Brit Lit Poetry Explication - Elkins 1 Candie Elkins Dr....

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Elkins 1Candie ElkinsDr. SchrockEnglish 20219 February 2016Death Through the Sublime“Most musical, most melancholy" [nightingale]! A melancholy bird! Oh! Idle thought! Innature there is nothing melancholy” is a pleasing quote said by Samuel Taylor Coleridge thatcombines the two poems that will be compared and contrasted throughout this paper. “Ode to aNightingale” and “Ode on Melancholy”, both written by John Keats, are both centered on theromantic ideals of nature, which is something that Keats was known for throughout his odes. In“Ode to a Nightingale,” Keats dramatizes the certainty and acceptance of death while in “Ode onMelancholy”, Keats attempts to make death and loss key components of the poem. Whencomparing and contrasting both of these poems, they are alike in the way that they both presentthe theme of the sublime world. “Ode on Melancholy” explores the sublime experience throughdeath and loss whereas death and loss destroys the sublime experience in “Ode to a Nightingale”.In the beginning of “Ode to a Nightingale”, Keats is listening to the nightingale sing, andas he listens to the bird sing, he realizes that the bird is immortal compared to the life of humans(Kappel). He realizes this because the nightingale has been singing the same song forgenerations, which suggests the cycle of life and death. The nightingale’s song was even heardby Ruth, emperor and clown, and fairies – its song has been heard so much throughout historythat the bird becomes immortal. They have all heard the same singing that Keats is now hearingand through this scene, Keats addresses the immortality of the cycle of nature’s change. Keats

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Term
Winter
Professor
NoProfessor
Tags
Poetry, World Literature, John Keats, sublime experience

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