Lamia In John Keats 'Cupid'

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Register to read the introduction…if some passions high have warm’d the world, If queens and soldiers have play’d high for hearts, It is no reason why such agonies Should be more common than the growth of weeds (II, 11-14) Now Lamia is transformed from a half woman/half serpent into a woman and her cunningness shows that she cannot be trusted. This allegorical poem has deeper meanings. It is also ambiguous, which is how Keats always refers to women, as ambiguous and indicates that she recollects her essentially demonic nature: Ah, happy Lycius!?for she was a maid More beautiful than ever twisted braid. Also, she is said to be A virgin purest lipp 'd, yet in the lore Of love deep learned to the red heart 's core: Not one hour old, yet of sciential brain To unperplex bliss from its neighbor pain; As though in Cupid 's college she had spent Sweet days a lovely graduate, still unshent, And kept his rosy terms in idle languishment. (1, 185-99) Van Ghent says Lamia is the central character who wins Lycius’s heart, takes him to an obscure place and dupes him and, therefore, she comes out as the goddess of death, while…show more content…
In this reading, Lamia’s palace is shocking, and visitors are amazed at the “minist”ring slaves”, “silken couches”, “gorgeous dyes” and “baskets of bright osier’d gold’ (Lamia, II, 193, 197, 205, 217). Keats here connects Lamia’s luxury and possessions from the east and also America, including silk, dyes, gold and exotic trees: “Fresh carved cedar, mimicking a glade / Of palm and plantain” (I, 125–6). Here luxury means as eastern and effeminate, both of which are the overriding qualities of Keats’s representation of Lamia, whose dominion is similarly confined to “a palace” (II, 3) where Lycius is tempted into the “dull shade / Of deep sleep” (II, 104–5), completely ignore with the affairs of “the noisy world almost forsworn” (II,
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