The poem “To Autumn” is an amazing piece of work written by one of the greatest poets of all time, John Keats. From a simple reading, the poem paints a beautiful picture of the coming season. However, one may wonder if there is more to the poem than what the words simply say. After it is studied and topics such as sound, diction and imagery are analyzed, one can clearly say that Keats used those techniques to illustrate the progression of death, and to show that there is still life at the end of life.
From the very beginning of “To Autumn,” sound appears to be an important aspect of Keats’s technique. When the words are studied, there is an even mixture of loud and soft sounds. Some soft sounding words – words that use consonant sounds that are soft when spoken such as an s — include mists, close, son, bless, mossed, and trees. There are also the hard sounding words – words that use consonant sounds that are loud when spoken such as a b or t — like maturing, round, thatch, and budding. The words do not appear to be randomly used, but they seem to have a pattern: the hard and soft sounds come in pairs. In the second line, we see, “close bosom friend of the maturing sun.” Close and bosom go together, with close being loud and soft with the hard c and soft s, and bosom being loud and soft with the b and s. The words “maturing sun” are not placed together haphazardly either. Maturing is a very hard word with the m and t sound; sun is a very soft word, beginning with an s. Also, in the third line Keats says, “Conspiring with him how to load and bless.” Autumn is conspiring . . . to load (loud due to the p and d sounds) and bless (soft due to the double s soun…
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…cluding lively images such as crickets singing, red breasts whistling, and swallows twittering. This ends Keats message of the vitality at the conclusion of life.
Keats used the poem “To Autumn” to illustrate the progression of death and the existence of hope and life in the face of impending death. He uses sound by moving from a mixture of loud and soft words in stanza one, to mainly soft in stanza two, to a complete mixture in stanza three of soft then loud. He also uses diction and imagery by reflecting the quick and kinesthetic constitution of youth, the slow and full characteristics of the coming death, and the arrested and barren traits of death, and finally, the resounding proclamation of life and hope in the very end.
Keats, John. “To Autumn.” Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry. CD-ROM. Rel. 2.2. New York: Columbia UP, 1995.
Essay on Milton’s Paradise Lost -Satan’s Myth of Free Will
Satan’s Myth of Free Will in Paradise Lost
Milton, through Satan’s soliloquies in Book 4, shows that Satan’s idea of free will is a facade, and God carefully manipulates him to fulfill his plan of Adam and Eve’s fall. While speaking, Satan inadvertently places doubts in the reader’s mind that his will is free. Satan proves through his actions that God created him to act in a very narrow range, even though he himself does not realize this. The combination of pride, ambition, abhorrence of subordination, and ignorance of his own state as a puppet lead to perpetually diminishing stature and divinity.
Satan introspects in the first soliloquy (lines 32-113), searching for the motivation and reasoning behind his fall. He struggles with why he felt the urge to rebel. This very doubting suggests that his rebellion does not originate from a conscious effort; it is part of his internal makeup. Therefore, God created a flawed angel from the beginning (this is also supported by the fact that Sin comes from Satan’s head while he is still in Heaven).
Satan first acknowledges that his pride and ambition caused his fall (4.40). After his first mention of the two weaknesses, he says that God created “what I was / in that bright eminence . . .” (4.43); God not only created him, he gave him his pride and ambition. This begins to establish that God wanted him to fall. Satan further laments what has happened: “O had his powerful destiny ordained / Me some inferior angel, I had stood then / happy . . .” (4.58-60). What Milton suggests and what Satan does not catch on to is that God’s destiny is for him to be in a position to fall. Still, Satan asserts that his will is his own: “. . . Since against his thy will / Chose…
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…em free . . .” (3.122-4), just as mankind is. Milton’s presentation of contrary information in Satan’s soliloquies, and in the description of Paradise and Adam and Eve presents an argument that Milton was of Satan’s party unknowingly as Blake said, because the lack of free will tends to prove Satan’s assertion that God is a tyrant.
This would in effect prove what Satan says in the second soliloquy to Adam and Eve: “Thank him who puts me, loath, to this revenge / on you, who wrong me not, for him who wronged,” (386-7). If Satan truly had no free will, then nothing would be his fault, as he alleges. God tells Jesus that humanity can find grace because Satan deceives it into falling, (3.130-2). But, if Satan is deceived into falling, can he also find grace?
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Ed. Scott Elledge. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1975.