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Keats Imagery "The Eve of Saint Agnes"

            Madeline, in her state of innocence and loneliness finds herself being imprisoned in the coldness of her frustration, grief and sorrow before Phorphyro later on brings experience and warmth into her life. In the poem "The Eve of Saint Agnes" the cold imagery plays an important role as it symbolizes the theme of innocence before experience in the poem, the state of loneliness and imprisonment before freedom as her church and religion that imprisons her.
             The imagery of coldness is described in the setting and background to symbolize Madeline, in her state of darkness, loneliness and chastity before transferring to experience, the contrast to the state of warmth and freedom that Phorphyro is about to bring. These imagery symbolize her religion and the church which constraints her from her feeling of love. The imagery of coldness is mostly mentioned in the first stanza, as it is Madeline's first state of isolation. In the first stanza the choice of diction in the sentence "Bitter chill it was" shows the coldness being bitter which explains that her first state at the time of innocence is bitter or filled with sorrow, frustration and the coldness of the church of her chastity. Bitter also gives a feeling of chill because of the alliteration sound of "T" that creates a harsh tone. "Was a cold" in the first stanza also described the coldness. And the diction "frozen grass" and "frosted breath," explains further the pain of her state. And in the second stanza, the imagery of coldness is related to "The sculptured dead, on each side, seem to freeze" as the whole setting of the coldness symbolizes paleness and death. This is a contrast to the state of experience that Phorphyro will bring as he has a heart on fire for Madeline "Had come young Phorphyro, with heart on fire for Madeline" (stanza 9) which means that his warmth will later on melt Madeline's chastity-freezing soul. And in stanza 11 Phorphyro "stood, hid from the torch's flame" which symbolizes his flaming heart that is also eager to transform Madeline's state of coldness to warmth with his company.

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