Rhetorical Analysis Of Ode To A Nightingale

1162 Words5 Pages
Keats’s diction, including “soft incense,” “embalmed darkness,” “each sweet,” and “seasonable month,” encapsulates the sanctuary for which the speaker yearns, and which he projects upon the nightingale’s experience (Nightingale 42, 43, 44). The exclusively serene imagery quickly fades, though, as Keats combines negative and positive language. Keats exposes the speaker’s budding awareness of the impossibility of reaching a painless reality through the line, “Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves” (Nightingale 47). Like the pleasurable images above, Keats’s imagery incorporates the speaker’s desire to escape awareness of mortality around him, but unlike the other lines, the diction acknowledges death. Here the speaker has awareness of the…show more content…
The manner in which Keats structures “Ode to a Nightingale” allows the audience to engage with the text as though the speaker moves through his thoughts spontaneously. The effect exists early in the poem when the line, “And with thee fade away into the forest dim:” leads into the following stanza, beginning with, “Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget” (Nightingale 20-21). The repetition of “fade away,” as well as the colon, gives the impression that the first thought sparks the next line, shaping the journey of the poem in the moment. The effect lends itself to the informal, conversational atmosphere of the poem, but most significantly, it allows language to convincingly force the speaker to return to reality. Describing the nightingale “in faery lands forlorn” brings him to the next stanza, dismayed to find himself “back from thee to my sole self” (Nightingale 70, 72). While the use of “forlorn” in his imaginings connotes lost or forgotten, the word brings him back to himself in the following line due to its association with dejection (Nightingale
Open Document