Bright Star! Would I Were as Steadfast as Thou Art Essay

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In this excerpt, Roe argues that Keats's sonnet, although written to his beloved, is more than just a love poem. Rather, it contains the author's central themes of beauty and mortality.

... For Wordsworth as for Shelley, the star is a radiant emblem of imagination as the translated expression of political ideals. For Wordsworth and Shelley, too, the star was explicitly associated with Milton's political constancy, the lack of which Shelley "alone deplored" in Wordsworth. I want now to return to Keats, and offer a reading of one of his best-known sonnets that will draw upon the political and literary context that I've been exploring so far:

Bright star! Would I were steadfast as thou art— Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earth's human shores...

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This section contains 1,549 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bright Star! Would I Were as Steadfast as Thou Art Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Bright Star! Would I Were as Steadfast as Thou Art from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.