How does Keats explore the relationship between human life, nature and art in his odes? Essay

748 WordsApr 30, 20093 Pages
There are many ways in which Keats explores the very prominent themes of human life, nature and art throughout his odes. All the different themes are reflected through imagery, language and structure, and all the poems connect together in many different ways. For example, Keats often uses very magical, mysterious and romantic imagery that often explores depths of nature, landscapes, forests and mountains, such as in Ode to a Nightingale- “Fade away into the forest dim” and in Ode to Psyche- “I wandered in a forest thoughtlessly”. The ways in which Keats explores these themes, allowing many interpretations of the imagery and the language suggests they have very prominent beauty like in Ode to a Nightingale when the nightingale sings “of summer in full-throated ease” but then later in the poem the man listening to the bird wants to die because he is “too happy in thine happiness” that if when the bird stops singing he will be so depressed. Ultimately the way Keats explores the birds singing he portrays to the reader that the advantage of human life is through enduring pain because that way we can realise real beauty when we see it. Similarly in Ode to a Grecian Urn the character observing the art becomes depressed due to the lifeless quality of the urn, “marble men and maidens” he becomes absorbed in its beauty but there are many reminders of this art work not being real. However, the paradox between the art being eternal and living forever unlike human life makes the art more triumphant in its beauty over its “Cold pastoral” lifeless quality. Keats often uses art as a means of escape, and in many of the odes, uses a very magical and mysterious theme which he connects with all human life, art and nature. The urn is a means of escape from the world that the person wants to leave behind, the art form creates a new world that Keats explores. He talks about the
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