Ode to a Nightingale

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Examination of John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale

Outline and Thesis of “Ode to A Nightingale” by John Keats.

Thesis: John Keats correlated the nightingale’s transcendent song with man’s desire for immortality.
I. Brief History of Poem A. Outline details, including when, where written. B. Outline interesting relevant historical facts II. Break down of poem – stanza by stanza A. Include description of title. B. Identify rhyme and metrical device employed in poem. C. Include theme, setting description. D. Identify literary devices utilized by Keats III. Closing Analysis A. Speculate about Keats ultimate inspiration. B. Relate inspiration theme to Ode to a Nightingale theme. C. Close with analysis of irony of respective poems compared. D. Repeat thesis statement in closing for synchronicity of essay.

Written in May of 1819, “Ode to a Nightingale” was one of five “odes” written by John Keats during that year [1]. The poem, which was published July of the same year in the Annals of Fine Art, was originally titled “Ode to the Nightingale”, but was apparently changed by the publisher twenty years following the death of John Keats(reference here) . According to a recollection of Keats’ good friend, Charles Brown, Keats’ inspiration for the poem came while sitting under a plum tree growing upon Hampstead Heath. There, Keats was said to be mesmerized by the melodic song of a nightingale who proved to be the muse in this poetic masterpiece. It was then and there that John Keats correlated the nightingale’s transcendent song with man’s desire for immortality. The poem title contains the word “ode” which accurately signifies it as “a lyric poem typically of elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion[2]”. “Ode to a Nightingale” appears to…...

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