illustration of a starry night sky with one bright star in the middle of the horizon upon which is superimposed the outline of a woman's face

Bright Star! Would I Were as Steadfast as Thou Art

by John Keats

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Bright Star! Metaphor Activity

by eNotes

  • Released February 11, 2020
  • Language Arts and Literature subjects
  • 7 pages
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Grade Levels

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12


This activity gives students an opportunity to practice examining and analyzing metaphors. Metaphors express images, emotions, actions, experiences, and nuances through direct and indirect comparisons, allowing readers to access deeper levels of meaning in the text. In this activity, students will classify and analyze different kinds of metaphors in order to develop close reading skills and draw inferences from the text.

English romantic poet John Keats composed the sonnet “Bright Star” in 1819. In it, the speaker of the poem confronts the north star, Polaris, and longs to be as unchanging and eternal as the star. He wishes, too, that his precious moments with his lover might last for such an eternity. Throughout the poem, Keats’s speaker uses metaphors to engage his environment, activating the stars, sea, and snow as actors in his interior drama.

Skills: analysis, drawing inferences from text, close reading, identifying the relationship between words

Learning Objectives:
In completing this activity, students will

  • examine metaphors in a text;
  • classify metaphors in a text as direct and indirect;
  • analyze metaphors by focusing on the two things being compared and interpreting how one of them is described through the comparison.


Our eNotes Classroom Activities give students opportunities to practice developing a variety of skills. Whether analyzing literary devices or interpreting connotative language, students will work directly with the text. The main components of our classroom activities include the following:

  • A handout defining the literary elements under discussion, complete with examples
  • A step-by-step guide to activity procedure
  • An answer key or selected examples for reference, depending on the activity

In completing these classroom activities, students will be able to classify and analyze different literary elements, thereby developing close-reading skills and drawing deeper inferences from the text.