Explain how the poetry of John Keats reflects the values of Romanticism. The Romantic Era spanned roughly between 1798 and 1832 and its poetry places an emphasis on the imagination, nature and feeling. The Romantic period was associated with imagination as people looked with fresh curiosity into the workings of their own minds, generating ideas that laid a foundation for modern psychology. Romanticism emerged out of the rational thought of the Enlightenment Era into a redemptive and inspiring period. John Keats was born at the beginning of Romanticism making him a significant figure in the expression of these values. His poetry was a great example to the Romantic era and his poems; “When I have fears that I may cease to be” and “Bright star” reflected all of the major concepts of the Romantic period. John Keats has reflected the values of Romanticism thoroughly in the poem “When I have fears that I may cease to be “. In this poem, Keats reaction against the rational thought is expressed into fulfilment in nature and imagination. John Keats searches for answers to questions in nature about existence, eternal love and death. This is portrayed through the use of personificationpersonification, “When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance”, where Keats turns to nature giving the night sky a human quality. Keats suggests that the truth about existence can be observed in nature and he wants to live in order to find truth and search and witness these answers for himself. He also symbolises romance in the clouds and the face of the starry night which again reflects the values of Romanticism and the view that the purest translation of life lies within the natural world itself. “High romance” represents the ancient symbol for ultimate questions in life and Keats search for significance and meaning in nature in order to form these answers himself.
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