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The poems written by John Keats are primarily concerned with the conflicted nature of the human existence as they look at the human state often with sadness, beauty and the imagination of one’s mind.
The two poems both have vivid images of death, suicide and lament as well as the views on mortality and immortality in each poem.
They are also similar in the way immortality is juxtaposed to Keats’ mortal self.
The third and fourth line “Here, where men sit and hear each other groan ; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs” are all images of aging as “palsy” is a shaking movement of most elderly and “last grey hairs” is something an aged person would have.
These images of aging leads to anguish which leads back to mortality because humans will all age as we are not immortal like the nightingale’s song.
Keats’ suggests the song will always remain the same no matter what as it is permanent and even if he dies the bird will continue to sing.
When “Ode to a Nightingale” and “Ode on Melancholy” are being compared to one another, one will see a difference in parts of the poem although they are also similar.The persona is trying to escape using alcohol to become transient.In the last two lines of stanza one in ”Ode to Melancholy”, For shade to shade will come too drowsily, and drown the wakeful anguish of the soul”, Keats is trying to deliver the message that melancholy is undoubtedly part of the human condition.In “Ode to a Nightingale”, Keats’ states “I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs”.This suggests that he is only imagining the scenery because it is too dark to see anything.He is also aware of the lengthy process in having to endure suffering and pain sequentially to experience joy and content.Keats’ view on the metaphysical world is also explored in the third stanza of “Ode to a Nightingale”.The “morning rose” is the depiction of the beauty of nature, though a “morning” rose only lives for a short time and Keats’ is implying that the human experience of joy is fleeting.The beauty of nature in “Ode to a Nightingale” is represented by the nightingale and its everlasting song along with the joy it brings to the persona.This is apparent in the first line of the first stanza when Keats’ tells his reader to “go not to Lethe, neither twist”.This suggests to not look for an easy way out by referring to ‘Lethe’ which in Greek mythology, was a river whose water caused those who drank it to forget the past.