An analysis and critique of the life and works of John Keats

Essay by iluvthewolfpackCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2003

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John Keats


John Keats is one of the greatest Romantic poets, although he had the briefest life (Gurney 100). At the age of only twenty-five, Keats had already marked his place in history. Keats was born in 1705 above the Swan and Hoop, a livery stable in London (Gurney 100). This stable, ran by his father, was owned by his maternal grandparents (Gurney100). He resided there with his mother, Fanny, and his three siblings, George, Tom, and Fanny; of these he was the eldest. At the age of nine he lost both his parents over a period of only a few months. His father died of a concussion caused by a riding accident and his mother fled with a fortune hunter (Gurney 101). Keats assumed the surrogate parent role for his siblings and then enrolled in Enfield, where he became the friend of Charles Cowden Clarke, the headmaster's son, who encouraged his early learning (John).

In spite of his tragically brief career, Keats is one of the most important English poets (John).

Keats became a surgeon's apprentice at the age of 15. In 1815, he became a student at Guy's Hospital (Gurney 102). He registered for a six-month course to become a licensed surgeon. Soon after he decided he was going to be a doctor, he realized he had a passion for poetry. Keats took to poetry like a fish to water. His poems are exquisite and colorful. He studied Shakespeare and Milton, and imitated their styles. He once commented how Shakespeare's life is an "allegory; his works are the comments on it (Gurney 100)."

Keats always had a way with words. "Keats is ranked, with [Percy] Shelly and [Lord] Byron, as one of the three great Romantic poets. Such poems as "Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode on...