I Leaped Headlong Into The Sea English Literature Essay Free Essay

Discuss Keats ‘s aspiration, its benefits and drawbacks. Within Endymion, there is a profound sense of Keats ‘s ain journey. The verse form represents a ‘headlong dip into the Sea ‘ , upon which the poet seeks out his ain fate whilst researching that of Enydmion ‘s. Keats ‘s strength of aspiration is apparent within the verse form ; he sees it as a rite of transition and as a undertaking built-in to his poetic development. He himself expressed it as a ‘test, a test of my Powers of Imagination and chiefly of my innovation [ … ] by which I must do 4000 Lines of one bare circumstance and make full them with Poetry ‘ .[ 1 ]Such a expansive undertaking weighed to a great extent upon Keats and, despite the bluster in his missive to Hessey, he acknowledges within the foreword the diffidence he felt: ‘this verse form must instead be considered as an enterprise instead than a thing accomplish ‘d ‘ .[ 2 ]Therefore, there is an oscillation between over-confidence and drastic uncertainty. By apologizing in the foreword for what the reader is about to read, Keats is obviously cognizant of his ain defects and yet this does non halt him from printing Endymion. The verse form explores the tenseness between Keats ‘s divided sense of feeling, of the push and pull between aspiration and minutes of self-deprecation.

Initially, Keats ‘s statement to Hessey could be interpreted in footings of his biographical history. Strongly drawn by aspiration towards a literary calling, he resolved to be a poet non a sawbones. The gradual passage between reading poesy and composing the uneven sonnet to really prosecuting his literary calling can be seen in his taking the dip ‘headlong into the Sea ‘ as opposed to shacking ‘upon the green shore ‘ and taking ‘comfortable advice ‘ . Such a calling alteration was fuelled by aspiration but he would besides necessarily harbour feelings of insufficiency compared to other authors who had been cultivating their literary calling well before Keats. As a consequence, Endymion displays the consequences of this concern and diffidence in his career:

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The sufferings of Troy, towers surrounding o’er their blazing,

stiff-holden shields, far-piercing lances, maintain blades,

Fighting, and blood, and shrieks – all indistinctly slices

Into some backward corner of the encephalon

( Book 2, l. 8-11 )[ 3 ]

This transition suggests that Keats actively suppresses his medical background. The sibilance of ‘stiff-holden shields ‘ , ‘spears ‘ , ‘struggling ‘ , ‘shrieks ‘ all correlate to make a fast paced image of Gore which instantly ceases with the caesura in line 10. The incubus of lances, blades and blood slices off as Keats immerses himself within the verse form, or instead within the sea. Endymion marks the point at which Keats begins to happen his ain voice and undertake his ain heroic poem verse form as opposed to look up toing others work from ‘upon the green shore ‘ .

Though the verse form is influenced by the great authors Keats admired, one can observe the motion off from composing in relation to them. Endymion is shaped by the conventions of heroic poesy such as Milton ‘s Paradise Lost in the usage of name and similar grandiose linguistic communication. Yet it does non copy Milton ‘s verse signifier in that Keats uses rime, non clean poetry. Such a differentiation points to Keats ‘s poetic development and is therefore a positive consequence of his aspiration. Indeed there is much in Keats ‘s early work detailing this passage. Even the names of verse forms such as ‘On First Looking into Chapman ‘s Homer ‘ and ‘I stood tip-toe Upon a Little Hill ‘ suggest a phase between reflecting upon old poets ‘ work and bring forthing his ain. Keats has written a verse form out of his reading of Chapman ‘s interlingual rendition of Homer and therefore his verse form has been produced out of the coevalss of authors. Keats views his literary heritage as a ocean trip in which the ‘I ‘ storyteller claims he is an experient traveler but has been humbled by this new brush. The same tone of assurance, verging on haughtiness, is present in this verse form as it is in his missive to Hessey, but every bit the minute of self-fulfillment is evident excessively: ‘Much have I travell ‘d in the kingdom of gold, / [ … ] Yet did I ne’er breathe its pure serene / Till I heard Chapman talk out loud and bold ‘ ( Book cubic decimeter, 1. 7-8 ) . He so speaks as if he were an astrologist who has discovered a new planet, and so compares himself to the adventurer Cortez. Though there may be haughtiness in such a comparing, the talker is instantly humbled upon such an waking up. Multiple mentions to the act of seeing testify to such an inspiring experience: ‘I felt like some spectator of the skies ‘ ( l. 9 ) , ‘eagle eyes ‘ ( l.10 ) , ‘he star ‘d at the Pacific ‘ ( l.11 ) . Keats is clearly an intensely brooding poet, one who is driven by his supreme aspiration but who is besides cognizant of his ain defects.

In a similar manner, the verse form ‘On Sing the Elgin Marbles ‘ inside informations the same awed minute of witnessing great art. Yet in this verse form, the storyteller is non ardent in his desire to research and continue in his journey. Alternatively, the tone is one of licking in which he is chastened by his find. He is confronted by these great sculptures which prompt him to experience overwhelmed by the undertaking he has set himself ; it ‘weighs to a great extent ‘ ( l. 2 ) on him. By comparing line 5 ( ‘like a ill Eagle looking at the sky ‘ ) and line 9 of ‘On First Looking into Chapman ‘s Homer ‘ , ( ‘then felt I like some spectator of the skies ‘ ) , one can see the difference in response to such an waking up. Whereas in Chapman ‘s Homer it was an experience of awe and exhilaration, motivating his aspiration, in the Elgin Marbles, it is a minute of utmost self-doubt whereupon Keats collapses, experiencing ‘sick ‘ at his ain place in relation to such great creative persons. There is a distinguishable feeling within Keats ‘s work of literary belatedness ; that all the best work had already been produced:

[ aˆ¦ ] Ay the count

Of mighty Poets is made up ; the coil

Is folded by the Muses ; the bright axial rotation

Is in Apollos manus [ aˆ¦ ]

Although the Sun of poetry is set

( Endymion, Book 2, l. 723-726, 729 )

Keats was dying that he would ne’er populate up to the greats such as Milton, Spencer, and Shakespeare whom he admired. He had missed his clip to be one of the ‘mighty Poets ‘ as ‘the Sun of poetry is set ‘ . Therefore there is a drama between assertiveness and melancholy in his poesy ; a tenseness between aspiration and utmost diffidence. Line 850 of Book 2 describes how great poesy is gone but ‘t is but echoed from going sound ‘ and though this may look hopeful, there is a distinguishable plaintive tone, as if true original poesy is gone and all he can make is regurgitate it in the signifier of an reverberation.

Walter Jackson Bate writes: ‘Endymion was Keats ‘s most serious early effort to reply cardinal inquiries about the relation of the creative person to his art and to the universe ‘ .[ 4 ]Bate writes perceptively ; Endymion ‘s journey seems to parallel that of Keats ‘s. Both are endeavoring towards enlightenment ; a motion towards truth and beauty, as represented by the Moon ( Diana ) and bright visible radiation within the verse form. This analogue between Endymion ‘s state of affairs and Keats ‘s is represented in line 276 of book 2: ‘the journey homeward to habitual ego! ‘ Keats, as a extremely self-reflective poet, had suffered from a crisis individuality as an ambitious yet doubting poet. Endymion records the religious ocean trip Keats undergoes in his pursuit to consolidate his place. Both supporter and poet journey through the Earth in book two, so dig into the sea in book three and finally happen themselves amongst the celestial in book four. There is a correlativity between Keats ‘s words to Hessey and his religious journey in Endymion ; both leap ‘headlong into the Sea ‘ go forthing the fiddling and commonplace things behind such as the ‘silly pipeaˆ¦tea & A ; comfy advice ‘ in hunt for something greater. The verse form records Keats ‘s ( and Endymion ‘s ) move towards the ultimate theoretical account of beauty in the signifier of the goddess Diana. Interpreted this manner, the verse form can be read as a pursuit for originative self-discovery ; a nisus for ageless beauty in his authorship. Like ‘On First Looking into Chapman ‘s Homer ‘ , Endymion contains the same feeling of restlessness and seeking. There are multiple verbs of passage within the verse form: ‘the minute we have stepped ‘ ( Book 1, l. 795 ) , ‘he stepped ‘ ( Book 2, l. 1018 ) . Similarly, the verse form ‘I stood tip-toe upon a small hill ‘ implies this motion of being poised between two provinces, non holding rather made the ‘leap [ erectile dysfunction ] ‘ yet. The uninterrupted feeling of forward motion, of journeying and stepping towards disclosure within Endymion is supported by Keats ‘s missive to his new publishing house in 1818 in which he cites the verse form as a ‘regular stepping of the Imagination towards a Truth ‘ .[ 5 ]Keats consciously uses the act of composing Endymion as a journey towards truth and beauty by manner of the imaginativeness. The usage of enjambement, free poetry and minimum caesuras encourages the dreamlike, fluid and capricious manner in which Keats writes.

Keats defines the nature of his first heroic poem in footings of ‘a infinite of life between ‘[ 6 ]adolescence and adulthood, in which ‘the psyche is in a agitation, the character undecided, the manner of life uncertain, the aspiration thick-sighted ‘ .[ 7 ]Such a confession suggests that Keats wrote Endymion when he was in this transitional province characterised by ‘ferment ‘ and ‘thick-sighted ‘ aspiration, and that the verse form was a necessary exercising that would fix him for hereafter plants. Bate writes ‘the addition of such an exercising would look non in the verse form itself but in what he would compose subsequently ‘ .[ 8 ]This is true in that Keats seemed to utilize the act of composing Endymion as a rite of transition and as a trial of his abilities. Keats explained: ‘Endymion [ aˆ¦ ] will be a trial, a test of my Powers of Imagination and chiefly of my inventionaˆ¦by which I must do 4,000 Lines of one bare circumstance and make full them with Poetry ‘ .[ 9 ]Though this quotation mark from Keats points to Endymion as a tool for development, it besides highlights Keats ‘s overreaching aspiration in which he strives towards composing a drawn-out verse form for the interest of it. The consequence of such an purpose manifests itself in the verse form, as the concentration seems to be focused upon carry throughing the line quota alternatively of the content. The consequence is a slow narration compromised by its length, in which the early focal point and verve begins to hesitate towards the terminal. Stuart M. Sperry Jnr regards the verse form as ‘a maze, overgrown, a small wilderness amid whose tangles one can roll merrily but at the hazard of going lost ‘ .[ 10 ]The length and aspiration of the verse form causes it to crumble under its ain weight, the secret plan and thrust of the verse form dispersing rapidly. Keats tests himself out against genres such as love affair and heroic poem every bit good as poetic heavyweights Milton and Spenser. The weight of such a effort creates unbelievable force per unit area for Keats and Endymion serves as a reminder of his inordinate aspiration.

Keats commented in his letters: ‘I am dying to acquire Endymion printed that I may bury it and continue ‘ .[ 11 ]This sentiment non merely proves that the immature poet saw the act of composing Endymion as a rite of transition but it besides reveals his fatigue with the undertaking. Keats ‘s overreaching aspiration seems to hold been eclipsed by diffidence and fatigue, for which he apologises for through the verse form:

“ Why was I non contented?

[ aˆ¦ ] I began

To experience distempered yearnings: to want

The extreme privilege [ aˆ¦ ] – to be free of all his land. Long in wretchedness

I wasted, ere in one extremest tantrum

I plunged for life or decease ”

( Book 3, l. 372, 374-376, 377-380 )

Though spoken through Glaucus, this transition can be taken as being spoken by the poet himself. Keats, like Glaucus, has longed for things beyond his appreciation but has taken the dip ‘for life or decease ‘ . This echoes his words to Hessey when he ‘leaped headfirst into the Sea ‘ and further demonstrates his committedness and aspiration that the verse form represents. The transition besides suggests Keats ‘s fatigue and licking get downing to demo ; he asks himself ‘why was I non contented? ‘ he is now ‘long in wretchedness ‘ and ‘wasted ‘ . Keats intertwines into the narrative his ain fluctuating feelings ; the glow of assurance and every bit his minutes of despondence and uncertainty. This is most reflected in the anticlimactic stoping of the verse form. The lovers simply go off together into the dark, there is no rejoicing or jubilation as one might anticipate, and such a dissatisfactory decision demonstrates Keats ‘s fatigue in finishing the verse form.

One can follow Keats ‘s mutable province between bluster and timidness. Though he was eager to dispute the heroic poem signifier, when it came to printing the verse form he named it a ‘poetic love affair ‘ which seems a instead lame permutation for the expansive genre he was so eager to research. Similarly, in the jilted foreword he wrote that Endymion was an ‘endeavour instead than a thing accomplished ‘[ 12 ], while in the published version he cited the verse form as a work of ‘inexperience ‘ .[ 13 ]Keats ‘s aspiration both propels him and limits him. His intense desire to go up to the highs of Milton, Spenser and Shakespeare ( the really poets he admired ) drives him frontward at such dizzying velocities that it unnerves him and he veers from utmost assurance to being on the threshold of stultifying diffidence.

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