A Thing of Beauty is a Joy For Ever


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 and trials, and we often find ourselves in the midst of despair; nevertheless, beautiful objects can help us forget our disappointments, hatred, and despair.


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.”


The use of this phrase is widely applicable. We find its usage almost in every area of life. In everyday life, when great people die, their great achievements make them powerful figures to inspire others through their noble works, even after their deaths. Likewise, the legends and tales enhance our imaginations 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, which opens the poem:

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)

Human beings have similar natures, and respond 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 future 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 a shade tree. It provides protection and shelter from the sun’s rays.

Beautiful things also provide us with pleasant dreams, sound sleep, peaceful and healthful breathing. Hence, beauty cannot lead to inertia, but to a continuous battle to protect our earth and nature.  The sun, the moon, the trees, and people young and old, are also a source of joy for us. In the way 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 give respite during the hot seasons.

Literary Devices