The liquid is purple in colour which is the colour of royalty and shows that it is not merely ordinary water but the water of the gods. I endeavour to post articles on the core and important areas of English literature to help the students to understand and assimilate them precisely and correctly without confusion. Neither life nor death is acceptable to Keats. Birds have always held a significance in human lives. Hence the poet seeks an alternative life-in-death state where to be dead at this moment is to preserve for posterity this unsullied moment of ecstasy and glory. He sounds sceptical thinking that the song had given him just an illusion of ecstasy. The resulting ability to observe nature gives us the ability to appreciate the beauty of nature, however transitory it--and we--may be.
But he is only in this state because of the delight he feels at the nightingale's song. For Keats, the real world is the world of mutability and flux, which causes pain, whereas the imaginative world of the nightingale is immortal and devoid of pain. On a literal level, his perception is wrong; this bird will die. He soon finds himself back with his everyday, trouble-filled self. However, the music has evaporated into the air, which shows the transitory nature of happiness.
Why does he do so? No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. So he decides to try to escape from reality by using his imagination, to fly on the invisible wings of Poesy. The thoughts of sickness, old age and death make him seek an alternative to wine in his search for a supporting aid towing him to the happy sojourn of the nightingale. It is because the nightingale has never experienced these things that he can sing so beautifully. Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep? In your answer you must refer closely to the text and to at least two of mood; theme; sound; imagery; rhythm or any other appropriate feature.
Click here for in stanza I. The last two lines, however, strike at the stanza's underlying theme: the urge to leave the physical world. The irony is that, while the speaker entertains the notion of escape through poesy, the poem itself does not turn its gaze from the world. Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain — To thy high requiem become a sod. The poet uses harsh Anglo-Saxon words along with consonance and assonance to mimic the starts and fits associated with the onset of depression. What do you think the bird comes to symbolize? Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? The drowsiness comes from the longing to flee the world and join the nightingale — to become like the nightingale, beautiful and immortal and organic — and after rejecting joining the nightingale through Bacchanalian activity, he decides that he will attempt to join the bird through poetry. Keats perhaps was thinking of a literal nightingale; more likely, however, he was thinking of the nightingale as a symbol of poetry, which has a permanence.
It also suggests the cooling effect on the wine made out of grapes grown in the warm south as a result of storing it underground. At this moment, Keats must also have been conscious that the very bird, which he had idealized and immortalized, existed in the real world, mortal and vulnerable to change and suffering like himself. He states that he will not be taken there by Bacchus and his pards Bacchanalia, revelry and chaos but by poetry and art. Here in this ode, Keats is addressing a nightingale. O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim: Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs, Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Envy of the imagined happiness of the nightingale is not responsible for his condition; rather, it is a reaction to the happiness he has experienced through sharing in the happiness of the nightingale. It is contrasted, in the third stanza, by the reality of the world around him — sickness, ill-health and conflict.
He heard the bird's song very differently earlier in the poem. He says that the flies hang about the musk roses to feast on the dew which is compared to wine. But alongside this death wish comes the still greater painful awareness that death marks not only severance from the pains of life but also from the bird and its sweet song as well. He feels joy and pain, an ambivalent response. Here youth and beauty are transitory and thinking only causes despair. The voice of the nightingale is made immune first to history, and then to geography. .
Does the experience which Keats describes change the dreamer? He focusses on several sense impressions relating to an object and thereby gives the reader a full apprehension of it. Fortunately, Keats also acknowledges that he can use the 'viewless wings of Poesy' poetry to experience an amount however small of the nightingale's world. Shelley knows and accepts the fact of mortality, he conveys it as nature and something beautiful. With the last two lines, the poet wonders whether he has had a true insight or experience vision or whether he has been daydreaming. Ruth instead of turning to her father and mother after the death of her husband accompanied her widowed mother-in-law to the land of Bethlehem.
It is not that the bird is immortal, but its song is. The poet longs to escape from the human world into that of the bird. If he had had the beaker of wine, his famous ode would never had been written. He assumes that the nightingale has no problems. In the darkness, he thinks fondly of death. In the darkness he listens to the nightingale.
The poet says that the feelings of depression in him are not due to envy of the bird's happiness, but because he is ' too happy' in its happiness. Keats declares that he will not drink wine, but that he will instead achieve bliss by writing this poem. He had not been well in the fall and winter of 1818-19 and possibly he was already suffering from tuberculosis. As the poem started off with Keats expressing how drunk the character was and that as if he has taken some drugs - hemlock, and that he wanted so much to drink more so that he can enter this world in which this Nightingale is in. He cannot see what flowers are growing around him, but from their odor and from his knowledge of what flowers should be in bloom at the time he can guess. This bird gives him a mind altering feeling which he fears.