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Ode on Melancholy

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Union of Joy and Sorrow Commentary on Ode on Melancholy Ode on Melancholy, a lyric poem by John Keats, written from a romantic's perspective, embodies the true ideals of this era, to live life to its fullest and experience everything. The speaker encourages his audience as an optimistic person who seems to have experienced melancholy and from his wisdom, he urges the audience to embrace their sorrow. The speaker's perspective shows him to be a romantic as he believes that experiencing everything includes the sadness in life as well. The speaker, in the first stanza, advises the audience on what not to do in order to experience the ups and downs of life and moves to describing the joys and sorrows in experiencing life in the second stanza and concludes counselling the audience to seek comfort in nature and its beauties. The speaker helps the reader comprehend the paths he must not take even in the face of distress in the first stanza. The poem begins with the repetition of 'No, no' (L.1.) and continues with 'go not' (L.1.), immediately establishing an urgent tone, first by the use of the repetition and the spondaic meter which increases the emphasis and thus, the impact of the negative diction. ...read more.


The consonance of the letter 'f' in fit and fall stresses the fleeting nature of this gloomy time and the consonance of the letters 'll' underline the joy that is to come at the end of it. This can be connected to the use of the word, 'rainbow' (L.16.) as a rainbow is a metaphor for beauty with a pot of gold at the end that can bring joy. The suffering audience is then recommended to 'glut' (L.15.) and immerse himself in the beauty of the nature by the speaker who portrays the beauty of sorrow in metaphors such as a 'weeping cloud' (L.12.) The diction choice of 'weeping', (L.12.) due to the repetition of the long 'e' sounds, elongates the beauty. The speaker encourages the audience to indulge in the fleeting beauty of a 'rainbow of the salt sand-wave', (L.16.) as rainbows and waves are temporary things in nature but sought for their beauty. The alliteration of the words salt and sand represent their coexisting beauty, as they are more striking if together. This could be interpreted as a metaphor on the coexistence of joy and sorrow to make life more beautiful, the key message of the poem. ...read more.


Therefore, the speaker, subsequently, advises the audience that the balance between joy and sorrows is not only equal, but also increases the happiness by placing things in perspective. Ode on Melancholy, an ode by John Keats', is a dedication to sorrow even if it is unpleasant at the moment, a dedication to feel all emotions and experience everything one can to really have lived life. The speaker, in this case, from an experienced point of view shares with his audience, the importance of living life to the fullest and embracing grief as part and parcel of life together with happiness. The first stanza urges us not to attempt to escape pain, while the second encourages us to embrace the transient beauty and joy of nature and the human experience, both the pain and the joy. Finally, the last stanza makes clear that unless we immerse ourselves in the process of the world of change, our sensitivity to life and ability to experience life fully is deadened. Thus, one may see that delight and melancholy are inseparable, and while you sit alone with one, the "other is asleep upon your bed". Word Count: 1550 ?? ?? ?? ?? Shrusti Tripathy Period 6 IB H2 English 13th November 2008 Ode on Melancholy by John Keats The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran ...read more.

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