“A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy For Ever”: The Myth Of John Keats And His Portrayal In Bright Star

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When adapting a work of literature into a film, the filmmaker takes into consideration what that specific piece of literature conveys in terms of motif and attempts to portray that aesthetic value onto the screen. Jane Campion’s Bright Star is an adaptation of John Keats’ letters and poems to Fanny Brawne. Her film is a faithful adaptation in which it captures the emotional aspects of these pieces of literature and physically displays them on the screen in a manner that represents the subtext of the literature it is based on. The difficulties of adapting these letters and poems arises from the one-sided perspective that only reveals some insight into how John Keats felt. Campion’s take on the tragic love affair doesn’t play from Keats’…show more content…
Campion’s embrace of negative capability became a slogan when making Bright Star as evident when she says: “I think that concept was important for a lot of us on the film, that idea that great men have a way of managing to stand within doubt and uncertainties, mysteries, without irritably searching after fact or reason.” For Campion, the story of Bright Star wasn’t about getting everything absolutely accurate, but instead was focused on telling a captivating tale of two people who have fallen in love and filling in the moments in between the lines written by Keats and those written but unknown by Brawne. In a sense she is stating that it was more important to capture the feeling of the letters and poetry rather than depict the life of John Keats historically accurate. That everything needs to be resolved, the accounts of Fanny Brawne, the way John Keats spoke about Fanny to his friends, the things Keats and Brawne did together, and the like, are not what drives the story. Campion captures the theme of Keats’ letters and poetry by adhering to this philosophy and John Keats even writes about it in one of his letters to Fanny Brawne when he says: “’If I should die,’ said I to myself, ’I have left no immortal work behind me - nothing to make my friends proud of my memory - but I have lov’d the principle of beauty in

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