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"Ode To A Nightingale" And "To Autumn" By John Keats.

1614 words - 6 pages

Romanticism is a movement in literature that came as a result of a revolt against the previous period "Classicism". John Keats was an English poet who became one of the most important Romantic poets. William Wordsworth, another significant figure during Romanticism, described it as "liberalism in literature', meaning the artist was free from restraints and rules, and was encouraged to write about his/her own experiences, rather than being a passive narrator praising an event or person. Romanticism emphasizes on passion rather than reason, imagination rather than logic, and intuition rather than science. The Romantics were drawn to the medieval past, myths and legends, supernatural being, and nature.Keats led a very tragic life. His poems can often be related back to his bitter and sad experiences in life. Many of the ideas in Keats's works are quintessentially of Romantic nature: imagination and creativity, the beauty of nature, magical creatures or experience, and the true sufferings of human life. "Ode to a Nightingale" and "To Autumn" are two well known odes by Keats. They both reflect some of the concerns in its context."Ode to a Nightingale" explores the sufferings of mortal life and ways of escape including alcohol, imagination and poetry, and death. The nightingale represents transcendence to a better world and its song is the means by which the narrator reaches this state. Other Romantic poets often used this type of escape. In stanza I the narrator hears the song of a nightingale and he expresses his "drowsy numbness pains" which are not the effects of alcohol, but rather, from being so happy in hearing the song that his heart aches and his senses numbs. In stanza II, the narrator longs for alcohol, so he can forget his troubles and "leave the world unseen" with the bird. This leads to stanza III, with a sombre description of the human life that the nightingale has never known: "The weariness, the fever, and the fret", "Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies", "Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes". Miseries and the true conditions of mortal life were popular themes in Romantic poems.In stanza IV the narrator feels a great desire to fly away with the bird, away from grim mortal life and into an ideal world not through alcohol, but through imagination and the "viewless wings of Poesy" or poetry. In stanza VI, the narrator contemplates the idea of death. The narrator is attracted to the state of dying amongst ecstatic music, flowers, perfume and the soft darkness. At the end of stanza VII, the nightingale's song portrays a completely magical and imaginary world. However, it is not like a paradise, instead, it is more like a destructive world of illusions "perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn". Romantic poems often contained the fantasy element.In stanza VIII, the narrator is jolted back to his reality world by the word "forlorn". He realizes the bird has deceived him by convincing him he can escape into the ideal, but...

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