© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Eve of St. Agnes

The Eve of St. Agnes

by John Keats

The Eve of St. Agnes Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Loosely speaking, a narrative poem is just a poem that tells a story using normal story-telling devices—meaning, unlike lots of other poems, narrative poems are going to have things like characte...

Speaker

The narrator comes directly into the poem twice. The first time, he's addressing us, the readers, when he's describing the party in the hall: "These let us wish away, / And turn, sole-thoughted, to...

Setting

From beginning to end, you feel like you're in some kind of medieval fairy-tale when you read The Eve of St. Agnes. You've got chilly castles, ancient blood-feuds, nursemaids, forbidden love—if a...

Sound Check

The sound of this poem is long and lingering—almost lazy, at times. As discussed in "Form and Meter," Keats specifically chose a slow, time-consuming meter, and the way he writes that meter slows...

What's Up With the Title?

There's not a lot of trickery going on here: the poem's title is "The Eve of St. Agnes" and it's about—wait for it—stuff that goes down on the… Eve of St. Agnes. If anything, it could be more...

Calling Card

Keats has a rep for being the least "worldly" of the Romantic poets—he didn't get a fancy education, he didn't have a trust fund to fall back on, and he wasn't sashaying his way through the conti...

Tough-o-Meter

People will fight us this one, but we'd argue that this poem is a 7 pretending to be a 3. Solution? We compromise and give it a 5. The thing is that this poem, much like a delicious cake (mmm, cake...

Trivia

Unlike most of the other Romantic poets, Keats had no formal literary education and actually had a day job for a while. He was trained as a surgeon (which didn't require a university degree back in...

Steaminess Rating

This poem is at once super-sexy and then totally not sexy at all. On the one hand, nothing juicy actually happens—guy sneaks into a castle to see girl, watches her sleep for a little bit, wakes h...

Allusions

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (entire poem): While Keats never explicitly mentions Romeo and Juliet, he's clearly working off of Shakespeare's setup, at least with regards to plot: young love...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement