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Flashcards in Lamia Deck (41)
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What is significant about the heroic couplets and verse form of Lamia?

The verse form allows Keats to introduce a cynical, world-weary voice into the poem, frequently reminding his readers how often and how seriously human experience falls short of moral perfection as the tone shifts rather too often and too abruptly.


What is significant about
" the lava ravishes the mead" part 1

The semantic field of destruction suggests Lamia's metaphorical potential for evil in the poem, as well as capturing her physical transformation. The negation of the "mead" which the lava "ravishes" is important in order for Keats to communicate that Lamia is not human from the outset, which the natural connotations of "mead" to honey illustrates. Possibly Keats is thereby criticizing women, who appear as though they are the perfect companion, deceiving and blinding men by love to their true agenda.


"the lava ________ the mead"



What is the significance of the house in which Lamia and Lycius live?
‘near to a curtaining / Whose airy texture from a golden string / Floated into the room.’

The house where they live becomes a symbol of retreat from the ‘real’ world and is full of the sights and sounds of idyllic fantasies. As a sharp contrast, for instance, to the dream-like nature of the house in which Lamia and Lycius live together, is the imagery associated with Apollonius; the stare with which he destroys Lamia is ‘Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging’. His eyes are also described by Lycius as ‘demon eyes’ and, by the narrator, as ‘sharp’.


What is the quote which describes Apollonius' eyes?

Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging’
His eyes are also described by Lycius as ‘demon eyes’ and, by the narrator, as ‘sharp’.


What does Keats suggest about love ?

by projecting her desired image of herself to Lycias, she attains love – albeit temporarily. Keats demonstrates that illusion and the imagination are not to be disparaged as ‘fake’. Desire must be curbed by restraint, love must harmonize with, and be a part of life, rather than dominate and control it. Lamia, therefore, can be regarded as a warning against the all-absorbing nature of illusory, passionate love and a recognition of the claims of reason.


How does Lycius fall?

Philosophy, if divorced from emotion, can be cold and destructive; on the other hand, the pleasures of the senses by themselves can be illusory and unsatisfying. The man who attempts such a sharp separation between the two parts of his nature will fail and end miserably – as did Lycius. He is compelled to face the death of his illusions and is unable to survive it.


‘There flowers have no ____, birds no ____ song’



How does
"O, the sweetness of the pain" suggest obsessive love?

the oxymoronic here Keats recognises the distracting nature of devotion to his beloved and yet he is intoxicated by their mutual love


Is the medieval romance used?

reinforced by a number of archaic linguistic forms, such as ‘thee’ and ‘thy’


What is the significance of Keats describing the banquet hall
"She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue;
Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard,
Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr'd;
And full of silver moons, that, as she breathed,
Dissolv'd or brighter shone, or interwreathed
Their lustres with the gloomier tapestries. (I, 47-53)?"

Just as in The Eve of St. Agnes Keats concentrated on the stained glass window in order to emphasize the loveliness of Madeline, so in Lamia Keats devotes many lines of description to the banquet hall in the palace of Lamia and Lycius in order to emphasize their tragedy, for it was there that Lamia vanished and Lycius perished. The banquet hall is the setting of the climax of the story.


"When from this ________ tomb" beginning



What is the significance of
"When from this wreathed tomb"?

Lamia is entrapped as a serpent indicated by the noun "tomb" which indicates that she is not living. Through this Keats suggests that this "wreathed tomb" is faced by both man and woman as a universal necessity, depicting a woman's need for love as equal to a man's. The fact that she is "wreathed" could imply that as a serpent she is incapable of receiving a mans love, in this way it is tragic for Lamia as Lycius can only love her as an illusion when she is a beautiful woman-which she is not. It is equally tragic therefore that she must transform herself into a man's perfection in order to find this love.


What is the significance of
"sweet body fit for life, love and pleasure"

Lamia feels that you must feel lust as an essential part of life and longs for the experiences as a human. Keats liberates the female similar to that in La Belle Dans Sans Merci, and in doing so creates sympathy for the male constructs who are at the mercy of the female's control. It is said at the beginning of the poem that she "wanders as she loves, in liberty", Keats employs the female construct as an equal to man with the same sexual and able thinking to what she wants. Her "love" is depicted as something free insinuated from "liberty" and therefore her relation to the dream state is strengthened as in the real world "love" is restricted to the patriarchy and the ceremony of marriage which confines love. there is adversely everlasting happiness in the mythical dreamworld


"Wanders as she _____, at _______"



What does
"convulsed with scarlet pain" suggest?

The pain of being a female


What is suggested from
"A full born beauty new"?

The male gaze by Laura Mulvenney emphasis women as objects of male pleasure, as Lamia has transformed into the dream idyll of Lycius' ideal of what a woman should look like in order to love. "born" indicates that Lamia has a renewed innocence which leads the reader to believe the evilness of her serpent form has been rid of in replacement of her purity as a "beauty new". This links to St Agnes Eve whereby Madeline is presented as a "splendid angel" and so her virginal innocence is celebrated as a valuable quality looked for by men.


What is significant of the contradiction of
"virgin purest"
"love deep learned"?

Nothing is impossible in a mythical creature and Keats implies that a woman can be a pure soul and not a virgin in "love deep learned", conflicting the Madonna-whore dichotomy.


"To under perplex bliss from/its neighbour pain"

Keats suggests that you cannot have "bliss" without "pain", implying that the "bliss" of love has an inevitable tragedy in that it has undoubted "pain" in reality as no love is perfect. The existence of "bliss" love is therefore always defeated by the reality which society confines it, and to which Apollonius represents with his ,"Keen, cruel, perceant, stinging" eyes.


What is suggested by
"fell into swooning love with him"?

The tragedy of a woman's ambition to make a man fall in love with them, expressing the conditioning of society of the role of women and authority of men in the superficial societal idea of "love" in marriage. The verb "swoon" hints that Lamia is not of an evil nature as she has equally fell in love with Lycuis with an extreme emotion which has left her in admiration of him. The fact that she fell "with him" further upholds this is they are depicted as being together in "swooning love" indicating that she has not tricked him as they have both succumb to the same emotion.


What does
"His mind wrapped like a mantle"

That Lamia has entrapped Lycius in the dream world in order for them to be together away from the constraints of reality where love cannot exist. The fact that even as a woman she can "wrap" his mind implies to the reader she is still a serpent and with that she is still duplicitous; exploring that all women have the ability to entrap a man with love.


"Soon his _____ had ______ her beauty up....thus began to ______"



"Soon his eyes had drunk her beauty up... thus began to adore"

Lamia reflects that of a drug, having a psychological effect on his mind in order for her to control him. She is presented as the femme fatale; foreshadowing his tragic end as a result of falling in love with her beauty. Keats could be implying that all women entrap mens minds making them "drunk" on their "beauty", however this illusion will inevitably be tested by reality under which the men fall as they are deprived of their love which was never real. Adversely, Keats could be exploring that it is a man's own hamartia which leads to their downfall as they only see love as "beauty", but love is more superior than the superficiality of looks; therefore their inability to respect women in the absence of looks is their peripetia as in looking for "beauty" they cannot find the purity of "love".


"Ah, ________ see/whether my ____ can ever turn from thee"



What is the significance of
"ah, goddess see/whether my eyes can ever turn from thee"

As Lamia is not human, inferred from "Goddess", their love is evidently unattainable as they are from different worlds. This heightens Lamia's tragedy as in accordance with Aristotelean tragedy she falls from the position of a "Goddess" back to a serpent, her fall is thus made greater. The obsessive nature of Lycuis of Lamia is clear as expressed by "ever" which suggests an eternal continuation in which he is sustained by her beauty as his "eyes" can never "turn from thee". It is dramatically ironic that Keats continues to employ Lycius' eyes and the aspect of seeing as in fact it is his "eyes" which will cause his fall in the dénouement when he realises that Lamia is an illusion and he was actually was blind from this reality.


"The life she had so ________ in her ____"



"Lycius from _____ woke, into _____"



"She threw the _______ off, and won his heart/ More ___________ by playing a _______ part"



What is significant of "She threw the goddess off, and won his heart/More pleasantly by playing a woman's part"

Women cannot be powerful otherwise men will not want them; in "playing a woman's part" she thus makes herself more valuable to Lycius, securing his love. The fact that she has to throw "the goddess off" could imply that Lycius cannot go to the dream state and so she can only capture his mind in her magic while the threat of reality continues to threaten the safety of her love. As Lamia submits to a "woman's part" her tragedy has already been cemented as she will fall as a victim of the patriarchy, subject to a man's power.


"purple-lined ______ of sweet ___"