Discuss at least two characteristics of Romanticism in John Keat's poem "Ode toa Nightingale".
In the poem "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats, the poet expresses a Romantic nostalgia for the past and alludes to it several times. He ties this in with ideas of beauty, joy, calm and pastoral scenery. In this, John keats appears to express an overpowering urge to run away into escapism. It is said that he wrote this poem in the early warmth of a spring time garden at a friend's house. It is also well known that Keats endured years of painful ill health and had to nurse and watch friends die through similar illnesses. it is little wonder then, given the prevalence of lung illnesses at the time, that he alludes to opiates and vacations. He longs to join the nightingale who will save him and draw him further away into the greenery of the wood.
"Ode to a Nightingale" is an example of the romantic attachment to nature. In just the first stanza, the speaker, as a result of the bird's singing, writes that his heart aches, and his senses are numb as though he's drank poison or used an opiate, not from envy, but because he is so happy for the bird's happiness.
The poem also demonstrates the romantic attachment to a romanticized past. Allusions abound:
- Lethe-wards--toward Lethe, the river of forgetfulness in Hades
- Dryad--a classical nymph
- Flora--goddess of flowers
- Hippocrene--classical fountain from which flowed inspiration
The romanticized past is used to describe the speaker's feelings and the nightingale itself.
The poet in Ode To A Nightingale is an escapist .He escapes through imagination .On his way the bower of the bliss wher the nightingale is singing in full-throated -ease , , and returning from the same , he employs Medieval ism and Hellenism .The references of Ruth , emperors and clowns and magic casement opening in the foam , speak of Keats' love for the middle ages . Again Keats had fascination to Greek arts and culture .The installations like , Flora and country green festivals , Bacchus and his parade , light winged Dray ad of trees , etc vivify the poet's love for the ancient Greek -life .
Medieval ism and Hellenism are the two major branches of Romanticism .
1- Romantic landscape aestheticism.
2-Romantic idealism of nature.