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Critical Appreciation of first stanza of Ode to a Nightingale The first stanza basically shows how Keats is overcome by listening to the nightingale sind and he wants to abandon himself to a half-sleeping half-waking sensation The words used in this stanza have an underlying meaning For example when Keats says that his heart aches it could be a reference to how he suffered psychollogically through his tuberculosis it could also be a reference to the pain that Keats had to go through because of the death of his nearest relatives ie his mother father grandmother etc it might refer to how Keats heart ached for a close relationship with Fanny Brown Then Keats goes on to talk about numbness this numbness can be taken in the sense that Keats was an apprentice to a surgeon and surgeons were supposed to be absolutely have no sympathy with the patient and they were also thought of as brutal and uncaring Later on Keats says that this numbness is a sort of poison hemlock for his senses the numbness really is poison for his sense as a poet because the cool scientific detachment required of a surgeon is really like poison for the sensibility and warmth of a poet Helmlock is mentioned in this line as thought of hemlock I had drunk because hemlock was given to Socrates who rebelled against the authorities of his time in the same way Keats also wanted to rebel against the authority of his guardian Abbey Also hemlock is contained in the root of downer part of the tree and according to Keats he feels like hes moving downwards just like hemlock is in the lower part of the tree Keats also mentions opiate in the first stanza opiate could be mentioned for two different reasons one being that opiates are used to deaden pain and another being that when opium is used the persons body is numbed of
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