A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

Origin

This phrase is taken from John Keats’s poem, “Endymion”. It is the opening line that begins the poem as, “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never.This line implies that as we know that our lives are full of tests, trials and we often find ourselves in the midst of despair; nevertheless, the beautiful objects can help us forget our disappointments, hatred, and despair.

Meaning

This phrase is a clear assertion that beautiful things give unending pleasure. We can understand it by interpreting it, as all beautiful things give happiness throughout our lifetime. For example, if a person dies, it does not mean that all beautiful things with him will die. A beautiful thing never ceases to exist and gives happiness to the next generation. Thus, in this sense, the beautiful things are “joy forever.”

Usage

The use of this phrase is widely applicable. We find its usage almost in every field of life. In everyday life, when great people die, heir great achievements make them powerful figures to inspire others through their noble works even after their deaths. Likewise, the legends and tales enhance our imagination through their magnificence. Simply, beautiful things are a source of our happiness. such as lovely stories we read or hear, provide us profound and true happiness.

Literary Source

This is the first line of John Keats’ poem, “Endymion.” It opens the poem as;

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

(Endymion, Line-1)

Since human beings have almost similar natures and give response to the same stimuli in almost the same ways, so if a thing of beauty is lost for some time, say for centuries — it could give joy to next generations if rediscovered later.

Literary Analysis

Beauty lies everywhere and in everything. A sentence could be beautiful in a novel. A poetic piece could beautiful, a phrase could be beautiful. That is why beauty is a source of continuous joy, and it never fades or passes into nothingness. For instance, a bower is a pleasant and peaceful place under tree shades. It provides protection and shelter from the sun rays. Beautiful things also provide us pleasant dreams, sound sleep, peaceful and healthful breathing. Hence, beauty cannot lead to inertia but to a continuous battle to protect our earth/nature.  The sun, the moon, the trees and young and old people are also a source of joy for us. Like trees spread and sprout their branches to give shelter and protection under their green covering. The beautiful daffodils bloom inside the green surroundings where they grow. Similarly, the small and clear streams of flowing water provide cooling shelter to protect themselves from hot season.

Literary Devices

  • Metaphor: A thing of beauty is a metaphor for joy

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