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Keats Ode To Melancholy Essay

632 words - 3 pages

Keats's conception of "Melancholy" is that we as humans cannot truly feel joy, unless we have felt true sorrow first. We find this ideal in several of his works; the two I plan to focus on are "Ode to Melancholy" and "La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad". In his "Ode to Melancholy", Keats clearly illustrates this idea as one reads through the stanzas.The first stanza he tells the readers not to deaden their senses with drugs, or to forget their sorrows by going to Lethe. Keats states this to say that we need the sorrow we feel to find true happiness, to be "“ as Dr. Gurney stated "“ strong enough to reach for the light of joy, yet live in the shadows of sorrow.In the next two stanzas, Keats works to show the intertwining of joy and sorrow. He does this by using images such as weeping clouds, droop-headed flowers, a morning rose, rainbows, and peonies. By combining these elements in the way that Keats does, one gets the idea of the pleasure and pain principle once more; that they go hand in hand, and without feeling one, you cannot truly feel the other.The final stanza concludes Keats's point. It clearly demonstrates that mortal joy causes pain, because we know it will end; therefore, we constantly chase it. Joy continually eludes us, because "“ impart "“ we let it. We are never truly satisfied with anything, not completely; furthermore, we end up finding more sorrow with joy due to the fact that the illustrious feeling we so eagerly anticipated has deteriorated and we are once again faced with the longing to fulfill a desire that seems to be ultimate joy. So in the end, we live our lives to seek joy, knowing that in the end there shall be sorrow.Again, Keats has clearly shown us his...

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