gave up and the poem made that clear. John plead with death to take him away or rescue him from all his pain. Even though he moved out of the area that may have been making his condition worse, he never got better.
The last line of the poem wraps everything up when he asks sleep to seal the casket of his soul. The casket represented his life. He wanted that life to be over. In the beginning of John Keats career, many criticized him and his poetry was not popular at all.
As time grew on he became a little more popular but he did not become known for his works until after he died. This is when he became famous, just like most poets. He had some really close friends even though he was closest with his family. Some of his friends were Joseph Severn and Leigh Hunt. He was also close with many other writers such as Percy Shelley.
Other writers influenced him as well, and they were inspiration for some of his own works. Writers such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge were some of the people who inspired him. web.