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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Comparative essay on John Keats’ ‘Ode on Melancholy’

Write a 3000 WORD comparative essay response to the essay question. You must analyse John Keats’ ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and Alexander Masters’ ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’ from the coursepack. Your essay must draw on secondary criticism. In each case, you should pay close attention to specifically answering the essay question, as well as the language, rhetorical features, metre (where relevant), imagery, tone, generic features, thematic patterning and anything else you feel to be of relevance of the extracts. Your analysis should draw directly and explicitly from your knowledge of the genre of odes and biographies respectively. Your essay should be grounded in critical analysis and it should be informed by and engage with critical and literary terms.

Also, your essay should focus on not just a text’s content but also its form. Be sure to include a thesis statement in your introduction. Your essay must incorporate and engage with quality secondary sources such as journal articles that support the essay’s main arguments. It is important to use a balance and good amount of quotations from both of the extracts from the coursepack.

The essay’s structure needs to be well organised and flow well together. The introduction needs to capture the reader’s attention and introduce the essay well in a unique manner. The essay’s arguments and structure need to equally divide between the two extracts of ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’, and it is important to compare and contrast how both of these extracts significantly answer the essay question. Footnotes will count towards the 3000 WORD COUNT but not the bibliography. NOTE: the files are the extracts of Keats’ ‘Ode to Melancholy’ and Masters’ ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’ from the coursepack including the page numbers and red points where the comparative essay should focus on.

Comparative essay on John Keats’ ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and Alexander Masters’ ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’ based on the information you have provided. I will create an outline for your essay and provide you with some key points and examples you can expand upon. You can then use this information to develop your essay further. Please note that you will need to add your own analysis, quotes, and references to secondary sources.

Title: Exploring Melancholy and the Human Condition: A Comparative Analysis of Keats’ ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and Masters’ ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’


Engage the reader with an attention-grabbing opening, possibly by providing a thought-provoking quote or anecdote related to melancholy.
Introduce the two texts: John Keats’ ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and Alexander Masters’ ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards.’
Present a concise thesis statement that captures the essence of your argument regarding how both texts explore the nature of melancholy and its impact on the human experience.
I. Analysis of John Keats’ ‘Ode on Melancholy’:
A. Briefly introduce Keats as a Romantic poet and the characteristics of the ode as a poetic form.
B. Discuss the language, imagery, and rhetorical features employed in the ‘Ode on Melancholy’ that contribute to the exploration of melancholy:

Analyze specific examples of Keats’ diction and word choice that evoke a sense of melancholy (e.g., “palely loitering,” “weep for Adonais”).
Examine the use of vivid imagery and sensory details to convey the depth of melancholic emotions (e.g., “ruby grape of Proserpine”).
Explore the role of rhetorical devices such as personification, apostrophe, and paradox in enhancing the thematic exploration of melancholy (e.g., “glut thy sorrow”).
C. Discuss the thematic patterning and generic features of the ode:
Explore the contrast between the transience of human joy and the permanence of melancholy.
Examine the tension between the desire to avoid melancholy and the acknowledgment of its intrinsic beauty.
Discuss the role of the speaker’s subjectivity in shaping the reader’s understanding of melancholy.
D. Draw connections between the themes and formal features discussed above and their significance in answering the essay question.
II. Analysis of Alexander Masters’ ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’:
A. Provide background information on Alexander Masters and the genre of biographies.
B. Analyze the language, tone, and narrative structure employed in ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’ to explore the complexities of melancholy:

Discuss Masters’ use of language and stylistic devices to capture Stuart’s unique voice and worldview (e.g., vernacular language, colloquialisms).
Analyze the shifts in tone throughout the narrative and their reflection of Stuart’s fluctuating emotions (e.g., from humor to despair).
Explore the unconventional narrative structure, including the backward chronology, and its impact on the reader’s understanding of Stuart’s life and melancholic experiences.
C. Discuss the thematic exploration of melancholy in ‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’:
Examine Stuart’s personal struggles with addiction, homelessness, and mental health issues as manifestations of melancholy.
Analyze the portrayal of Stuart’s relationships and

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