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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:30 pm
by prudence85
Hi everyone!!!

I've just finished reading Endymion and I admit I am a bit confused by the ending of its last book: I had previously read about the difficulty of interpreting the Indian maid's role, and I have underlined some passages in particular which I would like to show you and ask for your help in order to understand them better. :?:

First of all I cannot understand why Endymion decides to leave his sister and the indian maid, and to live like a hermit: does he reject a world where visions do not exist? (lines 851-852)

not ignorant though,
That those deceptions which for pleasure go
’Mong men, are pleasures real as real may be

Then why does the indian maid want to join Dian's sisterhood just after she's heard Endymion talk about his decision to become a Hermit? (lines 879-888)

Long have I sought for rest, and, unaware,
Behold I find it! so exalted too!
So after my own heart! I knew, I knew
There was a place untenanted in it:
In that same void white Chastity shall sit,
And monitor me nightly to lone slumber.
With sanest lips I vow me to the number
Of Dian’s sisterhood; and, kind lady,
With thy good help, this very night shall see
My future days to her fane consecrate.”

Why are the three characters afraid and called "ghastly dreamers"? (lines 895-897)

Each diligently bends
Towards common thoughts and things for very fear;
Striving their ghastly malady to cheer

Then Endymion wishes to see the two women one last time, and in my opinion this is the last expression of his desire for beauty, vision and romance.(lines 915-916)

they are gone—
But once, once, once again...

Why does he mention death (line 935)? Does it mean that leaving the world, forgetting love and beauty is just like dying for him?

Then just one last question: could you explain his last request to his sister? In what way does he want to have "command" on his own fate?(lines 975-976)

” Sister, I would have command,
If it were heaven’s will, on our sad fate.”

Forgive me if I have been too long, but I am quite puzzled by this ending. Maybe Endymion's decision to leave the world means that he admits to have lost his struggle after the real "essence" of beauty. But why does he want to leave the Indian maid too?
Another hypothesis, concerning the final question he adresses to Peona, could be that he rejects the certainty of his death and that of his beloved ones...but I couldn't tell...

Of course you will have read this poem and you will surely be more prepared than I am. I would be very thankful to anyone of you if you could give me your imrpessions and your personal opinion on this matter.



PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:26 pm
by AsphodelElysium
Actually, I've read all the books but the last one. I'll do my best here in the next bit to give it a read and see if I can help you with some of the interpretation. Apologies for the delay. :)


PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:53 am
by prudence85
thank you so much :D


PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:24 pm
by AsphodelElysium
Okay, first my apologies for taking so long. I went back over Endymion and the last book and here's what I got from it. Endymion is still searching for the moon goddess when he comes across the Indian maid. He takes pity on her and starts to fall in love with her when he hears her sad tale but he is torn because he still loves Diana. He then decides to stay with the Indian maid and stop chasing after otherworldly love because it isn't "natural" and his the Indian maid is. He attempts to woo the Indian maid but she cannot accept his love. He decides to become a hermit and is lamenting his fate, etc. and then the Indian maid turns out to be Diana in disguise. Anyway, I hope this helps. I only read through it briefly, so...maybe someone else has a more thorough interpretation. I would recommend for further reading Bate's biography of Keats. Cheers! :D