Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats

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What general idea does "Ode to a Nightingale " develop?

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The basic idea in keats's Ode to A Nightingale is the conflict between the Ideal and the Real, time and timelessness, mortality and an escape into permanence. The real world for keats is conditioned by flux and mutability, an awareness of which causes pain. This notion of mutability and the anguish resulting from it is explored in all details in stanza 3 where Keates avers that human life, health, beauty and love are all subject to flux and hence result in pain:

The weariness, the fever, and the fret

Here, where men sit and hear heach other groan;

Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,

Where youth grows pale, and specter-thin, and dies;

Where but to think is to be full of sorrow

And leaden-eyed despairs.

The Nightingale's song to keats becomes a potent symbol of his nympholeptic longing for immortality and hence his desire for the rapport with the bird. It is not the biological species that is Keats's concern, but the deathless song it produces. The song appaers to the poet to be too full of the spiriot of unadulterated joy  and hence the poet's interest in the song. He achieves a rapport with the bird "through the wings of poesy''. it is tragically paradoxical that ultimately the imaginative union with the bird braks and the poet is back to his desolate self;

Adieu the fancy cannot cheat so well

As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.

The poem raises deeply tragic questions relating to the possibility of attainment of immortality or the transcendence of pain in the human condition.

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In this poem, Keats develops themes that run concurrent with his other works, the question of the worth of human existence and whether the creative spirit that is inspired by nature, is capable of capturing the true essence of beauty that is expressed in nature and that is a reflection of a world that ordinary mortals cannot see.  Keats feels connected to the world beyond that which is seen. He tries to capture the essence of what he feels and sees in his mind's eye in his poetry.

"A major concern in "Ode to a Nightingale" is Keats's perception of the conflicted nature of human life, i.e., the interconnection or mixture of pain/joy, intensity of feeling/numbness or lack of feeling, life/death, mortal/immortal, the actual/the ideal, and separation/connection."

Keats also celebrates life's simplicity in listening to the song of the nightingale.  This poem is one of five "Odes" that Keats writes to express his sense of being one with both nature and a higher level of existence.  Keats, like many creative geniuses, experiences a sense of struggle between his earthly life and the spirit realm which seems to call to him, and which he must venture to visit to gain insight into his artistic nature.

Keats poetry is inspired by his ability to slip between the veil that separates the mortal world from the immortal world of eternity.  His poetry examines and reflects upon the mortal coil, but often, Keats recognizes that the immortal world holds much greater beauty and wonder.  He...

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subrataray | Student

 

The general idea in the Ode finds display in the attempt of balancing the world of art and the world of grim reality .The music of the nightingale evokes imagination .The poet in Keats  ardently wishes to be one with the nightingale .But reality proves a barrier .In fancy he takes opium , wine ,etc .But he fails to send his senses to sleep .In his last attempt  he takes the help of imagination and  finds his room nearest to the bird , where it is siniging in full-throated ease .

Here he is happy , but does not get saturated .For he is lacking of the complete cessation of senses .He desires the the ecstasy of one ness ,-the desire of transporting himself into the realm of art and beauty .Hence he refers to  "death"

Keats can not keep up the state of aesthetic delight for a long time .His mind is not yet so trained as to dip into the fathomless depth of meditation.Hence , he falls victim to  his own imagination of the of the forlorn maiden capvited by an ancient amgician .

He returns to the same plat form where he too is forlorn  and waiting pass into the chasm of oblivion ,-death .

 

 

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subrataray | Student

The general idea in the Ode finds display in the attempt of balancing the world of art and the world of grim reality .The music of the nightingale evokes imagination .The poet in Keats  ardently wishes to be one with the nightingale .But reality proves a barrier .In fancy he takes opium , wine ,etc .But he fails to send his senses to sleep .In his last attempt  he takes the help of imagination and  finds his room nearest to the bird , where it is siniging in full-throated ease .

Here he is happy , but does not get saturated .For he is lacking of the complete cessation of senses .He desires the the ecstasy of one ness ,-the desire of transporting himself into the realm of art and beauty .Hence he refers to  "death"

Keats can not keep up the state of aesthetic delight for a long time .His mind is not yet so trained as to dip into the fathomless depth of meditation.Hence , he falls victim to  his own imagination of the of the forlorn maiden capvited by an ancient amgician .

He returns to the same plat form where he too is forlorn  and waiting pass into the chasm of oblivion ,-death .

 

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kc4u | Student

'Ode to a Nightingale' deals with the antinomy between the real and the imaginative: the poet's imaginative excursion induced by the song of the nightingale into the dimly dark, fragrant, nocturnal nature, and the journey back to the reality of lived existence. The bird's song serves as an intense reminder of the world of imagination, a world of permanence as opposed to the human world of transience, of suffering and decay and death. Looking for transportation to the world of the nightingale, the poet searches for possible modes of escape. Rejecting wine, old and new, he opts for the 'viewless wings of Poesy' to 'fade into the forest dim'. 'Already with thee' in line 35 marks the poet's empathy with the bird. The song-bird entices the poet through the dark forest, the 'embalmed darkness', the poet following the bird to some 'magic casements' opening on to the surging seas of 'faery lands forlorn'. The poet is then tolled back to the real world, confused and disenchanted, having known the limits of imagination, having felt the tragic disillusion of the journey of the mind.

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