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Ode on Melancholy
Ode on Melancholy
by John Keats

Ode on Melancholy Allusions & Cultural References

When poets refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Ancient Mythology

  • Lethe (1): One of the rivers forming the border of the Underworld in Ancient Greek mythology. The water of the River Lethe was supposed to make you forget all of your earthly troubles.
  • Proserpine (4): Ancient Greek Goddess of Spring, daughter of Demeter, and Queen of the Underworld.
  • Beetle (6): The beetle is a possible reference to the scarab beetle of ancient Egyptian mythology.
  • Psyche (7): A mortal girl so beautiful that Cupid, the son of Aphrodite, fell in love with her. After a lot of adventures and unhappiness, they did eventually get their happy ending.
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