Lines on the Mermaid Tavern

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Lines on the Mermaid Tavern

Postby ibsilly954 » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:51 pm

We never really studied this in class, but I had to give a brief oral commentary on this poem. What is the most accepted theme of "Lines on the Mermaid Tavern" as well as important motifs/symbols? I know what I got out of it...I hope I was right. :)! Thank you!!
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Postby Kaki » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:58 pm

Well the tavern was a place where many well respected poets, writers and artists would meet and "hang out", if you will.
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Postby Saturn » Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:54 pm

"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Papillon » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:38 pm

IBSilly,

A better question might be . . . did my interpretation fit with what I know to be Keats' main focus in writing? Did I then support my interpretation with textual evidence?

For example, we know that Keats held some Romantic values. We know that he was concerned with the paradox. We read important poetry from him that deals with mortality, art, beauty, truth, nature, etc. Not that EVERY poem deals with all of these, but that as a general rule, you can usually find some glimmers of some of these elements in his poems.

That being said, there are times when an interpretation is WAAAYYY off base. For example, maybe I could say that since I know that the Mermaid Tavern is a place where renowned writers of the male persuasion went to relax, then Keats is saying that he has homosexual tendencies. :roll: I can probably find a line or a phrase here or there to somehow support that argument. But, that interpretation does NOT fit that poem. It wasn't who Keats was, and if I try to force that interpretation, I will end up taking words and ideas out of context to do so. I can force that interpretation to fit, but it will be like forcing a puzzle piece into the wrong hole. I'll have to avoid or chop off parts of the poem to make it fit.

So, the question is . . . does my interpretation fit who I know Keats to be as a person and a writer, AND can I fully support that interpretation with textual references?

If the answer is yes to all parts of that rather long question, then you should feel that you have properly interpreted the poem.
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