What Is The Theme Of When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be

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“When I have fears that I may cease to be” was a poem written by John Keats in the year of 1818 and it is a poem in which Keats works with two of the most discussed themes in his poems and the of the Romantic movement: the love and the time.
The lyric poem was written in the form of an English or Shakespearean sonnet, which can be characterized, according to Strand (2001, p. 55), by having fourteen lines, an iambic pentameter meter (five feet with an unstressed and a stressed syllable) and the following rhyme scheme: ababcdcdefefgg. Moreover, the poem is divided in three quatrains and a final couplet. In a way of observing its formal aspects that were just mentioned, let us take a look at “When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be”: The main topic of the poem, as we can infer already by its title, is the brevity of life/death. Keats, however, does not discuss this topic in a common way, but he focusses in the feelings that the I lyrical feel when he has this fear of death. This way, the poet tries to discuss not only the fear of death itself, but also the failures that can happen while the I lyrical is still alive.
Nevertheless, one interesting fact is that, when he wrote “When I have fears that I may cease to be”, Keats had already been diagnosed with tuberculosis and was probably really feeling afraid of a possible premature death (a
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In his article (in which the author discusses the social-philosophical context of the poem), Fejérvari argues that the portrait of death in “When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be” can be considered under three different points of view: as the end of the poet’s existence merely; as a moment that will interrupt the poet’s career; or, finally, as the moment when he will lose his lover. In the present analysis, we have observed that the poet, actually, portrays death as being these three moments of his life (and each of them in a certain part of the
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