Ode on Indolence - Keats

  • Created by: Amleth
  • Created on: 29-05-18 12:52


Met with three figures - personfied Love, Ambition and Poesy.

Deeply effected by the figures, feels they are urging him to take some sort of action, but he tells them to leave and chooses to go on in his own indolence (laziness/dullness/lethargy.) 

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1819 - Most creative year, contrasts with subject of ode but also perhaps reflects his struggle to be creative and productive at times. 

Also year of Peterloo Massacre.

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Six stanzas of Ten lines in Iambic Pentametre - except the third line in stanza four - 9 syllables - breaks the rhythem to show the impact of thier disturbance on him.

Each stanza consists of two parts, opening four lines of rhyming ABAB then a six line sequence of CDECDE. However, Keats alters and distrupts this in the fifth and sixth stanzas, as these are the stanzas where he expresses the figures' disturbance and his bid of farewell, with stanza 5 - ABABCDEDCE and stanza 6 - ABABCDECED.

Semi - regular rhyme scheme - stanzas 1-4 - ABABCDECDE.


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In second half of stanza 2, when the narrator is speaking of his "idle days", before the figures turned up, they describe them using long vowels and soft consonents "Ripe was the drowsy hour; The blissful cloud of summer-indolence Benumbed my eyes", describing them as being warmly sensuous. 

This is then both contrasted and reinforced as the first half of stanza 2, when describing the arrival of the 'figures', the narrator uses an abunadance of sibilance "Shadows / hush a masque / silent / disguised / steal / task."  Perhaps to reinforce thier continuous disturbace to his "drowsy hour."

Assonance - "One morn before" and alliteration"maiden most unmeek."

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Tone / Mood

Cold / Conflicted / Ironic / Resistant / Lethargic / Numb

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Senses + (Symbolism)

Narrator describes how thier "idle days" have "benumbed my eyes" - his indolence has numbed his senses. 

Symbol of urn and art forces people to confront thier own mortality, by comparing human mortality with the immortality of the and permenance of art and it's message.

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