Keats vs. Coleridge...

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Keats vs. Coleridge...

Postby vinegar_tom » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:19 am


I am looking into Keats, comparing him with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (with an emphasis on 'Frost at Midnight'), for an examination I am due to take in a couple of weeks time.

I have been trying to think about ways in which Keats - both in terms of world-view and in style - differs from Coleridge, especially in their portrayal of nature.

What I have discovered so far is that: Keats could perhaps be said to be more of a 'pessimist'. His main concern was the pursuit of Beauty. He wasn't given to narcotics as much as STC, and e(perhaps?) spoke less of the divine.

Would people say that these assertions are true?

Where else do the two writers disagree/ differ?

Many thanks for your help,

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Postby Saturn » Fri Jan 07, 2005 10:51 am

An interesting topic - I love both Keats and Colerdge so it's a hard question to answer.

I'm not too sure you should see Keats as a pessimist - he said that he didn't believe in the whole idea of the world as a vale of sorrows - well not until his final illness began to make him really despair did he become a pessimist.

Coleridge maybe was a bit of an idealist, unlike Wordsworth he did forsee a better future after the bloodbath of the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars, but that probably came from his essentially Christian outlook on the world.

I don't think their portrayal of nature was that different, but Coleridge seemed to look at it as all the work of a master craftsman and wondered at the divine in nature whereas Keats had a more scientific view of nature, a wonder at the similarity of natural behaviour to our own and a curiosity about the relationship between nature and art and beauty and art.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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