Keats And Longfellow Analysis

Decent Essays

In John Keats’s “When I Have My fears” and Henry Longfellow’s “Mezzo Cammin”, the poets share their outlook on death. Both writers filled themselves with the concern of dying before they created a fulfilling life. Although Keats and Longfellow both portrayed their similar theme using parallel structures and language, the two works differ in the two poets’ rhyme schemes and tones. In the beginning quatrain of “When I Have My Fears”, Keats begins by writing about his doubt that his insight might not have time to reach other people. He worries his most important thoughts will not be written down and there will be no books that share his valuable knowledge. Keats moves on through the next quatrain by revealing to the audience that another concern …show more content…

However, the beginning of the sonnets follow a different rhyme scheme. Keats chose to follow the ABAB pattern while Longfellow selected an ABBA arrangement. Both then continue to follow the standard sonnet structure CDCD EFEF GG and use the break in between the second and third quatrains to shift thoughts, otherwise known as the volta. At the volta of each poem is where we truly see how each poet feels about death. Keats appears more accepting of death where Longfellow struggles with the idea of letting it conquer him. Besides the similar structure, another way the poems compare is in the language the poets create. Keats and Longfellow admit to the fear that they will pass before they have the opportunity to make their mark on the Earth. They chose to view death as vast and imminent. The poets also show comparison in their writing by connecting nature to their works. Keats looks up at the starred sky and reflects on his theme and Longfellow looks up a mountain. Despite using similar structure, language, and themes, Keats and Longfellow create different tones that depict their attitudes about death. In “When I Have My Fears”, Keats recognized death as inevitable, but includes these elements to create a reverent and accepting tone. However, Longfellow feels as though he will never live up to the life he desired for himself and uses the language and structure to create

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