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Commentary on the Ode to Psyche. The Ode to Psyche by John Keats is the first of a series of Romantic odes written in 1819 in response to personal, political, and social events of the the time.

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Introduction

The Ode to Psyche by John Keats is the first of a series of Romantic odes written in 1819 in response to personal, political, and social events of the the time. Psyche, however, diverges from the common qualities of his other odes because in portraying the traditional Romantic inquiries into subject matters such as the nature of reality, or the conceptions of the Artist in an ordered form with specific subjects and themes in that its structure is haphazard and is written with more freedom and so can be termed experimental in style with a varying rhyme scheme and meter. It is primarily an attempt by Keats to restore Psyche, a goddess and the subject of the Poem, to her glory. The Poem can then be grouped into two responses. In restoring Psyche to glory, she can exist alternatively in a separate dimension or she can be part of an architectural reconstruction born of his imagination or "fancy." ...read more.

Middle

He does this through the use of the setting. Synesthaesia is initially used to focus the reader's attention on the "two fair creatures" in the middle of the forest clearing. This focus is created because the assimilation of senses that the use of synesthaesia implies shows the extent of the rhapsodizing the the observer does, the narrator and also the readers, of these creatures. In exploring this identity further, it is notable that Keats does not immediately recognize Psyche by her true identity but can only recognize her as the partner of "The winged boy" or Eros at the end of stanza 2. Upon recognizing her, there is no doubt that Keats wishes to signify that, in both interpretations, that Psyche was no mere mortal, but a Goddess and deserves to be given the respect that this position insinuates. The Ode itself starts with the use of a synecdoche "O Goddess!" that emphasizes the divine qualities of Psyche. ...read more.

Conclusion

There even might be signs of anger and a deep fanaticism that he feels the goddess deserves. This may be the reason why he describes the "prophet" as "pale-mouthed." This would similar to images of a person being red-faced after an argument which simply goes on to symbolize the extent of the devotion that Keats feels is necessary. His anger could however be also directed at the discontinuation of Pagan practices. The phrases "Holy the air, the water, and the fire" refer to the ancient Pagan worshipping of the 4 elements as extensions of God-like qualities. It is also this discontinuation, coupled with the lack of glorification of Psyche that adds to his anger. The question now becomes how Keats can correct the wrongs born of this ignorance. He suggests a traditionally Romantic solution, that of using the imagination. "With all the gardener Fancy e'er feign", he will dress the "trellis of a working brain" of stars without a name." Because these stars are unnamed, Keats either to produce stars more grand than any produced so far in order to make up for the lost time of glorification. ...read more.

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