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The Melody of the Nightingale - an Existential Pathway for Finding Peace - Essay Example

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Date The Melody of the Nightingale—an Existential Pathway for Finding Peace Imagine waking up in a world where sounds, light, and shapes stood out as though in a dream. Melodies, striking and sharp, could pierce into the soul, leaving confusion, pain, and infinite wisdom…
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The Melody of the Nightingale - an Existential Pathway for Finding Peace
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Download file to see previous pages With that said, a close look will be taken into John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” to highlight his version of transcendent beauty and define how he struck out against the oppression of the aristocracy. The wind blows softly in the distance, rustling autumn leaves across the dirt path. Small, broken branches are strewn about, as if from a recent storm, but the dirt is dry and blows little dust tunnels at the slightest provocation. In eight stanzas, the “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats sets a reader up in this little moment in time to exhibit the pristine beauty of the nightingale in contrast with the harsh reality of his world. Using the power of poetry, Keats is able to become one with the nightingale, to cast off his world of death and despair and enjoy the beauty of the melody for its enchanting quality of escape. In fact, the very “act of writing the poem has already allowed him to join the nightingale” (Minahan 173). But, by the final stanza, his imagination is such that he is struck by a newfound despair when the object of his words takes flight and leaves him. To understand the speaker of the poem’s true despair and the beauty he finds from the melody of the nightingale, an explication will be taken into the words of Keats’ poem as he takes his reader on an emotional journey while highlighting the enchanting power that nature has in enabling the foundation of inner peace. It’s painful, so beautiful a melody that the speaker of the poem is struck by a profound pang upon hearing the nightingale’s song. It’s as though he is experiencing a “drowsy numbness [that] pains/[his] sense” (lines 1-2). He compares the sound to drinking hemlock (line 2) or taking opiates (line 3) and gives his reader a vision of him staring up at the beautiful nightingale, cursing it for its unendurable ability to be outside his current reality and at peace in some transcendent dimension. By the middle of the stanza, the speaker of the poem is studying the nightingale with solicitous eyes, noting that it must be through “some melodious plot” (line 8) that the aria can achieve such divine beauty. For the speaker, such a carefree attitude seems an impossibility—an incongruous aspect shining inconceivably in a futile and oppressive world. By the second stanza, the speaker is searching for an intoxicant to escape into the world of the nightingale and enjoy a similar untroubled life. He calls for a “beaker full of the warm South” (line 15) to immerse himself in a figurative and literal sense, into the song of the nightingale. His mind lingers over the “beaded bubbles winking at the brim” (line 17) that he could become one with nature, allowing him to “fade away into the forest dim” (line 20). In the third stanza, he is taken over by the promise of his intoxicant, waiting to leave behind “what thou among the leaves has never known” (line 22). In words tainted by despair, he defines this world as one full of sorrow and strife, with “weariness…fever…and fret” (line 23), one in which man endures the suffering of illness, hardship, and worry until, in the end, his life culminates in a thankless death. It is a world that beauty cannot even see, where the nightingale “cannot keep her lustrous eyes” (line 29). It is a world only glimpsed through the melodious chimes of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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