Ode To A Nightingale Analysis John Keats

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There are several interpretations of John Keats’ poem, Ode to a Nightingale. Keats begins his poem with talking about a bird that seems real, but as the poem progresses the bird turns into a symbol. Keats was envisioning how life could be much simpler and he was thinking about the different ways life is troublesome. His reality was taken over by his dream of having a life like the nightingale- worryless and free. He wishes that he could join the bird because if he could escape to the nightingale’s world, he could escape from reality and live a much more uncomplicated and worry free life. Although the meaning of the poem is debatable, there are different interpretations about just the last line of his poem and why Keats chose to end his poem…show more content…
He wanted to engage the reader in the importance of imagination and the lack thereof. It may be believe that Ode to a Nightingale is about the lack of imagination that humans have today. Some people may not be able to envision the nightingale that Keats is talking about throughout the poem, and the imagination is an important factor in being able to envision the bird. This interpretation would make the ending quote of the poem, “Do I wake or do I sleep?” important because people may not understand that Keats may be imagining the nightingale and its existence. Keats uses the nightingale as a symbol throughout the poem to create imagination between mortality and immortality. Keats’ thoughts about human existence being so terrible represents the mortality aspect, while immortality is represented by the nightingale’s song. I agree with the bird and its song representing immortality, but I think there is a deeper meaning in the reasoning for Keats’ ending question. The imagination is very powerful, and could potentially leave Keats wondering if he was really hearing the nightingale and its song. Keats could have been listening to the nightingale for a long time, all while sitting there and analyzing its song. The nightingale’s song and Keats’ interpretation of its mortality made him feel at ease and left him wanting to not be in reality, but instead dreaming. The point of Keats adding the question, “Do I wake or do I sleep?” was his way of expressing his want of him having a life like the nightingale and not “coming back to reality.” Keats was expressing that if he wanted to wake, that he would have a life like the nightingale, or if he wanted to sleep, that it was all a dream that he wanted to

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