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Keats’s Odes

John Keats


Study Questions

Study Questions

Study Questions

Study Questions

1. What are some of the recurring motifs that appear throughout the six odes? Given the chronological problems with the usual ordering of the odes (“Indolence,” often placed first in the sequence, was one of the last odes to be written), to what extent do you think the odes should be grouped as a unified sequence?

2. Taken together, do the odes tell a “story,” or do they simply develop a theme? Do you think the speaker is the same in each ode?

3. How does the “Ode on Indolence” anticipate the themes and images of the other five poems? Given the speaker’s later confrontations with Love, Ambition, and Beauty—as well as with such themes as mortality and the creative imagination—does the conclusion of the Indolence ode seem ironic?

4. In what ways is “Ode to Psyche” different from the other odes? How do these differences affect the poem’s attempt to describe the creative imagination? Why might the speaker want to use his imagination for Psyche’s worship?

5. From Psyche’s bower to the nightingale’s glade to the warm luxury of Autumn, the odes contain some of the most beautiful sensory language in English poetry. But many of the odes intentionally limit the senses they inhabit. With particular reference to “Nightingale” (which suppresses sight) and “Grecian Urn” (which suppresses every sense but sight), how do the odes create an abundance of believable sensation even as they limit it?

6. The odes are full of paradoxical and self-contradictory ideas—the attribution of human experience to the frozen figures on the urn, for instance. But the “Ode on Melancholy” builds its entire theme on an apparent paradox—that pleasure and pain are intimately connected and that sadness rests at the core of joy. How does the language of “Melancholy” strengthen that sense of paradox? What does it mean for trophies to be cloudy, pleasure to be aching, a lover’s anger to be soothing, and “wakeful anguish” a thing to be desired?

7. On its surface, the ode “To Autumn” seems to be little more than description, an illustration of a season. But underneath its descriptive surface, “To Autumn” is one of the most thematically rich of all the odes. How does Keats manage to embody complex themes in such an apparently simple poem?

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No real analysis on this page

by cliffordh, February 07, 2014

This is just something i want to point out. This is more summary than analysis explaining the literal meaning of words is not analysis. Themes and underlying meanings being discussed is analysis


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by Shehanaz, April 21, 2014

Ans. “Here are sweet peas, on tip-toe for a flight
With wings of gentle flush o’er delicate white,
And taper finger catching at all things
To bind them all with tiny rings;”
Keats’s attitude towards nature developed as he grew up. In the early poems, it was a temper of merely sensuous delight, an unanalyzed pleasure in the beauty of nature. “He had away”, says Stopford Brooke, “of fluttering... Read more


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Discuss Keats as a poet of sensuousness.

by anon_2223165149, April 12, 2015

Answer: The poetry of Keats is characterized by 'sensuous' uses of language. The sensuousness of Keats is a striking characteristic of his entire poetry All his poems including his great odes contain rich sensuous appeal. The odes, which represent the highest poetic achievement of Keats, are replete with sensuous pictures.....Read More at


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