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A Comparative Study Between John Keats and P.B. Shelley

Though Shelley and Keats were mutual friends, they still projected diverse ideas in the field of English literature. They contributed some immortal creations to English poetry. Their short life spans couldn’t bound them from reflecting their genius and creating such a legendary piece of.

A Comparative Study has been made to capture the similarities and diversities between Keats and Shelley.

John Keats Vs P.B. Shelley on a variety of parameters

Writing Style Of John Keats

John Keats was a highly romantic poet, famous for writing odes. These are the most distinctive achievements of John Keats. These odes of Keats are like lyrical medications which are particularly based on some specific subject. It triggers and reflects the conflict between inner being and the longings to the wider world around him.

Though Keats did not write particularly on nature like William Wordsworth, he used nature as an element to make his poetry more romantic and elegant. Despite being depressed in his own life, he continuously wrote on beauty and love.

The Grave Of Shelley
Grave of Shelley

Getting mixed with his depression, his feelings got reflected in his poems and became immortal. Death, sorrow, pain, love, and nature, are the main rules of romantic poetry. Keats precisely follows all of them.

Writing Style Of P.B.Shelley

For Shelley, the poet was more than just a talented entertainer or perceptive moralist. A poet must be grand in stature, tragic in nature, and overall he must be a prophetic hero. Shelley has a mystic and deep appreciation for nature in him. His powerful connection to the natural things has access to the endless cosmic truths.

He believed that it was his duty to translate these truths, with the help of his imagination power, in simple verses so that the common people can understand. Shelley was truly a prophet of the romantic era who had the power to change the world for the betterment of everyone.

The idealism of P.B.Shelley and John Keats

Idealism Shelley

When it comes to the second generation of romantic poets, idealism becomes a very common thing. The poems of Shelley in the early nineteenth century cemented the most glorious spot in the English literature. Shelley was fascinated by a loftier and purer idealism in that era.

Revolutionary idealism, erotic idealism, and religious idealism, these are the three main idealisms of Shelley.
Shelley resembles Byron to some extent, like revolting against contemporary society. But he totally differs from Byron at some important points. He had this great love for his fellow men.

He was unusually or rather abnormally fine and sensitive. Shelley was the most active among the romantic poets by his delicate poetic quality.

The idealism of Shelley forced him to take extreme stands which ultimately ended up hurting his efforts of practical reform. His long-lasting extreme views were the only reason that he met Mary Shelley, the daughter of William Godwin.

Idealism Keats

Like all romantic poets, Keats also idealized nature and tried to show the connection between the natural world and sublime human emotions. A holy description of the countryside comes out fluently in the romantic poetry of Keats. The poet found solace in natural things and even announced it as the antidote of death and destruction.

Nature has always been a source of knowledge, spirituality, and refuge for Keats. The development of the community was more important than just developing oneself. Keats had a great devotion to the self of people. Keats tried to be an artist rather than a direct politician to achieve his goal.

John Keats vs P.B. Shelley: an approach towards nature


Unlike the first generation romantic poets, who believed that nature was the medium of communication to pure existence, the later romantic poets looked at nature as a realm of divine beauty and aesthetic pleasure. The writings of Wordsworth and Coleridge were mainly based on nature. But Shelley used nature as an absolute metaphor for beauty, expression, and creativity.

‘West wind’ has become a symbol of poetic capability, extending the words of Shelley like leaves among mankind. ‘Skylark’ has become the mark of purest, joyful, and creative impulse. It is not merely a bird, it’s a poet ‘hidden in the light of thought’.


Keats’ idea of nature is much simpler than other romantic poets. The ‘Pantheism’ of Wordsworth and Shelley influenced him greatly. His basic instinct was to love nature for her own sake. Keats loved nature because of its sensuous appeal to the sense of sight, hearing, toughing, and smell.

Keats treated nature as an observer or rather as a traveller. He seemed interested to beautify the physical appearance of nature.

Thus, it can be said that both the poets were the lovers of nature. But their poems bear a different time and expression. Both of them used nature as a romantic element but in a separate way. They were not so romantic in their appearance or words. Romanticism was in their nature that’s why they were able to make ordinary things extraordinary.

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