Discuss The Nature Of Love As Presented In Keats’ Endymion

1057 words - 5 pages

Discuss the nature of love as presented in Keats’ Endymion

The poem “Endymion” by Keats presents multiple views about love. The plot itself is based off the quest of a mere mortal, Endymion, to find his love, the moon Goddess. Endymion decides to stop at nothing to find this love that he actually encountered in a dreamed. However, the reader is shown how loving a Goddess may very easily take a turn for the worst, as the author delivers examples of loved gods and goddesses from greek mythology such as Adonis and Venus and Glaucus and Circe. Putting the extreme presentation of sensual love in the plot aside, it is thought that Keats actually tried to express the need to accept physical ...view middle of the document...

Endymion’s realization that happiness’ highest forms, love and unity, are only achievable if he manages to surpass many mentally challenging experiences, throughout his journey. Although he accepts that the truths he told his sister about love, in Book 1, must be accepted physically as well as mentally for them to be fully understood and embraced. In the fourth Book, Endymion decides to live as a hermit after falling in love with an indian woman, who later reveals herself as Cynthia. The moon Goddess showed herself after believing that Endymion successfully breached a spirituel barrier and was ready to embrace the highest form of happiness, love.
Keats’ continues his presentation of love as he refers to the God Adonis and the Goddess Venus. This love is one expressed as very sexual and sensual. Keats’ merges the natural aspect of the passage with the characters to create a reflection of youth in the natural surrounding. He also compares the man in the description’s body to a god’s. “Not hiding up an Apollonian curve Of neck and shoulder”. This use of “Apollonian” successfully conveys an admirative tone as the author raises the man to a godly status. “Sideway his face reposed On one white arm, and tenderly unclosed, by tenderest pressure, a faint damask mouth To slumbery pout…” This quotation is significant as it shows the sexual relationship shared between Adonis and Venus. The author now enforces a delicate and relaxed tone due to the use of diction such as “tenderly” and “reposed”, yet manages to keep the passage very sexual due to the use of senses. Adonis and Venus’ love is very different to the spirituel one of Endymion and Cynthia as they are connected through a lustful bond.
The final love story is the one of the fisherman, Glaucus. Glaucus, one day, fell in love with a sea-nymph, who fled at the sight of him. The upset mortal consulted the enchantress Circe, who felt unrequited love towards the fisherman, about his love for Scylla, in hope for help. So, Circe transformed the fisherman into a sea creature hoping he would stay with her in the depths of the ocean. Glaucus was...

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