Ode on Melancholy: John Keats – iGCSE Poetry, Literary Techniques


Keats repeats the word ‘sorrow’ to emphasise the theme. The reader is forced to dwell on the theme of melancholy.

Imagery & Personification

Keats personifies ‘Beauty’ and a variety of emotions and traits. The use of capital letters in the words ‘Beauty’, ‘Joy’, ‘Pleasure’, ‘Delight’, and ‘Melancholy’ is used to create this type of imagery. It is through this personification that the poet develops the idea that beauty never lasts (‘beauty that must die’).


The simile ‘like a weeping cloud’ is used to show how suddenly the emotion of sadness may set in.

Can you find any other techniques in this poem? Let us know in the comments below!

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