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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ode to Nightingale: Critique and Analysis/ Keats’s Ode to Nightingale is a fine piece of impersonality and journey into Negative Capability. Discuss!

Ode to Nightingale: Critique and Analysis/ Keats’s Ode to Nightingale is a fine piece of impersonality and journey into Negative Capability. Discuss!
The speaker responds to the beauty of the nightingale’s song with a both “happiness” and “ache.” Though he seeks to fully identify with the bird — to “fade away into the forest dim” — he knows that his own human consciousness separates him from nature and precludes the kind of deathless happiness the nightingale enjoys.First the intoxication of wine and later the “viewless wings of Poesy” seem reliable ways of escaping the confines of the “dull brain,” but finally it is death itself that seems the only possible means of overcoming the fear of time. The nightingale is “immortal” because it “wast not born for death” and cannot conceive of its own passing. Yet without consciousness, humans cannot experience beauty, and the speaker knows that if he were dead his perception of the nightingale’s call would not exist at all. This paradox shatters his vision, the nightingale flies off, and the speaker is left to wonder whether his experience has been a truthful “vision” or a false “dream.” Referred to by critics of the time as "the longest and most personal of the odes," the poem describes Keats' journey into the state of Negative Capability.  John Keats coined the phrase 'Negative Capability' in a letter to his brothers and defined his new concept of writing:


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