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Comparative Essay - Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to a Nightingale and To Autumn

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Introduction

Comparative Essay - "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode to a Nightingale" and "To Autumn" Throughout the three poems that Keats composed: "Ode on a Grecian Urn", "Ode to a Nightingale" and "To Autumn", Keats is principally concerned to explore the concepts of time, the relationships between art and nature, mortality and immortality, using a series of paradoxes both thematically and literally in the poem to contrast the main elements discussed in his work, and to enhance the fact that "Ode" in itself is a paradox as it is a result of both celebration and commemoration. However, he looks at these elements in depth from different aspects and perspectives in order to find a way in which art and nature can both exist, developing his ideas within the poems. In all his three poems, he focuses on the main themes: art, nature and time. Nevertheless, although he looks at the same elements in these poems, he always finds different ways of understanding these concepts in all three poems, as if he is developing his ideas towards a final conclusion. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn" he propels the idea of nature contained by art; "Ode to a Nightingale" is about art contained in nature; whereas "To Autumn" reveals the idea that art and nature are reconciled. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand, the song of the nightingale is not human, and therefore this whole idea gets rejected as the poet implies a self-erasing structure throughout the poem in which he sets off his ideal by the contrast of the actual: stating a thesis and antithesis which together will work towards a synthesis, which could be the new thesis, a more perfected conclusion. This unique structure, present only in this poem, conveys the idea of art and nature as it has a clear artistic structure while suggesting the sense of a mind in process looking for the best option. Compared to "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale", "To Autumn" has a more regular structure, which consists of three eleven-line stanzas and a rhyme scheme which starts with "A B A B" which show the regularity and pattern within the poem, while ending with "C D E D C F E" in the first stanza. Examining attentively to the ending rhymes, we can notice that there is a break in pattern, which changes the continuity to support the style. This sudden change in the rhyme scheme, where the "C" and "E" at the end of the stanza link back to the previous "C" and "E" rhymes, suggests the idea of the progress and return for not coming to an end, giving ...read more.

Conclusion

In fact, in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale", Keats is mainly concerned to explore the concept between art and nature, giving only little interest in "time", where in the end, it seems that it is the key element which links art and nature as the theory of "mortality" and "immorality" no longer exists. In all of these three poems of Keats, there is the concern of how to reach and maintain the moment of "vintage", in other words, how to reach the most perfect instant in time, in which it is more complete than the moment of anticipation and which does not exceed with excess to become spoiled, tending towards "death". Therefore, it can be said that the moment of "vintage" is the moment of perfect maturity, the best moment that anything can possibly reach and at the same time, the moment which is haunted by death. Finally, Keats develops his concept of time from linear, described in his first two poems "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale", to a cyclical time mentioned in "To Autumn", where it conveys a sense of composure in the lack of fear because the sense of ending is also a sense of beginning and return, which brings a feeling of immortality within the concept. This is due to the fact that the natural cycle has never an end, and continues towards infinity. ...read more.

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