Analysis Of Ode On Melancholy By John Keats

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Although having lived a very short life, John Keats is arguably one of the most remarkable poets that the Romantic Era produced. His poetry explores the human condition by asking deep philosophic questions. Written in 1819, the poem ”Ode on Melancholy," captures many complex emotions, and focuses on the intertwined connection between joy and sadness, hope and disappointment. He reasons that in order to fully experience and appreciate one, we must also experience the other. Only if we can truly accept that pain is inevitable, can we hope to find beauty and happiness in the world around us.

Like other literature written during the Romantic Era, the poem is written in sensory language, with idealistic concern for beauty and truth, and expressive
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It is easy to lose yourself in grief, however, when afflicted with “the melancholy fit” (11), Keats urges us instead to embrace it. He points out that our emotions build up, unnoticed, and comes “Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,” (12). This forms a natural metaphor for Keats’ assertion that we should not ignore the nature within ourselves, and melancholy is certainly a vital part of that nature. The natural analogy of a cloud which in spite of its dark and foreboding nature, provides the earth with essential rain is a suggestion to seek comfort in the beauty of the world around us. The black clouds therefore, are a necessary nutrient to plants, flowers and all nature. It is much like the paradox of joy and pain. We cannot increase our measure of joy by turning a blind eye to our pain, or the pain of others. Essentially, he suggests that as self-aware beings, melancholy provides us with an opportunity to indulge in intense perception that we do not experience under normal circumstances. It is in our experience of melancholy that we can grasp the beauty of the “morning rose,” “the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,” or even the beauty in the eyes of angry mistress …show more content…
Beauty fades, happiness is fleeting, and pleasure is always “Bidding adieu” (24). However, it is a beautiful flower that is turned into honey by the sting of a bee, as well as poison for stinging. What the author suggests, is that the two are correlated; it is precisely that fact that joy will come to an end, that heightens the pleasure of this experience. It is best illustrated in the poems’ climax, “Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine” (27-28). This sensual burst signifies the peak of joy and the start of melancholy, achieving ultimate fulfillment, which inevitably dulls and comes to an end with the death of beauty. Those who can “taste the sadness” (29) that is melancholy, can be among the “cloudy trophies hung” (30). Rather than hiding from sorrow, we should take the time to consider our place as part of nature and remain unafraid of the depths of our feelings. If we can accept this, we can hope to be a trophy on melancholy’s

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