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critical analysis of the poem On the Sea by John Keats 

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khyati08 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 31, 2012 at 5:20 AM via web

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critical analysis of the poem On the Sea by John Keats 

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sunshine250495 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM (Answer #1)

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"On the Sea' by John Keats in a Petrarchan or Italian sonnet. It is divided into two parts - an octet of eight lines and a sestet of six lines. The octet describes in vivid details the melody of the waves, the mamoth size of the ocean and the sheer beauty of the sea. The sestet relates one's sense of awe and our feelings and emotions to the sea.

Keats calls the sounds of the waves as 'eternal whisperings' thus signifying the eternal nature or permanance of the sea in comparision with the transitory nature of human or mortal life. A theme he further discusses in his Last Sonnet. Keats describes the moods of the sea, which change with the spell of Hecate or the moon goddess. Keats is referring to the rise and fall of tides, but there is also a deeper meaning inside it, as characterisitc of KEats's poems. Hecate was also the goddess of magic and thus KEats imbibes magical qualities to the ocean. Keats personifies the Sea and says that when it is angry it swells up and floods the desolate shores. He also emphasises the massiveness of the sea which is large enough to fill twice of ten thousand caverns. But on some other days the sea is in such gentle temper found, that even a small shell won't be moved for days, from where it fell in the sand during the storm previously mentioned. Keats then goes on to address his readers and tell them that you who is feeling the pressure of everyday burdens or is stresses. You, whose ears are bored of listening to rude insults or fake flattery sit near the sea and listen to its gentle sound and you will be transferred into a haze and will forget all your troubles, listening to the sea-nymphs or fairies which live underwater.

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