Ode to a Nightingale

2 February 2017

In poetry, there are several factors that help connect the meaning given out by the author. For this to happen the author must let these factors go hand and hand. In “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats, the tone, mood, and setting are directly affected by one another to help establish the deeper meaning of the poem. The overall tone throughout the poem is of resignation toward death. At first, Keats describes the agonizing death of his brother by saying that he had “fever” and “fret” along with “weariness. ” Through this, Keats establishes sympathy for himself by showing his emotional suffering.

He is not only grieving for his brother but also for himself since he too is dying. Although he does not welcome death, he is able to come to terms with reality and accept the fact that death is inevitable and will come to every living thing. He described this by saying, “I have been half in love with easeful Death”. At the beginning of the poem he desires for life to stay rich with green color and “Tasting of Flora”. This shows his growing hope that perhaps he will not meeting death so soon yet toward the end of the poem he gives up by falling in love with death.

Ode to a Nightingale Essay Example

Through his acceptance of death, Keats demonstrates pessimism due to his physical and emotional pain. This pain that he feels comes from seeing his brother in the hands of death and also because he knows he will too face the same fate as his brother. There is jealousy toward the nightingale because it is immortal and Keats is not able to attain that immortality. The bird lives on through its singing because the song will always be the same and will never be forgotten by the people who hear it.

This is contrasting to the idea that once a human being dies there is little or no remembrance due to the fact that people change and move on with their lives. Keats wants to be the bird because he wants to remembered and wants to be immortal. By showing his resignation and acceptance of reality, Keats gains sympathy from the reader which helps to pin down a mood in the reader. Keats generates an empathetic and melancholic mood in the poem through the tone. The reader is able to understand why it is that Keats is suffering and is able to grieve for him.

This depresses the reader because Keats only peaks of death and how it will consume him. His brothers death is only a look at what is to become of him in the future. At this point the reader becomes emotionally attached to the piece because they know that he will die in a harsh manner as did his brother. Therefor the tone lays out the mood for the reader to grasp through their understanding of the poem. Both the tone and mood affect the setting because they give the reader emotions that surround the actions taking place. In the fifth stanza Keats states that there are, “Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves”.

This represents the heart dying because violets are heart shaped with dark violet color blending with white. The flower has been drying out and is now covered by leaves. This directly parallels with Keats’ brother slowly dying and being physically covered up by his condition. The setting becomes darker in the readers mind because it is known that death is present and it is slowly taking every breath from them. Although this fate is inevitable for all living things, the physical condition that they are dying from contrasts with the nature involved at the beginning of the poem.

Since the tone is hopeful at the beginning, the setting is fresh and bright. This goes back to Keats’ desire of immortality, which is felt as he describes the setting, “in some melodious plot/Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,/Singest of summer in full-throated ease”. This shows how summer is here and that there is happiness for the season because it brings peace to him since there is ease. Conclusively, the setting is affected by both the tone and mood which also affect each other in order to grant the reader a more meaningful understanding of the poem.

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Ode to a Nightingale. (2017, Feb 03). Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-ode-to-a-nightingale-2/
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