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Bright star     

About the poet

John Keats (1795-1821) was a British Romantic poet. He was inspired by Spenser and Milton. His poems are highly appreciated for their rich sensuousness and vivid imagery.

About the poem

  • The poem ‘Bright Star’ was written in 1819 by John Keats after his meeting with Fanny Brawne, his beloved. It is also believed that the poet addresses this sonnet to her.

  • The poem ‘Bright Star’ is a romantic poem, in which the poet expresses his desire to attain eternity and immorality by loving his beloved.

  • It is also a Shakespearean sonnet which is written in iambic pentameter. 

  • The poem depicts the themes of love, death, time, loneliness, change, humans, and nature.           

Short Answer Type Questions

1. What does ‘Eremite’ mean?

Ans: The word ‘Eremite’ means hermit.

2. Name an unfinished epic of John Keats.

Ans: An unfinished epic of John Keats is Hyperion.

3.”Awake forever in a sweet unrest”-What does the word ‘forever’ emphasize?

Ans: The word ‘forever’ emphasizes immortality.

4. What priestlike task does the Bright Star observe?

Ans: The Bright star observes moving water washes humans’ sin ritually like a priest.

5. What does the poet desire if he ever fails to hear his lover’s breath?

Ans: If the poet fails to hear his lover’s breath, he desires to welcome his inevitable death without regretting separation from the earth.

6. When did John Keats write ‘Bright Star’? To whom was it addressed?

Ans: John Keats wrote ‘Bright Star’ in 1819.

It was addressed to the poet’s beloved Fanny Brawne.

7. Name two notable works of John Keats.

Ans: Ode to Nightingale and Why Did I Laugh Tonight are two notable works of John Keats.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. John Keats wrote ‘Bright Star’ in -a)1819 b)1817 c)1835 d)1895

2. The tone of the poem ‘Bright Star’ is -a)pessimistic b)optimistic c)melancholy d)resignation

Bright Star of John Keats offers ______ appeal. -a)sensuous b)calm c)beautiful d)altruist

4. The poet wishes to be gazing on the _______ upon the mountains and the moors.

a) stone b)soil c)rock d)snow

5. The poem ‘Bright Star’ is a -a) a romantic poem b) a Victorian poem c) a lyric poem d)sonnet

6. In ‘Bright Star’ the word ‘steadfast’ means-a) fast b)unchanging  c)quick d)lunatic

7. Keats wrote an unfinished epic-a) Paradise Regain b)Hyperion c)Paradise d)Expectation

8. In ‘Bright Star’, the word ‘Eremite’ means -a)hermit b)poet c)philosopher d)humanitarian

9.”Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art”-Identify the figure of speech used in this line.

 a)Apostrophe b)Personification c)antithesis d)chiasmus


Long Answer Type Questions

1. What are the qualities of the ‘Bright star’?

Ans: According to John Keats, the ‘Bright star’ is eternal and steadfast despite all the changes around its surroundings. It is unable to sleep like a hermit who is solitary and non-human. Though it is unchangeable and bright, it has limitations that make it lonely and different.

2. Describe the religious imagery which is used in the sonnet ‘Bright Star’.

Ans: In the sonnet ‘Bright Star’, John Keats uses ‘Eremite’ as religious imagery. The poet says that the pole star watches how the seas wash around the shores of the earth and the annual cycle of snow falling on the earth, opening its eyes like a religious hermit with insomnia.

3.”The moving waters at their priest-like task”-What does the poet mean to say?

Ans: The poet means to say that the tides of the sea rise and fall twice in a day. The movement and freshness of the water purify all mischiefs of humans as the priest purifies humans spiritually with the help of his rituals.

4. What does the word ‘Eremite’ emphasize in the poem?

Ans: The word ‘Eremite’ emphasizes the sense of the star’s separation from the changing world of humanity, and the loneliness and sleeplessness of the star in the poem. The poet wants to say that the bright star is different from human beings who get themselves attached to the earth due to their feelings and sensuality. The bright star is always detached from the earth, and remains lonely like an ‘Eremite’.

5. What does the Bright Star watch? How does it watch?

Ans: The Bright star watches how the seas wash around the shores of the earth, and the annual cycle of snowfall on the earth.

While watching it opens its eyes like a religious hermit who spends a sleepless night.


 Do as directed:

1. And watching, with eternal lids apart. (Replace the underlined word with a phrasal verb)

Ans: And looking at, with eternal lids apart.

2. Awake, forever, in sweet unrest. (Replace the underlined word with a phrasal verb)

Ans: Get up, forever, in sweet unrest.


A. Answer the following:

a)What qualities of the Bright Star does John Keats like and dislike?

b)Bring out the religious imagery in Keats ‘Bright Star’?

c)What quality does Keats attribute to Bright Star?

d)What does ‘forever’ mean in ‘Bright Star’?

e)How does Keats describe the Bright Star?

f)What does the Bright Star watch? How does it watch?

g)What does the Bright Star gaze at?
h)What desire does the poet express at the end of the poem?
i)Who is an Eremite?
j)What do you understand by the word ‘ablution’?

k)Discuss the qualities of the star that Keats likes and dislikes in the poem ‘Bright Star’.
l)How would you explicate the religious imagery in Keats’ ‘Bright Star’?
m)In ‘Bright Star’, what are the apparent contradictions in the phrase “sweet unrest”?

B. Do as directed:

1. Bright Star is steadfast. It is still unchangeable. (Combine into complex) 
2. Live ever. Else swoon to death. (Combine into compound)

3. The poet said to the Bright Star, “I were steadfast as thou art – not in lone splendor hung aloft the night.” 


♦stedfast-unchanging, ♦thou-you, ♦art-are, ♦ splendor-brightness, ♦aloft-higher over the earth, ♦eternal-existing forever, ♦lids-cover of the eyes, ♦nature’s patient-love to watch nature, ♦Eremite-saint or hermit, ♦pure-holy, ♦ablution-washing or cleaning, ♦soft-fallen mask-covering of snow on the ground, ♦moors-an open field, ♦ripening-become mature, ♦soft fall and swell-exhale and inhale, sweet unrest- ‘unrest’ is so sweet that the poet is willing to accept it more than rest. It is an example of an oxymoron. ♦tender-showing affection, ♦swoon-fainted