* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ode on Melancholy

Ode on Melancholy

by John Keats

Ode on Melancholy Summary

The speaker warns the reader not to try to relieve the pain of melancholy with poisons like "wolf's-bane." Instead, he suggests that the reader contemplate the sad shortness of life. Joy, he says, is always brief, and beauty never lasts forever. Melancholy is always attached somehow to joy and pleasure, since joy and pleasure are always temporary. In order to experience joy, we have to allow ourselves to experience grief and pain. That's just the way it goes, Shmoopers.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement