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John Keats (1795-1821)
Second generation romantic poet, alongside Lord Byron
Sensual imagery, most notably in his series of odes
Born Swan and Hoop Inn in London, where his father was a
hostler
Boarding school: John Clarke's School
Here he was introduced to renaissance literature
Age 21: inherited £8800 (£374,000)
Spent his final months in Rome, where he died from TB…read more

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St. Agnes
Died a martyr in 4th Century Rome, after being condemned to
execution after being raped in a brothel
Saint of chastity, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins
Myth: Young women would have visions of their future
husband and midnight
St. Agnes Day is January 21st.…read more

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Festivities
In stanzas I-V, Keats established the setting
Religious festival, people are gathering
Stanza I: The Beadsman is praying for the souls of those
indulging in earthly pleasures
A beadsman was someone who was paid to pray for the souls
of others
Lexical fields of cold and religion…read more

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Madeline
We are briefly introduced to the Baron's daughter in stanza 5
Line 41: she is mentioned as being oblivious to the festivities;
she is caught up in her dream
She is waiting for slumber, imagining what her life will be like
(the myth is explained in Stanza VI)
Name derives from `Magdalene'…read more

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Porphyro
The focus switches to Porphyro on line 74
Porphyro and Madeline are in love, but there is a feud
between the families, which means they cannot be together
Stanza X he "ventures in" ­ the lexis used suggests he should
not be there, but his adoration for Madeline drives him
inwards
Purple ­ connotations of nobility
Feminist argument: historical `Porphyro' was an
active enemy of Christianity in 3rd Century…read more

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