This sample essay on Essay On John Keats provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
Language is used effectively in both odes to create mood. In the opening stanza of ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, there is a sense of sluggishness, suggested by the heavy alliterative ‘d’, ‘p’ and ‘m’ sounds when Keats describes his heartache at hearing the song of the nightingale, ambivalently experiencing both joy and pain.
Compared with the first half of the first stanza, the second half is full of light and sensual assonantal sounds such as “beechen”, “green” and “ease”. In this particular ode, there is a concentration on the senses and frequent use of synaethesia.
In the first stanza, the visual can be said to evoke the aural and vice versa where the bird’s “plot” is described as “melodious”. In the second stanza, Keats manages to convey the taste of wine with reference to colour, song, dance and sensation, “Tasting of Flora… Dance, an Proveni? al song, and sunburnt mirth.
” The fourth stanza combines sight with movement in “there is not light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown,” and in the fifth stanza there is emphasis put on the senses of touch and smell in “soft incense.
” In the opening line of ‘Ode on Grecian Urn’, Keats makes use of a long drawn out ‘i’ sound with his repetition in “still unravished bride of quietness”.
Since ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ is about a work of art, Keats draws attention to the fact that his ode is a work of art with the use of assonance, echoes and insistent sound patterns. His use of repetition in the second stanza, “unheard echoes heard”, “sweeter sweet” and “pipes pipe”, is effectively combined with the assonance of “ears… endear’d” and “no tone”.
It is the frequent use of parallelism, constant personification of the urn, and the invocations and exclamations of this ode that highlights the specific language used for the reader. This ode uses what can be said to be ‘poetic’ language as it draws attention to its artifice, to the fact that the poem has been consciously and artfully constructed. Both odes are written in ten-line stanzas, however, ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ differs from ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ in that it is metrically variable.
It also differs from the other odes in that the rhyme scheme is the same in every stanza and consists of Keats’s most basic rhyme scheme of all the odes, as it follows the scheme AB AB CDE CDE. Comparably, ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ follows a similar structure to ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and is made up of a two-part rhyme scheme. This rhyme scheme helps to create a sense of a two-part thematic structure where the first four lines of each stanza roughly outline the subject of the stanza, and the last six lines develop it.
The final two lines of ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, in which the speaker imagines the urn speaking its message to mankind, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” have proved to be amongst the most difficult to interpret of Keats’s work, along with the final lines of ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, where the speaker asks “Was it a vision, or a waking dream?… Do I wake or sleep? ” Keats’s final question on the status of his experience in ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ is problematic for a number of reasons.
Whilst some critics have affirmed that the poem is about the inadequacy of the imagination, others believe there is a greater kind of ambivalence in Keats’s attitude. It has been argued that Keats still suggests through his final question that such a vision or experience is possible, or at least, something he longs for. The last two lines of ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” is perplexing and has sparked much debate. However, it has been interpreted in several ways, mainly, in that it could be the speaker addressing the urn and it could also be the urn addressing mankind.
It has been argued that if it is the speaker addressing the urn, then it would seem to indicate their awareness of the urn’s limitations, however, if it is the urn addressing mankind, it would appear that Keats’s message is that beauty and truth are one and the same. There are significant differences between ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ and ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, as in the latter, there is a sense of formality not experienced in ‘Ode to a Nightingale’. Most notably, there is no ‘I’ and the focus is not so much on the mind as on the work of art, the urn itself.
The suppression of ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ is matched in ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, and in many ways, can be said to be companion poems. In the later poem, the speaker confronts a created art-object not subject to any of the limitations of time, whilst in ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, Keats’s speaker achieves creative expression through the nightingale’s song which is spontaneous and without physical manifestation. In conclusion, though there are both evident similarities between the two odes, it is clear that their differences outnumber them.
Whilst ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ is much more formal, ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ is arguably the more personal, if not the most personal out of Keats’s odes. Perhaps it is the opening of the ode with the statement “My heart aches” that makes the ode appear subjective, whilst ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ combines both subjective poetic expression but also objective historical expression. Although similar in format, the odes differ in their rhyme schemes and also it is the many paradoxes of ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ that differentiate it from the ‘Ode to a Nightingale’.
One of the many paradoxes found in this ode is that of the urn itself, as it is silent but is also said to be a “historian” that can communicate. Ultimately, one can appreciate that there are a variety of comparative and contrasting elements of the two odes, however individual each one may be. Bibliography Glennis Byron – York Notes Advanced, John Keats Selected Poems Longman Literature Guides, Critical Essays on Keats poems and letters Helen Vendler, The Odes of John Keats