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Postby bostonpizza » Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:40 pm

I need soooo much help!!
I have an assignment (essay) on john keats, and I need a thesis in order to analyze a certain amount of his poems that revolve around it, i have no clue what it should be!
Any help would be great appreticated!
thank you

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Postby Malia » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:41 pm

Hi Sarah :)

Finding a paper thesis can really be hard. One way to start is to look for a theme that seems to run through much of his poetry. What is Keats trying to say, over and over again through his works (i.e. what philosophy is he trying to convey). One example is Keats's concept of light and shade and how both are needed in order to convey the true richness of life. Keats believed that pain was absolutely necessary in creating a soul and that pleasure and pain are intricately linked. He illustrates that point over and again through his poems and some of his greatest poetry (To Autumn, for example) are studies in perfecting the balance between light and shade. That's one idea for you.
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Postby Papillon » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:06 am

Malia is right! The thesis is often the hardest part. Once you have a good idea about where you're going, it gets sooo much easier.

One thing I make sure that my students understand is that a thesis is an ARGUMENT about something. So, if I were you, I would choose an element of Keats' poetry that really "strikes a chord" within you--either because you really thought it was moving and life-changing, or because you thought it was strange and hard to understand.

You could also take a critical approach to creating a thesis. For example, you could look at how his life impacted his work (biographical criticism), how his work was a reflection of his society (historical criticism), or how his work displayed ills/wrongs in society (sociological/Marxist criticism).

Malia's advice was good--read through some of his poetry and find some common themes or elements. Figure out why they're there and what they do for the poem and for you as a reader. Then go from there.

Good luck!
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