Compare and contest Keats and Shelley.

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Keats and Shelley both famous poets from the late Romantic Period both lived short lives, dying young.  Shelley at age 29 from a boating accident and Keats at 25 from the horrible illness described as Consumption.  The two poets shared a passion for life, Keats for enjoying and celebrating it, and Shelley seeking to perfect the human condition.

"John Keats’s personality and his poetry can best be understood through a careful reading of his letters, perhaps the most insightful written by any English poet."

"What emerges from his correspondence is the portrait of a charming, generous, surprisingly levelheaded young man who loves the world of the five senses with consummate intensity and who believes passionately in the power of poetry to create essential beauty from the unrefined ore of human experience."

"Shelley's concern with promoting the cause of freedom was genuine, but his personality found a more compatible outlet in his "visionary rhymes." In his poems the almost mystical concepts of oneness and love, of poetry and brotherhood are expressed."

Shelley, like many Romantic Age poets wrote about the perfection of humanity, only to discover that the idealism that inspired this idea was diminished by the realization that it could never be attained because the nature of humanity made its achievement impossible.