Arguably one of John Keats’ most famous poems, “Ode to a nightingale” in and of itself is an allegory on the frail, conflicting aspects of life while also standing as a commentary on the want to escape life’s problems and the unavoidability of death. Keats’ poem utilizes a heavy amount of symbolism, simile and allusion to idealize nature as a perfect, almost mystical, world that holds no problems while using imagery taken from nature, combined with alliteration and assonance, to idealize the dream of escape from the problems life often presents; more specifically, aging and our inevitable deaths by allowing the reader to feel as if they are experiencing the speaker’s experience listening to the nightingale.
The poem’s own subject, the nightingale, acts as a continuous symbol throughout the piece. While birds mentioned or placed throughout numerous art forms often represent freedom, the nightingale, being a particularly melodic bird, has often been utilized as a symbol of art, and the perfect, immortal essence and beauty of nature. Even the speaker states “ thou wast not born for death, immortal bird !” in the very first line of the seventh stanza. The very concept of immortalizing the symbolic nature of this particular bird within a form as specific as an ode
enhances the mythical and virtually unobtainable essence of freedom from life’s troubles.
Despite the speaker’s obvious admiration and romantic view of the nightingale, however, a realization that escaping the daily grind of life is impossible presents itself in the poem through a simile in the last stanza. “Forlorn! The very word like a bell/ to toll me back from thee to my sole self / Adieu! The fancy cannot cheat so well”. As forlorn ...
... middle of paper ...
...spheres around the world of the nightingale and the speaker’s; one being cheerful and light while the latter’s is made to appear more rushed or forced.
Keats’ “Ode to a nightingale”symbolizes nature as an escape from the natural misfortunes of life. The speaker’s almost hypnotic state throughout the poem idolizes the power of literature and poetry, as he is entranced by the nightingale’s song. By combining these themes with poetic devices such as symbolism, imagery, allusion, alliteration and assonance Keats creates a sense of connection between the reader and the speaker, almost allowing the reader to experience the speaker’s own actions and emotions. Through this connection, as well as through the poem’s overall tone, the reader can better grasp the concept of nature being the best alternative to human life, and how it remains immortal through art such as poetry.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “Ode to a nightingale” Arguably one of John Keats’ most famous poems, “Ode to a nightingale” in and of itself is an allegory on the frail, conflicting aspects of life while also standing as a commentary on the want to escape life’s problems and the unavoidability of death. Keats’ poem utilizes a heavy amount of symbolism, simile and allusion to idealize nature as a perfect, almost mystical, world that holds no problems while using imagery taken from nature, combined with alliteration and assonance, to idealize the dream of escape from the problems life often presents; more specifically, aging and our inevitable deaths by allowing the reader to feel as if they are experiencing the speaker’s... [tags: Poetry, Life, Nature, John Keats]
1461 words (4.2 pages)
- “Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird. No hungry generations tread thee down;” This passage, from John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale”, is one of the most recognizable lines from all of his work. John Keats is arguably one of the most significant romantic poets in the history of British literature. Keats was famous for his heavily romantic style of poetry and was known for thought provoking themes of transcendence, mortality and impermanence. Perhaps his best display of this is in his strong theme of mortality in “Ode to a Nightingale” where he depicts a soft view of death due to the guaranteed beauty that the bird provides for generations to come.... [tags: Poetry, Romanticism, John Keats, Romantic poetry]
721 words (2.1 pages)
- Summer of 1819. July, to be precise. “Ode to a Nightingale” is published for the first time. The many ways to interpret this poem written by John Keats raise more questions about the theme than the actual poem itself. Imagination or reality. Life or death. Every interpretation varies. September of 2016. Controversy is still at heart of the poem, given its wide range of different perceptions. Hence, what is the main theme of the poem “Ode to a Nightingale”. Why. In my opinion, this poem’s main theme is reality, but more specifically, reality in contrast with imagination.... [tags: Poetry, Mind, Carole King, John Keats]
916 words (2.6 pages)
- In an ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ by John Keats, the speaker is setting up the tone to be a rather sad poem. Simply, that is not what he intends to continue to do throughout the poem, though. It is more so the speaker working through the realistic aspects of life and dying. How even the good things in life, can and will leave you such as drinking. Being drunk is fun, you forget what you want to forget, but eventually it comes back. The speaker explains in this stanza that sadness is like alcohol, it makes you numb and aches, yet you want more of it – similar to the notion of an addiction.... [tags: Poetry, Death, Stanza, The Real World]
1556 words (4.4 pages)
- "Ode to A Nightingale" is a poem in which Keats uses detailed description to contrast natural beauty and reality, life and death. In the opening verse, the writer becomes captivated by the nightingale's peaceful song. Throughout, the song becomes a powerful spell that transcends the mortal world of Keats. Interwoven throughout the poem are his thoughts about death. It is important to note that Keats' father & mother died when he was young and his brother had recently died of tuberculosis, which probably accounts for this focus.... [tags: Poetry]
820 words (2.3 pages)
- John Keats Romantic poetry is often regarded as the largest artistic movement of the 18th century. Its presence could be felt across the globe and in most artistic disciplines of its time. The birth of romanticism can be seen as a reaction against the political events, neoclassicism, or anything else considered "orderly" of that time. Romantic poetry opposes rationality. Romantic poetry largely uses nature is to express individuality on an emotional level. One poet from the Romantic Movement is John Keats.... [tags: John Keats, Romanticism, Ode to a Nightingale]
1262 words (3.6 pages)
- John Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn and Ode to a Nightingale John Keats, in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale" attempts to connect with two objects of immortality to escape from the rigors of human life. In "Ode to a Nightingale", Keats attempts to connect with a bird's song because the music knows nothing of aging and mortality. Keats has the same motivation in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" while trying to connect with three separate images on a mysterious urn. Connecting in this sense means to either fully understand the object or become the object itself.... [tags: Papers Keats Poem Poetry Essays]
1320 words (3.8 pages)
- When it comes to poetry there are various ways in which people interpret it. Depending on the person and his or her experiences a poem can hit a person a certain way, especially with a great poet such as John Keats, who has written a great amount of beautiful poems that fascinated the literature world. The great poetry he has written has left him as one of the greatest poets of all time. It is unfortunate that he deceased at such a young age considering he was at his prime when it came to writing poetry.... [tags: John Keats, Poetry, Love, Ode to a Nightingale]
1679 words (4.8 pages)
- In a letter written to Richard Woodhouse on October 27, 1818, John Keats addresses the idea of his poetic identity. According to Keats, “A poet is the most unpoetical of anything in existence; he has no identity…creatures of impulse are poetical and have about them an unchangeable attribute-the poet has none; …he is certainly the most unpoetical of all God’s Creatures” (Keats 1818). Therefore, Keats views himself as a poet with no self, writing not from his own identity. In his mind: “the poetical Character itself, (I mean that sort which, if I am anything, I am a Member; that sort distinguished from the wordsworthian or egotistical sublime; which is a thing per se and stands alone)... [tags: poet, stanza, conflict]
914 words (2.6 pages)
- Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, and Ode to Autumn The casual reader of John Keats' poetry would most certainly be impressed by the exquisite and abundant detail of it's verse, the perpetual freshness of it's phrase and the extraordinarily rich sensory images scattered throughout it's lines. But, without a deeper, more intense reading of his poems as mere parts of a larger whole, the reader may miss specific themes and ideals which are not as readily apparent as are the obvious stylistic hallmarks.... [tags: John Keats Poetry Poem Symbolism Symbol]
1467 words (4.2 pages)