A Thing of Beauty Summary

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A Thing of Beauty is a literary piece included in the syllabus of CBSE Class 12. The central idea of the story is a Greek legend that involves the characters of Endymion and Cynthia. In A Thing of Beauty explanation, the poet tells about the various contributions of beauty in our lives and how we can find beauty in mundane things around us. All that God has created has energy and beauty hidden in them. Identifying that beauty helps us to believe in the real goodness of the object or creature and that makes us happy from within. 


A Thing of Beauty Summary: Brief Explanation

John Keats, the famous romantic poet of English literature has penned this poem A Thing of Beauty. What the poet actually wants to convey is that a beautiful thing can give rise to immense delight and happiness in us. The poet also goes on to tell, as we can understand from the A Thing of Beauty summary Class 12, that the beauty of anything can never fade as it is eternal. It never deteriorates or declines either. 

That is why the poet starts the poem with the very line “A Thing of Beauty is a joy forever.” With time the essence of beauty rather increases and gradually it resembles a bower where we, the earthly fellows, can take a peaceful nap “full of sweet dreams”. 


Summary of the Poem A Thing of Beauty: The Greek Legend Basis

The basis of the poem by Keats, as mentioned in Class 12 English Thing of Beauty summary, is a Greek legend involving Endymion, a young shepherd and Cynthia, the Moon Goddess. Endymion once had a vision of Cynthia and after that, he made a resolution to look for her, seek her and find her. In the course of doing so, he crosses the sea, the woods, wanders under the sea and much to his amazement finds beauty in everything. 

While reading the summary of Thing of Beauty you will find that the poet believes that our attachment to the earthly things is like a flower wreath. It is these traps of attachment that refrain us from enjoying the more beautiful things providing eternal happiness. Materialistic attachment pushes us more and more towards acquiring wealth leading to greed, hatred and other negativities. The beauty of positive things, A Thing of Beauty poem summary will inform you is that it helps us to overcome these negativities. 

The A Thing of Beauty Class 12 summary will also let you know the poet’s take on beauty where he tells beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. The poet goes on to mention a good number of things as created by God and present all around us which call for our ardent admiration. Be it the sun, the moon, “trees old and young”, “simple sheep; and such are daffodils”. While the green plants bring liveliness and greenery into our existence, flowing brooks bring a splash of refreshment and coolness on dreary hot days. “Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms” the forest is also a feast for the eyes. 

As we further prod into the explanation of A Thing of Beauty, we will find the poet mentioning the tales of the mighty warriors who gave their life for the sake of their country or other noble reasons. He finds beauty in that too. A summary of the Thing of Beauty will be incomplete without mentioning that the poet thinks that all the beautiful things are God’s gifts for us, “Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink”.

As Class 12 English A Thing of Beauty summary comes to an end, you get to know that the beautiful things are similar to the nectar that are full of immortality and can help us find a reason to live. These give us hope even amongst the sorrow we experience in our lives on earth. In a nutshell, A Thing of Beauty summary is all about the values of the beautiful things that surround us. We very often fail to admire them but, as the poet emphasises, we must cherish them as “an endless fountain of immortal drink”. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Are things of beauty, as per the poet, for short periods or long duration?

Poet John Keats starts the poem with the very line “A Thing of Beauty is a joy forever.” We may have to come across things of beauty for a small period of time. It may take only a few moments to see or experience a thing of beauty but the memory of it stays with us forever. Thus, beautiful things are capable of creating a long-lasting impression on our mind and the beautiful memory accompanies us for the rest of our lives. These memories often inspire us and give us positive vibes to sustain in this world where our lives are often shrouded with sadness, ruthlessness or other such negativities.

2. How does the poet describe the bounty of earth?

In the poem, the poet takes to imagery for describing the beautiful bounty of the earth. He goes on to mention “an endless fountain of immortal drink.” This particular imagery signifies the nectar-like blessings that God bestows on us in the form of beautiful things all around us. Every creature on the earth is an artwork of beauty as all of them have been created by the almighty Himself. These creations, with their endless goodness, help us cope up with the adversities of life even when the situation is gloomy or sad.