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Word Count: 996
Yes I will be thy priest and build a fane In some untrodden region of my mind Where branched thoughts new grown with pleasant pain Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind Keats 848 This quote taken from the last stanza of John Keats Ode to Psyche exemplifies the meaning of the ode for the reader According to Andrew Motion author of Keats A Biography Keats defines his individual self while registering his dependence on surrounding conditions His pursuit of beauty and truth is both a lament for lost ideals and a celebration of their transfigured continuance 382 In this paper I will show how Keats uses the winged Psyche to describe his longing to identify the soul through the use of mythology and sensual imagery The first way that Keats describes his longing to identify the soul is through mythology Keats introduces his reader to the goddess Psyche in the opening lines of the ode O Goddess hear these tuneless numbers wrung By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear Keats 847 In a footnote Keats reveals that Psyche was a mortal who was wedded to Cupid and translated to heaven as an immortal In Kris Steyaerts article Poetry as Enforcement Conquering the Muse in Keatss Ode to Psyche he makes the statement that the Cupid-Psyche myth may have appealed to Keats because it occasioned a candid gesture of self-definition and a search for a well-developed identity 6 I agree with Steyearts theory to the extent that I believe Keats uses the myth of Psyche to convey his own search for identity In the Cupid-Psyche myth Psyche endures many tribulations in order to be with her immortal lover After all of this Psyche is not even recognized as a goddess until after the time of Apuleius the Platonist and consequently she was never worshipped or admired as she should have been Motion 386 The poem becomes a parallel to Keats life
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