Keats’ Conflict Between the World of Imagination and the World of Reality


John Keats, an Escapist, tearing with the sufferings of life, escapes form the real world to the realm of the imagination. But there is a striking contrast between the world of reality, in which the poet lives really, and the world of the imagination where he wants to be. Now we will discuss the conflict between these two worlds as we found it in his poems, especially “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, “Ode to the Nightingale” and “Ode to melancholy.”

in the world real, happiness, beauty, love and youth is transient in imaginary world everything is beautiful and permanent. “Ode to the Nightingale” shows a conflict clear between happiness and immortality of the species and of the misery and the mortality of human life. The poem begins with a description of the effect of the song of a Nightingale in the body and the soul of the poet. As the poet says:

“my heart and a drowsy numbness pains.

my sense as though of hemlock had drunk “

the song of the Nightingale, the poet, is a symbol of eternal joy.” The world of the Nightingale is the ideal to him. Fatigue, fever and the fret of reality made him unhappy. Want to disappear to dissolve in the real world where as the poet says:

“… Youth grows pale and thin the spectrum and dies,

where but it’s to be full of sadness”

by which to be free from the belter and painful reality of life the poet wants to escape to the forest dream with Nightingale. As he says;

“away! Away! To fly to you “

in its forest of imagination, the poet is sensual enjoyment of his life that he wants to have in an ideal world.” This extremity of joy also reminds you of the death. As we see in the poem:

“now more then ever seems rich to die.” “

in such ecstasy.”

the poet now contrasts the mortality of the human being with the immortality of the Nightingale. The song of the Nightingale, the poet heard today was heard in the old time by emperors and clowns. Also heard in the land of the fairies where-

“… tables casements, opening of dangerous seas, land of fairy foam

is the magic.”

the same world ‘forlorn’ as a campaign brings back form world fency to the real world. It is the poet, like a dream. As he says;

“was a vision or a dream walking? “

run away is making music wake or sleep”.

by that in the poem are a dynamic contrast between an imaginary world and the real world full of pain.

as an in ‘ Ode to the Nightingale, in the poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” Weir find a contrast between the permanence of purity, beauty and joy in the ballot box and the storms of the joy of the world read. As says the poet;

you were still made to bride of quietness! “

Te foster child of silence and cal slow”.

in the imaginative world of art the bride is Virgin for ever, but the world is real is impossible.

Keats also contrasts the permanence of art with the fleeting nature of real life. As the poet, says

“she cannot fade,… always with your love, and she be fair.”

in life real beauty and love are short in duration. Here the beloved ages with the passing of the years and loses its beauty. But the girl in the URN, which is a work of art, never aging and stay young forever.

“Ode to melancholy” is another poem with the odd dilemma of life. The poet says that the melancholy lives in beauty and happiness. We enjoy when they think that it will end soon. The duration of the beauty makes us unhappy.

melancholic, according to the poet-

«Mora with beauty that must die».

the poet, melancholy Mora with the goddess of pleasure in the same Temple. As says the poet;

“… in the same Temple of pleasure veiled melancholy…”

shows the relationship between pain and pleasure, joy and sadness of the transience and permanence.

we can finally say that the world of the imagination we can accommodate for a short time, but can not give us better reality solution. So everyone has to face the contrast between these worlds and finally return to the real world.


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