Abeyance so far comes off as quite dark and gloomy and presents itself in a oppressive atmosphere. However, this is not going to take up the entirety of the game and Keats is not the only character in this world. Keats will find some happiness in some strange and twisted way.
The main inspiration behind the ideas of this game also share the same origins as the inspiration for my novel. The poetry of John Clare, John Keats and William Blake. You can see how John Keats comes into it already. Here is one of the poems that inspire this.
I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
And e’en the dearest–that I loved the best–
Are strange–nay, rather stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below–above the vaulted sky.
‘I am’, John Clare
A little bit of background on John Clare here, he was an English poet in the 1800’s, but later in life he lost his sanity and was committed to a mental asylum and it’s where he wrote the above poem. So it is an extremely powerful piece of poetry and it has kind of stuck with me since I first read it.
Anyway, what relevance is all this? The character of Keats, is in a similar position to how John Clare was, losing his mind and finding himself in a delusional state of mind and living in quite an oppressive state. There is this longing with him, one Keats and Clare share, to be somewhere away from the world and to be untroubled with burdens. So Abeyance is trying to sympathise with those suffering from delusions.
The poet John Keats comes in because it’s not all about feeling trapped or a burdened mind, John Keats had a talent for creating something imaginative and beautiful, not only that he dealt with mythology and fantastical worlds escaped from reality. A perfect place for Keats to escape to, scenes where man has never trod. Here is a quote from John Keats, ‘You speak of Lord Byron and me – There is this great difference between us. He describes what he sees – I describe what I imagine’. And I don’t think there’s anything more apt than that, as Keats’ (in Abeyance) world is completely imaginary.
And William Blake looked to people and society in his poetry, his piece ‘London’ is a brilliant commentary on London society at the time he lived, he took it from a negative point of view and pretty much described the people as prisoners or slaves, he uses the description ‘mind-forged manacles’ and I think that’s an excellent description for a society where people aren’t free. Exactly like Keats’ society. I also loved this one, “And the hapless Soldier’s sigh Runs in blood down Palace walls.” He really manages to capture something powerful in only so few words.
So, what exactly IS Abeyances plot? Keats is made insane by the oppressive nature of his society, where independent thought is frowned up and in trying to embrace his free thought he is at a conflict. He fights these shadows in his head to try and gain control, but is his connection to a dream world all that healthy? His one desire is to get away from the burdens of living in society and to live freely amongst nature. This means Keats not only visits this darkened dream-world but he encounters a fantastical world that has kept its natural beauty, where he is free. Unfortunately his 3 realities will start to merge and what seemed clear before may begin to blur. Keats does meet one fortune, a girl who seems different to the rest, she could well become all that keeps him from falling into a darkened abyss.
Or could not. I mean, I’m not exactly going to give the specifics. It could be a happy ending, but it could be a horribly depressing ending – the real world could swallow him whole by treating him as a ‘nutjob’ possibly executing him out of mercy, it could be that he finds happiness in this new place, a great allegory for going to heaven and would tie so nicely to that John Clare poem (you know, being with God in the vaulted sky), it could be that this darkened reality destroys him and he is left just a vessel; void of humanity. Or it could be he successfully defeats the demons and he finds complete clarity and maybe escapes from this cruel society and finds a place similar to that in his dreams – or conversely, decides he isn’t scared to be independent and faces the law. It might not even be ANY of those things, I might have just been thinking of what somebody might speculate whilst I keep the real answer to myself or this is a double bluff and I threw the real answer in there…or I myself haven’t actually decided yet. Maybe aliens will inherit the earth.
Anyway, this is just me explaining the plot more whilst showing what angle I’m coming in at for the plot in this game.