Pretty Bird: Analysis Of John Keats' Poem "ode To A Nightingale"

Essay by parisnCollege, UndergraduateB+, October 2011

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Pretty Bird

We have all dreamt of escaping this world when we are having a bad day, or just escaping the situation we are in at the moment. In John Keats' poem "Ode to a Nightingale" we hear the story of an individual who wants to escape all his problems and go to a fantasy world with a nightingale and never come back. This saddening composition puts us in the shoes of somebody who suffers with a great deal of pain and depression and we are taken on his journey as he experiences a life changing occasion from a slightly insignificant source.

In Ode to a Nightingale the first emotion we feel from the speaker is a sense of painful numbness when Keats writes "My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains my sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk" (1-2). This numbness is best described by the word "hemlock" which is a poisonous plant that produces death by paralysis.

Yet, the speaker's pain is somewhat suppressed when he hears a nightingale signing a summer tune in the trees. He portrays the nightingale's tune as a getaway from his pain filled reality. In the second stanza the writer speaks about a fantasy world that he wants to be apart of. To move into the utopic fantasy world, the speaker calls for wine "that I might drink, and leave a world unseen" (19). He does not intend to get drunk but rather wants to feel the effects of quality he is searching. Later on he is pulled back from his state of imagination by the painful reality that surrounds him. His desire is admirable, as well as his detection of purity in such a casual object as in the nightingale. The crestfallen speaker wishes to travel abroad...