Hyperion: Book 1 Line 35-41 - Summary & Analysis

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How beautiful.....labouring up (Book 1, Lines 35-41).


      This is a passage describing the beauty of Thea, the wife of Hyperion. Keats does not lay as much emphasis on her beauty it-self, as on the impact of sorrow on her beauty. She looks all the more beautiful due to the look of sadness that her face wears. The call of Saturn is the root cause of her sorrow and she is still more sad to apprehend that yet greater calamities are going to fall on the Titans. So her face wears a look of fear also.

      Comparison of Thea’s face with dark clouds whose some portion has already been diluted into rain and the rest is preparing itself (“laboring up”) to crack down with its store of thunder, is indicative of Thea’s fear that the fallen gods will have to face many more calamities.

Critical Analysis

      The style of this passage, especially the first two lines are a direct reminiscent of the Miltonic style to which Keats owed a lot. Here the language is rich and dignified.

      The verse “there was a listening fear in her regard” tells us as to how much Keats can convey through a few words. Thea’s face shows as if she were listening and afraid. The idea of sorrow being more beautiful than itself is an example of a very impressive conceit.

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