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John Keats, Charles Baudelaire and Beauty

In: English and Literature

Submitted By AlexJ
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Pages 9
Dana O'Brady Professor Jennings Emergence of the Modern 11/8/12

John Keats, Charles Baudelaire and Beauty John Keats and Charles Baudelaire are two great poets who gives some sort of description of what beauty is and what it can do. In Keats' La belle dame sans merci, the reader is told a story of a knight who is attracted to a woman's beauty, but later he ends up alone and "palely loitering". In Baudelaire's Hymn to Beauty, the reader gets a sense of how beauty can be overwhelming, enticing, yet at times dangerous. In both poems beauty is in the form of a woman and the woman's appearance is very captivating.

Baudelaire's poem is questioning the origin of Beauty while describing her. He says, "Your gaze bestows both kindnesses and crimes/ So it is said you act on us like wine/ Your eye contains the evening and the dawn..." Baudelaire is attracted to her eyes, and the way she looks at him. Her eyes look kind yet villainous, like the contrast between night and day, good and bad. For all he knows she could be a "man­eater", a woman who destroys men by any means necessary. The woman's beauty acts on him "like wine", it could either be bitter sweet or strong and uncontrollable. It seems as though hes heard of her kind, but he still wonders if shes "from the sky or the abyss." He goes on to say, "You pour out odours like an evening storm; / Your kiss is potion from an ancient jar,/ That can make heroes cold and children warm." An evening storm can give off a chillingly yet calm feeling. The smell of an evening storm is very refreshing. So for Baudelaire to say that she pours out odours like an evening storm may mean that her beauty is radiant. Her beauty is similar to perfume and how people are attracted to the smell. Her kiss can give chills to men and warmth to children. It may give men chills because…...

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