Analysis of “Ode to a Nightingale” and “To a Skylark”
“To a Sklyark”, and “Ode to a Nightingale” 19th century English romanticism poems; written by Percy Shelley and John Keats. Keats and Shelley use allegory imagery of the bird to express an aesthetic expression, and their understanding of human nature. While Shelley’s impression of the bird gives him a positive aspect on life and death, Keats see’s the bird as a reminder of the mortality of human beings. In both poems the bird is perceived as divine. Keats sees the bird as immortal and it reminds him that death is a part of humanity. “Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!” The tone keats uses in this line is indignant. There is a distinct contrast between the second stanza and the 7th stanza. In the second stanza, Keats expressed what he feels as he is reminded about mortality, the contrast between mortality and immortality in this poem expresses Keats’ anger towards this supernatural bird. However, in “To a Skylark” the idea of death or mortality is far from frightening. Shelley knows and accepts the fact of mortality, he conveys it as nature and something beautiful. “Waking or asleep, Thou of death must deem, Things more true and deep, Than we mortals dream,” The writer uses a very confident tone when he refers to the mortals (humans). He asks the skylard questions about life and nature, then quickly contrasts explaining it is too grand for humanity to grasp many of these ideas. Percey Shelley uses the aesthetic feelings from inspecting this bird, and applies it to everyday life. He uses his understandings as a “wake up call” to humanity. “Yet, if we could scorn Hate and pride and fear, If we were things born Not to shed a tear, I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.” His questioning the bird and inspecting it allows him to come to a conclusion for humans to evolve their contact with nature and reality. Despite his acknowledgement that this creature is transmitting a...
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