“Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats Sample Essay

In his verse form “Ode to a Nightingale. ” John Keats uses powerful. distinguishable symbolism and imagination. The Luscinia megarhynchos. for case. is interpreted by many to be a symbol of Keats’ poetic inspiration and satisfaction. This symbolism can be seen by the graphic descriptions Keats hives the Luscinia megarhynchos. However. the Luscinia megarhynchos is decidedly non the lone point of symbolism in “Ode to a Nightingale. ” In a short piece of art. Keats seemingly has mastered utilizing many different points. phrases. and superb. descriptive metaphorical text to typify something he yearns for. Countless pieces of the verse form indicate that he besides wishes for immortality and the ability to get away from world and into another province of consciousness and the rapture of the nightingale’s vocal – its peace. its felicity.

“Ode to a Nightingale” is relevant to the subjects Keats explores in his verse form and “odes. ” In an highly imperfect. inharmonious universe of world. the writer yearns for a manner to get away the troubles of world and human life. In an effort to carry through his flight. Keats tries to come in the life of the Luscinia megarhynchos. He uses the strong symbolic significance of the Luscinia megarhynchos and its universe to get away from rough world. In the verse form. John Keats even transforms the bird to go immortal. While researching legion ways to fall in the bird everlastingly in its “song. ” Keats is unluckily forced to recognize that get awaying from world to the Luscinia megarhynchos is impossible.

First of all. the Luscinia megarhynchos is the chief characteristic and piece of symbolism in “Ode to a Nightingale. ” Historically. birds have ever been the ideal symbol of freedom and inspiration. The manner in which Keats describes the nightingale plays a cardinal portion to the reading of the verse form. In the first stanza. Keats describes the bird as a “…light-winged Dryad of the trees” ( Keats. line 7 ) . The “light wings” of the Luscinia megarhynchos. or any bird for that affair. is the ground it has the ability to surge freely above us all. Furthermore. it can be interpreted that unlike worlds. inspiration does non hold boundaries nor forces to keep it back. Besides in stanza one. “…shadows numberless. / Singest of summer in full-throated ease” ( lines 10-11 ) . indicates how inspiration can easy excel boundaries and how poesy. or the nightingale’s vocal in this case. has the power to set adult male into the kingdom of imaginativeness.

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In the 3rd stanza. Keats aches for all right vino in order to get away and “Fade far off. dissolve. and rather bury ( line 21 ) . Although at speedy idea. it may look Keats wants to get away through imbibing. this line really indicates more than that. The peculiar line is besides an indicant of wishing for escape through poesy. This is exhibited when Keats wishes for a wine “Full of the true. the blushing Hippocrene” ( line 16 ) . Hippocrene is the sacred fountain of the Muses. who were existences of inspiration for many creative persons and poets ( Cooper. p. 14 ) . Once once more. another symbol of Keats’ want for inspiration.

Another thing Keats yearns for is immortality. This is seen most strongly in the 3rd stanza where he mourns. “Beauty can non maintain her bright eyes. / Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow” ( lines 29-30 ) . The sorrows of life seem to hold a connexion with the mortality of worlds. In stanza seven. the Luscinia megarhynchos is transformed from a mortal bird to its symbolic and immortal signifier – poetic inspiration. This is suggested when Keats exclaims. “Thou wast non born for decease. immortal bird! ” ( line 61 ) and “The voice I hear this passing dark was heard / In ancient yearss by emperor and clown” ( lines 63-64 ) . Though it may be difficult to hold on the imaginativeness of how a simple bird could be immortal. it is possible to see this if one values the Luscinia megarhynchos as a metaphorical symbol for poetic inspiration. like Keats purpose seems. By making so. it all of a sudden becomes much easier to understand the nightingale’s high quality to the boundary of clip and topographic point.

Keats touches on a figure of ways to avoid and get away world. This is apparent in stanza one where he names a toxicant. hemlock ( line 2 ) . and narcotic drugs. In add-on. Keats besides uses vino. memory loss. imaginativeness. and even decease itself as a signifier of slip from the cruel and barbarous worlds of a universe he describes as “Where but to believe is to be full of sorrow” ( line 27 ) .

By an attempt of the imaginativeness. Keats attempts to stamp down all cognition of the human agony made apparent in stanza three. He seeks to wholly come in into the rapture of the nightingale’s vocal so he becomes nil more than an instrument entering the tiniest of physical esthesis. For illustration. in stanza five. Keats describes the beauty of a topographic point in the most infinitesimal item. Since he is unable to really “see” this topographic point. he is utilizing the sheer force of his imaginativeness. In this peculiar stanza. the usage of imagination is so present. The soft sounds and descriptions of flowers yield a really bewitching and beautiful ambiance. Where Keats says. “Now more than of all time seems it rich to decease. / To discontinue upon the midnight with no hurting. / While thou art pouring Forth thy psyche abroad / In such an rapture! ” ( lines 55-58 ) . is an indicant of how he believes it would be fantastic for his life to stop in such a province of blissful Eden. However. the sarcasm of this is that. in Keats’ instance. decease would intend the terminal of the nightingale’s vocal. He realizes this when he says. “Still wouldst 1000 sing. and I have ears in vain – / to thy high dirge become a turf. ” ( lines 59-60 ) . This piece is an indicant of Keats’ captivation with the Luscinia megarhynchos and its vocal.

In add-on to the above. the full verse form indicates the uninterrupted temper swings from one stanza to another. There are highly elusive and varied interaction of gestures – foremost directed positively. and later negatively. For case. in the first stanza. Keats’ “Heart achings. and a drowsy numbness pains / My senses. as though of hemlock I had drunk” ( lines 1-2 ) . However. Keats besides associates both felicity and utmost hurting and pigments them in such a manner to do them related.

In the concluding stanza. Keats eventually realizes that he is unable to follow the Luscinia megarhynchos as he had hoped ; its vocal has the ability to merely momently separate him from himself and the fiction of his imaginativeness. and can non be sustained any longer. This realisation is evident when he says. “Adieu! The illusion can non rip off so well” ( line 73 ) . As he continues to listen to the nightingale’s vocal. the tune fades into the distance like a mere semblance: “Fled is that music: – Do I wake or kip? ” ( line 80 ) . From at that place. Keats is reluctantly returned to world and is no longer enveloped in the rapture of the creature’s beautiful. peaceful vocal.

“Ode to a Nightingale” is basically Keats’ quest for poetic inspiration and fulfilment. The writer uses many symbolic significances to bespeak this. Keats descriptions basically transform the Luscinia megarhynchos from its mortal signifier to an immortal animal of inspiration. These descriptions indicate how the Luscinia megarhynchos is able to exceed any and all boundaries of human life and world. The infinite imagination Keats uses throughout the verse form is a farther sweetening of Keats’ purposes. as does his plaint of the sufferings of mortality and exultation as a consequence of the nightingale’s immortality. With the legion sums of symbols. imagination. and metaphors embedded into “Ode. ” John Keats has created a really strong. enrapturing verse form. Although it is likely based on how he felt at that clip. it is one verse form that everyone else can associate to – the desire to get away into something or someplace more desirable.

Plants Cited

Cooper. J. J. Brewer’s Book of Myth and Legend. Oxford: Helicon Publishing. 1993.

Keats. John. “Ode to a Nightingale. ” Retrieved from: hypertext transfer protocol: //www. bartleby. com/126/40. hypertext markup language.

13 August 2003.


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