When I have fears

  • Plot: “When I Have Fears” is a sonnet that examines Keats’ fear of mortality and his desire to accomplish his potential before his death.
  • Structure & Language Techniques: The sonnet is structured with a Shakespearean rhyme scheme (ababcdcdefefgg) and uses evocative language techniques, like allegory, to express the emotional depth of its content.
  • Themes & Linking Poems: Key themes explored include the fear of mortality, the power of love, and the transience of life, linking to other Keats’ works like “Ode to a Nightingale” and “To Autumn”.
  • Key Quotes: Keats writes “When I have fears that I may cease to be / Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain” expressing the fear of unfulfilled potential represents a key quote from the poem.
  • Poet & Context: John Keats, one of the significant figures in the Romantic movement, wrote this poem while he was grappling with tuberculosis, giving the fear of death a personal and immediate context.