In Keats’ poems, the narrators often look at art—at, say, Homer’s writing, or Shakespeare’s, or the Elgin Marbles, or a Grecian Urn—and are consumed by it…fascinated and lost, sometimes broken, sometimes stolen into fairylands forlorn. What is happening here? Choose one of the poems where the narrator looks at art and say why they do it if it is so dangerous? Why, at the end of “On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again,” after the narrator is “consumed in fire,” would they want to “fly at his desire” (that is, want to read the work) “once again,” as the title tells us? Why consume, and be consumed, by art?

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