Ode To Nightingale Essay

828 words - 4 pages

JOHN KEATS

Personal context
• Born 31st October 1795 (18th Century)

• Lived in London, but he was unhappy thus moving away to live with his brothers. All of who suffered from tuberculosis.

• As he found out he was developing serious symptoms of Tuberculosis, he moved away from London to Italy with his friend Joseph Severn.

• Keats wrote his final version of Bright Star aboard the ship.

• Died on 23rd February 1821

Artistic Context (The Lamp: Externalizing their feelings/ emotions)
• ROMANTICISM: Inspired by wild, untrammeled and ‘pure’ nature.

• Revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of he Age of Enlightenment.

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But ‘negative capability’ is introduced- ‘ That I might drink, and leave the world unseen…’: accepting his fate, accepting that there is nothing he can do.
- Death is personified in the symbol of the nightingale to introduce the idea that death would be a good thing as the nightingale is a positive image. The nightingale can be seen as a symbol of death because Keats talks about death using a poem that address a nightingale, “thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees”
- ‘Thou was not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown’: 61- 64. Narrator feels like he has lived the highlight of his life, hence feels no need to live- and wants to die and join the nightingale.

Imagery
- Natural imagery (“deep-delved earth”, “Tasting of Flora and the country green”) conforms to romantic conventions of nature holding meaning and communicates his idea that upon dying, his happiness is comparable to being one with nature.
- Nature is coming alive through personification, e.g. “mid-May’s eldest child, / The coming musk-rose”, shows Keats finds meaning in nature, as it is given raised status, shown to be a completely new world. It also shows how much Keats wants to have the peace that nature possesses, “being too happy in thine happiness”.
- Juxtaposition of positive and negative images (“men sit and hear each other groan” versus “The grass, the thicket and the fruit-tree wild; / White hawthorn, and the pastoral...

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