• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the ways in which Keats addresses personal concerns in "Ode to a Nightingale and "When I have fears".

Extracts from this document...


Compare the ways in which Keats addresses personal concerns in "Ode to a Nightingale and "When I have fears" Many of the poems that Keats wrote address a lot of personal concerns that he had in his life. Keats was writing in the Romantic period and was the eldest child of a family in which many members had died of consumption. He spent most of life living in the knowledge that he too would probably die of consumption. In his writing he expresses these thoughts on suffering and tries to realise his fate through his poems. His personal concerns of death, beauty and poetry also contain great conflicts, doubts and inconsistencies within his feelings about them. He makes these come alive by using sensual imagery and by experimenting with different poetic techniques and forms. In this essay I will compare Keats' personal concerns and how he addresses these concerns in "Ode to a Nightingale" and "When I have Fears". Both poems 'Ode to a Nightingale' and 'When I have Fears' deal with similar themes - that of Keats relationship with death, beauty and poetry. Stanza three of 'Ode to a Nightingale' shows Keats' depression and illness in its full context. He describes the many woes of illness: "the weariness, the fever and the fret" and uses a whole stanza to convey this. He also talks about the utter despair that he feels and how the illness has caused him to lose everything: "where palsy shakes a few, ...read more.


Water and land come together, the boundaries constantly in flux, changing and ebbing in and out depending on seasons, on times and on change. This is perhaps a metaphor for Keats' own personal feelings and the point in which he crosses from one state of thought into another. He describes himself to be standing on the shore teetering between one state and the other. The state described at the end of the poem shows a change in his thoughts: 'and think / Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.' He realises that perhaps his own dreams and aspirations are insignificant compared to the expanse of the world and dismisses his own needs in a sense of awe for the sheer beauty of nature and being. Perhaps because of his melancholy this is why Keats finally sees himself as insignificant and his thoughts futile. The conflict shown in this poem is one of significance. The significance of his thoughts when compared to the natural world - his desires for fame and worries about not achieving it are unimportant when compared to the vastness of life. In 'Ode To A Nightingale' he is in conflict between both the beauty and despair that life can bring and the feeling that it would be 'rich to die' but, alternatively, that he would be unable to appreciate beauty if he was so and be unable to experience the 'ecstasy' of the nightingale's 'high requiem'. ...read more.


This word doubling sounds almost like the mournful tolling of a bell ringing out with the repeated 'or' sounds, into the empty space that follows. It also demonstrates a change in rhythm leading the reader to almost stumble and pause. Overall the stanza allows Keats to wake up to his senses and wonder as to whether his vision was all just a dream. It also is as if he is waking from his intoxicated state and returning to the real world. The rhyming couplet at the end of 'When I Have Fears' is similar to the last stanza of "Ode to a Nightingale" in that Keats changes the style of the poem. Similarly to 'Ode To a Nightingale' he uses a pause before the final lines. 'Of unreflecting love! -' The poem then moves on to discuss the insignificance of this compared to the 'wide world'. Overall Keats shows his personal concerns in "Ode to a Nightingale" and "When I Have Fears" in many different ways: firstly by using a vast array of poetic techniques, particularly his naturalistic imagery and secondly by the very meaning behind the poems. Keats knew that he would die of consumption and both poems show how he realises this fact. He was also in a deep state of melancholy when he wrote his poems, and this would well describe Keats' need to leave his life, and how he fears that he will never do all the things that he set out to do in life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Keats section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Keats essays

  1. Compare and contrast Keats 'Ode of Autumn' with Heaney's 'Death of a Naturalist' bringing ...

    'Ode to Autumn' demonstrates that everything will change with nature. And that which is generally regarded as bad - the fermenting/decay - is also essential to the continuation of life. I did not particularly like this poem. I found it too rich, too intense and the old English language was

  2. In the introduction to the story (The Nightingale and the rose), the editors say:

    "She is like most artists; she is all style, without any sincerity." This is ironic as here he is speaking of himself and lowering the importance of the Arts.

  1. Compare and contrast William Wordsworth and John Keats' attitude towards nature in the poems ...

    Even with regard to "Daffodils" Wordsworth in the last stanza of the poem emphasizes how a beautiful experience can have a permanent impact on anyone, Wordsworth had asserted in "The Lyrical Ballads" that poetry is an spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings which has its origin in emotions recollected in tranquility.

  2. William Wordsworth's 'To the Cuckoo' and John Keats' 'Ode to a nightingale' are comparable ...

    Keats is miserable and distressed. He wants an escape from life. He is not content with his world, "where men sit and hear each other groan; ... Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow."

  1. Analyse the different attitudes the poets John Keats and P.B. Shelley have towards nature ...

    For instance, in 'Ode On A Grecian Urn," the urn is symbolic to the time which forever stays stagnant. Keats wants to compare the stillness in the world of art to his life. Since he is living on borrowed time, Keats is aware that every moment of his life counts.

  2. Keats gains inspiration from many sources, the most important of which is the natural ...

    that beauty dies makes the experience of beauty sharper and more thrilling. However, there are many contrasts as beauty is represented but also taken away by melancholic imagery. "Like a weeping cloud" is a very significant simile as nature is represented negatively although it is a common action, rain.

  1. Analysis of Keat's sonnet "On the grasshopper and the cricket".

    Assonance is used to create a mood of relaxation and contemplation. ?Earth,? ?birds,? and other ?r? sounds are dribbled throughout the poem along with the small alliteration of ?newmown mead.? These words feel like soft murmurs. In the line, ?He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed,? all of these

  2. 'The ode is used as a poetic form for philosophical contemplation.' Compare two odes ...

    Like Ode on a Grecian Urn, he becomes jealous of the nightingale, who doesn?t worry about ?The weariness, the fever, and the fret? of humans. The ode then becomes more dark than the other was, as he talks of being suicidal, or ?half in love with easeful Death?.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work