John Keats (1795-1821)

Like Shelley, Keats created his own world of imagination. Like Shelley, Keats hated oppression, but he never mixed his political thoughts with his feelings and emotions caused by nature.

Keats’s poetry centres around mythology “On First Looking into the Chapman’s Homer” (the translation of Homer’s epics made by Chapman (1559-1634), love and nature “On the Grasshopper and Cricket”.

Keats was encouraged to write by his schoolmaster Charles Clarke, an educated man of advanced political views. But it was Hunt (1784-1859), a poet and journalist, who introduced Keats to the readers in a popular paper “The Examiner”. That’s why Keats dedicated his first volume of poems (1817) to Hunt.

Then Keats wrote his mythological poem “Endymion” (1817). His best lyrics were written during 1818-1819. By the end of 1819 he became ill. He was struck by tuberculosis and died in 1821 in Italy. During all his short life he tried to express his passion for the beauty, love and nature.

His “Ode to a Nightingale” is based on a strong contrast between the beautiful world the bird belongs to, and the fever of the world of men.

A lyrical novel became very popular in the beginning of the 19th century. The main purpose of the romantic novelists was neither informative nor simply descriptive. Their emotions and imagination were in the centre of the narration.

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