Ode to a Nightingale and Ode on Melancholy Essay John Keats

Topics: Meaning of life, Poetry, Human condition Pages: 4 (1426 words) Published: September 13, 2010
John Keats’ essay.
The poems written by John Keats are primarily concerned with the conflicted nature of the human existence as they look at the human state often with sadness, beauty and the imagination of one’s mind. The metaphysical world, beauty in nature and classical idealism are all pondered upon in Keats’ poems as these ideas are evidently indicated in the two poems “Ode on Melancholy” and “Ode To A Nightingale”. The metaphysical world relating to immortality and mortality constantly appears in Keats’ two poems “Ode on Melancholy” and “Ode to a Nightingale”. In the second line of the first stanza Keats’ talks about “Wolf’s bane” which is a poisonous plant often used to commit suicide. Keats’ advises us not to think about suicide and take poisons such as wolf’s bane when melancholy is around.

The first two lines of the third stanza in “Ode to a Nightingale”, “Fade far away, dissolve and quite forget what thou among the leaves hast never known” tells the readers that he wants to fade away and disappear with the birds which in this line, are expressed as “thou among the leaves”. The persona is trying to escape using alcohol to become transient.

In the last two lines of stanza one in ”Ode to Melancholy”, For shade to shade will come too drowsily, and drown the wakeful anguish of the soul”, Keats is trying to deliver the message that melancholy is undoubtedly part of the human condition. He is also aware of the lengthy process in having to endure suffering and pain sequentially to experience joy and content.

Keats’ view on the metaphysical world is also explored in the third stanza of “Ode to a Nightingale”. The third and fourth line “Here, where men sit and hear each other groan ; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs” are all images of aging as “palsy” is a shaking movement of most elderly and “last grey hairs” is something an aged person would have. These images of aging leads to anguish which leads back to mortality because humans...
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