A Thing of Beauty


Introduction

‘A Thing of Beauty’ is a poem written by John Keats. He was born in London in 1795. His parents died when he was fifteen years old. He went to work as a surgeon’s apprentice. However, poetry piqued his interest. The poem ‘A Thing of Beauty’ is a section of his longer poem ‘Endymion.’ A thing of beauty, according to the poet, is a source of joy indefinitely. The sun, moon, trees, musk roses, and daffodils are all lovely things. Man, in addition to these natural objects, creates beautiful objects. We find eternal joy in art, poetry, stories, mythology, and other forms of expression.

Summary

The storey of A Thing of Beauty is based on a Greek legend. According to Greek mythology, Endymion, a young shepherd, had a vision of Cynthia, the moon goddess. This young man resolves to go after her and find her. He travels through the forest and under the sea on this quest. The poet tells us in the poem that beautiful things bring us a great deal of pleasure and delight. God’s creations, according to the poet, provide both happiness and energy. The things that surround us provide us with numerous reasons to be happy. Furthermore, the brave soldiers’ stories inspire and enthuse the love life. Beauty is a divine elixir. It’s also like a never-ending fountain of nectar. Furthermore, beauty can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Beauty improves our health and banishes sadness from our lives, resulting in eternal joy.

Explanation

Beautiful things are inexhaustible sources of happiness. Their beauty can never be taken away or diminished. It imprints itself on our minds and provides us with health and peace. There are sufferings in the world, and noble people are few and far between. But, for the sake of beauty, we weave flowery bands to connect ourselves to the earth. Beautiful things lift the veil of darkness and gloom from our spirits. The Moon, the Sun, the clear streams and thickets in the green forests dotted with musk roses are all lovely. The grand mythological stories, epics, and ballads about our heroes’ exploits and doom are all sources of eternal joy.

1. A thing I beauty is a joy for ever

Its loveliness increases, it will never

pass into nothingness; but will keep

a bower quiet for us, and a sleep

full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

John Keats was a nature lover. He admired beauty in all its forms. He describes his affection for beautiful objects as a source of eternal joy and pleasure. Their beauty grows with time and does not fade away. Rather, its memory is imprinted in our minds and keeps us cool and quiet, leading to a good night’s sleep full of sweet dreams. This restful sleep promotes mental well-being as well as physical health.

2. “Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing

a flowery band to bind us to the earth,

In spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth

of noble natures, of the gloomy days,

of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways

made for our searching: “yes, in spite of all,

some shape of beauty moves away the pall

from our dark spirits.”

Every morning, we wrap ourselves in a garland, which is a flowery band that keeps us attached to and connected to the earth. Humans face many disappointments in their lives as a result of a scarcity of noble human beings or by following the unhealthy path of negative thoughts. Still, when we look at the same beautiful object, a ray of hope appears, as it removes the covering of negativity from one’s mind and replaces it with optimism. This allows us to let go of our sadness.

Alliteration → of noble natures

3. Such the Sun, the Moon, Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon.

For simple sheep; and such are daffodils

with the green world they live in; and clear rills.

That for themselves a cooling covert make

‘Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake.

Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms.”

The abundant nature is full of beautiful objects such as the sun, the moon, old and young trees that provide shade to everyone, daffodils that bloom in the forests, and clear streams which provide cooling in the area where they are found during the hot season and make everyone feel comfortable. Mid-forest ferns and musk roses have a similar effect on us, bringing mental peace and calm.
Alliteration → (i) Such the sun, the moon

(ii) themselves a cooling covert make

4. And such too is the grandeur of the dooms

We have imagined for the mighty dead;

All lovely tales that we have heard or read;

An endless fountain of immortal drink,

Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

Now John Keats describes literary beauty, the beauty found in tales of mighty and powerful people who are no longer with us. We are inspired to be brave and courageous by the stories of their bravery that we have heard or read. All of the lovely things have been compared to the eternal drink that is being poured down from heaven.

Hyperbole → an endless fountain of immortal drink

Questions and Answers of A Thing of Beauty

1. A thing of beauty…. And health and quiet breathing

Q. Name the poem and the poet.

A. The poem is A thing of beauty and the poet is John Keats.

Q. How does a thing of beauty remain a joy forever?

A. A thing of beauty provides everlasting joy to us. Whenever we are in a pensive mood we can relive the joyful experience and happiness it gave us.

Q. Explain – ‘never passes into nothingness’.

A. The joy that a thing of beauty gives us is eternal. It never loses its
importance, but it only increases with time.

Q. How does the bower help us in our life? Give two examples.

A. Bower gives us a sleep full of sweet dreams and healthy Breathing.

Q. Which two qualities of beauty are mentioned here?
Ans. A thing of beauty gives us a quiet bower to rest peacefully and a blissful sleep full of Pleasant dreams.

Q. How does it give calm to a troubled mind?
Ans. A thing of the beautiful things of nature is a permanent source of joy and make our lives sweet. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. It does not pass
into nothingness but its beauty keeps on increasing. It gives us sound sleep and good health.

Q. What does the word ‘bower’ mean?
Ans. A ‘bower’ refers to a peaceful, quiet place under the shade of trees

Q. How does beauty lead to ‘a sleep full of sweet dreams?’
Ans. A thing of beauty gives us a bower which is full of sweet dreams, healthy and quiet breathing.

Q. How does a thing of beauty bring joy in our lives?
Ans. The poet sees beauty in various things of nature that add joy to our life. These include the sun, the moon, the trees, the sheep, the green pastures and the clear water of the small streams. These remove the sadness from our dark spirits. All these things of beauty are a constant source of joy for us.

2. And clear rills… That for themselves a cooling covert make ‘Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake, Rich with the sprinkling of fair musk-rose
blooms;

Q. Identify the poem and the poet.
Ans. The poem is A thing of beauty and the poet is John Keats.

Q. What is the role of the clear rills?
Ans. The ‘clear rills’ or clear rivers of water create cooling comfort or passageway for themselves as they pass through the thick bushes and charge away the heat of the sun.

Q. How has the mid forest brake become rich?
Ans. The mid forest brake is made rich by the blooming of beautiful musk-roses.

Q. Name the figure of speech in ‘cooling covert’.
Ans. Alliteration.

Q. How can ‘mighty dead’ be things of beauty?
Ans. The mighty dead are those who have laid down their lives for a great or noble cause. Their death is replete with intellectual and spiritual beauty. Birth, growth and decay, all are inseparable. Each has its own. Beauty. Their death is grand or beautiful because it makes them immortal through the grand tombs and memorials erected in their honour.

Q. In the hot season, how do man and beast get comfort?

And. A thing of beauty reserves a bower, quiet place in our hearts. When we are tired, tensed, troubled or disappointed, the thing of beauty heals our sorrows and restores happiness for us again.

Q. What rich bounty has the heaven given us?

Ans. John Keats sees beauty in all the natural things. According to him, everything of nature is a source of beauty. In the poem we can see, the sun, the moon, the trees, daffodils, green forests, clear rills, masses of ferns, blooming musk-rose, lovely tales, etc. These beautiful sources provide pleasure and joy to mankind. So do the many beautiful stories created by man.

Q. How does Keats show his unhappiness with his fellow human beings?

Ans. According to him, beautiful things are the reason for the real joy and happiness and it can only help one to overcome the pain and suffering. However, the pain and suffering of human life can be overcome with beautiful things, but the beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. Like the beauty of nature and flowers and other such things.

Q. How does Keats define a thing of beauty?

Ans. According to John Keats, a thing of beauty is a joy for forever. It is a constant
source of happiness and pleasure. Its loveliness increases every moment. It
will never pass into nothingness. In other words, a thing of beauty is never devalued.

3. Its loveliness increases, it will never Pass into nothingness; but will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Q. Whose loveliness will keep on increasing?

Ans. The loveliness of nature will keep on increasing.

Q. Identify the phrase which says that ‘it’ is immortal.

Ans. “It will never pass into nothingness.”

Q. What is a ‘bower’?

Ans. A ‘bower’ refers to a peaceful, quiet place under the shade of trees.

Q. Why do we need sweet dreams, health and quiet breathing in our lives?

And. We need all these for sound sleep, as it results in a healthy body and mind, providing us tranquillity and mental peace.

4. And such too is the grandeur of the dooms We have imagined for the
mighty dead; All lovely tales that we have heard or read; An endless
fountain of immortal drink … … …

Q. Who are the ‘mighty dead?

Ans. The `mighty dead’ refers to those great men and warriors who glorified death by embracing it most gracefully and magnificently. They are those who sacrificed their lives for a noble cause and made great achievements in their lifetime.

Q. What have we done for them?

Ans. We have imagined that the ‘mighty dead’ much be richly rewarded by the

God on the day of their judgement.

Q. What metaphor has been used for ‘lovely tales’?

And. An endless fountain of immortal drink is the metaphor.

Q. How is the grandeur of the dooms related to the theme of the poem?

Ans. The grandeur of the heroic tales of the mighty dead give us the same sense
of jubilation and tranquillity as the other things of beauty do.

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