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Comparison Essay Introduction

This assignment is a comparison of the poems “Upon a Dying Lady” by Yeats, William and “Ode to a Nightingale” by Keats, John. Both poems express personal feelings and they share some similarities and discrepancies as well. “Ode to a Nightingale” has conflicting reactions between life of death and Reality with an aim of uniting the nature. This is the main theme of the poem which he illustrate by use of stress which he use to represent struggle between actual and ideas positions when people are in love. While, the poem “Upon a Dying Lady” main theme is well established by its title.


“Upon a Dying Lady” by William Yeats

William’s poem is a tribute to the death of a dying lady it starts with her courtesy. This is an imagery which is used in the poem with an aim of distinguishing the life he was living and the life of the dead. Death and agony the poet has used the imagery of emotion as it’s in the case with "Ode to a Nightingale" he termed it as spiritual. William wrote “Without an angry thought” (Yeats, par 4) meaning that although he was facing death he does not have an angry thought about it as it is. However, he termed the process of death as an enemy but because he is not angry with it.

Keats has represented the nature of human experience by combining the object of praise and empathy within the poem. Such themes develops the style of the poem and its feeling which makes the poem to be emotional when reading it, however someone can mistake it to be about the song and the bird. The song is used in the poem as a metaphor, this is an imagery that the poet has used for the reader to distinguish the different voices of questioning and praise.

“Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats

Keats has the feeling that either he is under influence of drug or he has been poisoned which is later revealed that the feelings which he had are a result of a nightingale’s song. Such feelings are the one making the poem to be personal as it expresses the emotions of the poet. The narrator has used metaphorical wings that are joining the nightingale, this has made the poem to be in an imaginative state and much emotional, as a result the narrator cries.

Use of repetition in the poem such as “Away!” away for I will fly to thee is used to emphasize on the imagery of death. While, in the new state he describes on how he is able to sense change in relation to sight, being able to smell hear and taste with an aim of experiencing the new world. This new world is also evident in the poem "Upon a Dying Lady" which the poet has elaborated it in the courtesy of the lady who is dying. The poet emphasizes on the aspect of losing strength and this is signified by the imagery of “Her Speech a wicked tale” (Keats, par 5) meaning that at her death bed she was not able to project her sound. shows He described the new world as being paradise he further elaborates it as world of opportunities and potentials with new creatures than what he is used to.

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Comparison of the Poems

William wrote about the other world but the means of going to the other world is through the soul flying. Meaning she is having un understanding of that the other world is spiritual just like Keats had signified that the other world is so different. Although Keats says that the new world has new creatures with new sounds, Williams wrote that there were no speech as the lady is used to but symbols this signifies the different of this world and the world which one goes when they die.

William elaborate on how the lady has the strengths of facing death, even at the last breath the poet wrote that she was not worried as its being signified by the imagery of sunny spot. The sunny spot here is used by the poet as an imagery of light, brightness and happiness. This is emphasized on the half closed eyelids which are shutting up. As she was dying the author specified that the main reason why she was closing the eyes is because of the bright light where she is going. The narrator at this point he had blinded himself in order to have a good view of the other world, with such blindness he is not able to view the current world as its image had been taken away. This has enabled the poet to separate what is life and death.

Comparison Essay Summary

The main similarity in “Upon a Dying Lady” and “Ode to a Nightingale” is that the lady at "Upon a Dying Lady" is actually facing death while at “Ode to a Nightingale” the author is visualizing death. The experiences are similar to both of them, only that one is visualizing death while the other one is dying. Both are aware of the natural way of life which comes with agony and death and they have accepted it mostly because they are anticipating of the other world which they believe is much different. In both poems nature is well elaborated on how it affects life in relation to death as people tend to live their personal life death is inevitable and it also affirms that people view death is a transition to another world much better than what they are living today and have better ways of understanding what is happening despite of the environment and everything being different.

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