Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Keats wrote Isabella because he wanted to produce a commercial success, :: glish Literature

Keats wrote Isabella because he wanted to produce a commercial success, but he also thought it was too smokeable, i.e. that critics would ridicule it. What do you consider to be the positive aspects of the poem? Why might it also have been susceptible to criticism? ‘Isabella; or the pot of basil’ was written soon after Keats had attended lectures by a critic. The critic had suggested that a poetic translation of the 14th century works by the Italian writer Boccaccio ‘could not fail in the present day’. Keats’s poem is based upon the Italians story called the ‘Decameron’ in which Isabella’s love strengthens due to her loss of her true love, Lorenzo, who her brothers were unable to accept into the family and so disposed of him. The fact that the poem is based upon someone else’s story may have got the poem ridiculed by critics because it was not original; also Keats was not yet a well established poet (as he was from a humble background) and so he might have been ridiculed for using other authors hard work just for profit and due to the fact that someone else thought it would make money Keats may have been scorned as he couldn’t come up with his own inventions. ‘Stealing’ ideas from another may also have caused mocking at Keats’s ability to produce his own works. Another reason that Keats believed that his work was ‘too smokeable’, in other words his poem would go up in smoke too easily, because the critics may have thought that Keats would go to any lengths for fame, even taking a well known fairy tale story and turning it into a money maker for himself. In a letter written to his friend in October 1818 Keats revealed that fame was not on his agenda as he described himself as a â€Å"camelion poet†, ‘camelion’ has connotations of something which takes on the colours of its background in order to camouflage, in other words, Keats was not interested in the conventional things of poetry, he wanted to be invisible to others, but his work to be seen. Keats did not want fame, but a reason for him believing his work would be subject to ridicule is that others may have believed he was only writing for fame. When Keats was preparing for the publication of Isabella he condemned it’s ‘inexperience’; ‘simplicity’ and ‘mawkishness’ in terms of its language and the storyline, Keats may have just been covering for himself and his reputation in case of ridicule, or his writing skills had improved during the eighteen months prior to its publication, and

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