Bright Star by John Keats Analysis
Summary of the Poem
Bright Star by John Keats, a great English poet, and writer, is a lyrical poem. This fourteen-line sonnet deals with the phenomenon of constant love. The speaker wants to be steadfast and persistent like the star he refers to. He directly addresses the star and expresses his emotions that he wants to be unchangeable like it. But, he does not want to hang in the sky with his eyes open like a hermit. He does not want to be motionless and witness the noticeable changes constantly occurring on the face of the earth.
Also, he does not want to be still because he can’t react when Earth Ocean washes the shores, the priest ceremonially washes people and purifies their souls, and when new snow covers the mountain tops. All these delightful happenings urge us to react and express our emotions, but the star cannot respond. Therefore, he does not want to be still in this sense. Instead, he wants to be unchanging in terms of lovemaking. He wishes to enjoy the bounties of love with her beloved. But, he soon realizes that his imagination is fragile, threatened by unavoidable death.
Major Themes in Bright Star by John Keats
The poem’s central themes are man’s desires, unavoidable death, and natural beauty. The poem revolves around the mesmerizing beauty that shines brilliantly at night. Being an admirer of nature, the speaker adores its existence and wishes to adopt his qualities. He wants to be steady and constant like a star in terms of emotions and love. But he does not want to be lonely as a star.
The poem reflects how lonely the star is from human life; it can only observe the events happening on the earth while hanging above. Therefore, the speaker comes up with his own definition of steadfastness, achieved not through distance but love and affection. He wants to share an intimate relationship with his beloved, but his romantic imagination gets blurred when he thinks he can’t beat death.
Bright Star by John Keats Analysis of Poetic Elements
Every writer and poet enhances the intended meanings of their writings by inserting various literary and poetic elements into their writings. John Keats has also made this poem sound incredible by using some poetic elements such as metaphor, imagery, irony. But, first, he has cleverly used images like a “bright star,” “nature’s patient sleepers,” and “new soft-fallen mask” to connect his readers to his distinct ideas about love.
Moreover, he has used the star as an extended metaphor to show his fascination and inner desires. However, it’s ironic that he praises the star but does not want to adopt its characteristics. While looking up the bright star, he comes up with his own definition of love and steadfastness. The star is steadfast, yet it is devoid of emotions. The writer dislikes this part of the star. He wants to be faithful to his beloved and also wants to enjoy the bounties that love offers.