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Death in John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale" and "The Eve of St. Agnes"

posted on Jul 17, 2021
By Anne R. Hill - This paper explores Keats’ depiction of death in “Ode to a Nightingale” and “The Eve of St. Agnes.” “Ode to a Nightingale” juxtaposes two types of death. The first kind of death is a drowsy union with nature which allows the speaker to merge with the world around him. The speaker embraces this metaphorical death because he is terrified of literal death and its ugliness. Literal death is not a unifying force, but an isolating reality that wrecks the speaker’s unity with the nightingale and imprisons him in his “sole self.” While readers...

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