Sharp Contrast Between The Desire For Beauty And Awareness Of Pain Makes Keats’ Odes Dramatic
Keats poetry has no social, political or moral perspective but it makes contrast between lots of different things. For instance, mortality is compared with immortality by the poet in almost all his poems; beauty is challenged by pain and sorrows; truth is regarded as beauty and beauty as truth. We can find no place to escape from sufferings of life and therefore, have no choice except to face it. John Keats always appreciates poetry not matter in which form is it. At the same time, he is also an escapist and finds pleasure in his imagination. He mostly spends his time in past. These two elements are vital and are abundant in the poetry of John Keats. He praises beauty but simultaneously is not ignorant from the hard realities of life, therefore, every ode of John Keats has a sharp contrast between beauty and pain, due to which, his poems become dramatic. The dramatic quality, in poetry, can be regarded as the conflict between two major things. In simple words, dramatic quality, in the poetry of John Keats, is an unexpected series of actions, which obviously contains clash between two are more conceptual things especially between the beauty and pain.
Every writer/poet has its own specialty and Keats’s specialty is his devoted love for beauty. Being a pure artist, he can find beauty in clouds, in birds, in flowers, in jungles and also in art. According to him, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. We cannot find a better lover of beauty than John Keats. He is also a keen observer and a deep thinker, who instead of seeing life, feels it. It is not easier to escape from harsh life; in fact it is not possible for him to escape from it though he tries his best to do so by spending most of his time in his imagination. It is the only place, where he discovers pleasure as well as peace. As discussed above, there is always a clash between beauty and sorrows in the poetry of John Keats. Despite knowing that imagination is not immortal and he must have to come back from it, he escapes from real life and enjoys the beauty of virtual world. He creates an imaginative world in his mind and lives there because after facing a lot of worries pains and hurdles of life, John Keats cannot find peace in real life. When he eavesdrops the song of nightingale, he wants to feel it forever but cannot do so because of his mortality. His poems are dramatic in the sense that they forms events of actions and there is always a clash. Odes of John Keats, in fact, are pictures of his imaginative mind. He does not want to be deceived by his imagination; therefore he returns from it after a while and faces the real world. He knows that imagination may give harmony but it is not forever. He is well aware with the fact that although, the world of imagination is peaceful and it provides harmony to the mind yet it is not eternal. “Ode to Nightingale” is a remarkable example of it. The song of nightingale is extraordinarily beautiful and indeed it will remain forever but humans have to die one day. He puts human life in contrast to the song of nightingale and then tries to make connection between both of them. Dramatically, he wants to flee from this world on the “viewless wings of poesy”. Humans are mortal, whereas the song of nightingale is everlasting and as a natural element can also be called as beauty, which is joy forever. This life is not easy for him; it does not give him peace; it does not give him harmony and satisfaction; it does not prefer beauty; hence, in order to praise beauty, he prefers diversion and when he describes the event of escapism in form of poetry, it becomes dramatic. Thus, the conflict between beauty and awareness of pain is always present in the poetry of John Keats and the same makes his poems dramatic.
“Ode to Grecian Urn” is another example, which reveals the conflict between art and life. Art is beauty, whereas life is barrier in its way. John Keats, while describing the beauty of Grecian urn, admires it and again calls it immortal. He, again, makes a comparison between beauty, life and art. The Grecian urn forces John Keats to think again that humans have to expire but the artistic qualities, which are on the urn, are everlasting. In this way, the urn is a permanent piece of art but the man who has created this art has died. The art is fresh but the man is no more to listen his appraisal. John Keats also, dramatically, differentiates the art from humans. He says that the art has no feelings. It cannot love anyone. It has no emotions. On the other hand, humans are better in this context; they can feel, they can love, they have senses and can appreciate beauty. Although Grecian urn and its art is Immortal yet the same has no value at all because it can’t react. Humans can feel and react though they are mortal. Thus, it is also another poem/ode of John Keats where we can find a dramatic conflict and clash between two major things.
By and large, the poet has dramatic element in his poetry. Keats Hellenism is remarkable. Moreover, there is always a link between melancholy and beauty in the poems of John Keats. He realizes that where there is beauty there is always pain. Every ode of Keats is unmatchable and reflects the artistic qualities of the poet but at the same time, transpires sorrows and sufferings, which are there in everyone’s life. Due to these sufferings and sorrows, John Keats became mature even in his teenage life. The conflict between two major things, make the poems of John Keats dramatic and give pleasure to the readers. In short, there is always a conflict between beauty and melancholy in every poem of John Keats. From “Hyperion” to “Ode on Melancholy”; “Ode to Nightingale” to “Ode to Grecian Urn” we can find conflict and clash between beauty and pain, mortal and immortal as well as art and life. Undoubtedly, these are the elements, which give his poems dramatic touch. So, there is no denial the fact that the appraisal of beauty and awareness of sorrows and pains make the poetry of John Keats dramatic.