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Compare and Contrast Keat's Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn and To Autumn.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast Keat's Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn and To Autumn The first two poems Ode to a Nightingale and Ode on a Grecian Urn are very similar in their structure and message. Keat's is tired of the mortal world and can only see the negative things in his life and so he looks for an escape. It is not only his own pain that depresses him, it is the fact that humans also feel the pain of others and a heavy influence in this poem was that he wrote it not long after the death of his brother. Which is most likely what inspired the following quotation:- "The weariness, the fever, the fret. Here, where men sit and hear each other groan. Where palsy shakes a few last grey hairs." Keat's feels this is the curse of intelligence. Having a big brain allows us to see others suffering which upsets us and a big brain also causes us to worry constantly about the consequences of our actions causing huge stress and anxiety:- " Where but to think is to full of sorrow." ...read more.

Middle

Initially though Keat's is attracted to the imaginary world of the Urn and the Nightingale because these places stay the same for ever. He wants to be immortal like the Nightingale and the people on the Urn because he believes as a human that as you get old life goes downhill because you grow less attractive and die. Here are two contrasting quotes from him describing mortal life in Ode to a Nightingale:- " Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes," and describing the immortal life and Ode on an Urn:-" For ever wilt thou love and she be fair." Although when he reaches the still immortal world this is the very aspect of it which puts him off and makes him want to return to the mortal world. He feels the immortal world lacks excitement, interest and intrigue because there is no movement. This happens in both on a Grecian urn and Nightingale, in Nightingale he misses the interesting changes of season:- In Ode on a Grecian Urn he does not like it because there is no movement at all, all the people on the urn are completely static and there is nothing happening:- "Is emptied of this folk , this pious morn? ...read more.

Conclusion

It is not as if he is just resided to the fact that he is growing old and into his autumn months:- " Until they think the warm days will never cease, For summer has o'er-brimmd their clammy cells." This I feel is representative of the fact that he is no longer afraid of death but finds old age an attractive, comforting, full, mature and wholesome existence:- " Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours." The quotation is Keat's describing how he is going to live his remaining years. Enjoying his life winding down and feeling content. The reason Keat's is no longer afraid of death is because he realises that mortal death is not the absolute end. He sees a constant cycle of life in the world around him, trees leaves fall off but they soon re-grow:- " touch the stubble plains with rosy hue." This is regarding the corn after harvest and is important because the corn has seemingly reached the end of its life when cut but then he sees that it re-grows and is new and fresh. He then concludes that this could apply to his life that when it seems he is dying he could be being reborn and so he is not afraid. ...read more.

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