On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer Analysis

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John Keats’ poem, “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer” explores the dynamics between the transcendence of reality and fiction. Keats writing emerges from the perspective of breaking away from the confines of reality, by drawing from fictional worlds. In contrast, Wordsworth who was known as a pioneering poet of Romanticism reflected on the direct effect nature has with the human condition and perspective. However, both Romantic poets share a common quality to their writing in that they both contemplate on the grandness of the existence of something other than oneself. Both Wordsworth and Keats execute this by heightening this sense of amazement that is portrayed by the human reaction to their natural surroundings. The reflection of self is a commonality shared by both poets. Both Romantic express the apparent in their reaction to the grandness of nature, and express this by first reflecting with oneself. In Keat’s sonnet, “On First Looking Into Chapman’s…show more content…
However, the concluding quartet of the poem is again a shift in perspective and surrounding, as it focuses on the western world. Keats follows Homer, Chapman, and now Cortez, a Spanish conquer to further draw out the discovery of the inner self by featuring the successes of the great. There is an evident sense of adventure and daunting nerve that is faced in Keats’ description, “Or like Stout Cortez when with eagle eyes / He stared at the Pacific—and all his men / Looked at each other with a wild surmise— / Silent, upon a peak in Darien.” (11-14). The ending couplet serves to illustrate Cortez as a witness to a great and unnerving spectacle, the Pacific ocean. This vast body of water had never been discovered, or seen by anyone before and suddenly is come across by Cortez and his men. Here, Keats exemplifies the value of perspective and how significant it is in shaping the emotional aspect of the speaker’s
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