Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

A Thing of Beauty Summary

Reviewed by:
Last updated date: 14th Jul 2024
Total views: 400.2k
Views today: 9.00k
hightlight icon
highlight icon
highlight icon
share icon
copy icon

A Thing of Beauty - Explanation

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 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 the 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 emphasizes, we must cherish them as “an endless fountain of immortal drink”. 

The Theme of the Poem 

This poem mainly focuses on motivating the reader and filling them with the hope of living their lives happily. It delivers the message about the presence of the things of beauty in this world. These things of beauty should be seen as a source to feel hopeful and do not hesitate in the sad or gloomy times. Also, this poem has the main motive to provide peace to the readers by referring to the beauty of this nature. Here, the poet also connected the natural resources like sun, moon, rivers, etc as the beauty of nature and stated that they can be seen as a support during the nad days of this life. 

Some Important Questions on 'The Thing of Beauty

  • List all the Things of Beauty Mentioned in the Poem.

Ans: The things of beauty in the poem are - the sun, the moon, clear streams of rivers, daffodils, musk-roses in the forest, old and young trees that provide shade to 'simple sheep', and the lovely tales of mighty men.

  • Why is 'Grandeur' Associated with the 'Mighty Dead’?

Ans: The 'grandeur' lies in their noble deeds. For the welfare of mankind,  their selfless sacrifice for their nation still continues to inspire us and is very admirable. 

  • In the Poem, what does the Flowery Band refer to, and how does it bind us to the Earth?

Ans: The flowery band here refers to the things of beauty. The poet says that every day, there is some beauty that fills us with life and gives us the spirit to live happily. It is the beauty that helps in building the desire in people to live even if we are surrounded by sad moments and cruel people. Here, poets have used poetic devices to connect things of beauty to an object namely flowery band.

  • What is the Figure of Speech used in the poem for 'Cooling Covert'?

Ans: In the poem, cooling covert alliteration. Here, the 'c' is repeated twice in both words. This is mainly used to grab the attention of the readers and make the poem more interesting and attractive.

FAQs on A Thing of Beauty Summary

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.

3. What are the poetic devices used in the poem 'The beauty of life' ?

Following are the poetic devices used in the poem :

  • Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of words. The Use of consonant sound at the start of two words that are close in series. An example of alliteration used is  (Sleep-Sweet).

  • Metaphor: Metaphor is the comparison of an object with the person. Here, the term Bower Quiet is a metaphor( the calmness of the bower is here compared with the beautiful thing's calming effect ).

  • Anaphora: It is the repetition of words or phrases in a sentence. Here, the poet used the same word in two consecutive lines of the poem ('of noble natures Of all the unhealthy' , hereof is used twice)

  • Alliteration: It refers to the repetition of a sound in a sentence or word. Use of consonant sound at the start of two words which are close in series ('b' in Band Bind, 'n' in Noble nature, 's' in some shape).

  • Metaphor: here, wreathing a flowery band refers to 'the beautiful things of our life bind us to the earth'.

  • Inversion: In this poetic device, the normal order of words is reversed (Are we wreathing a flowery band)

  • Alliteration: Alliteration is the use of the same/similar sound at the start of two words that are close in series (the 's' in the word 'Sprouting Shady' , Simple sheep, 'c' in 'cooling covert').

  • Antithesis: when two opposite words are placed together (here, old and young are opposite and placed together)

  • Alliteration: Use of consonant sound at the start of two words, which are close in series ('h' in having heard).

4. Is experiencing the things of beauty only for short moments or do they make a long-lasting impression on us?

The poet believes that even for a small moment when we encounter a beautiful thing, the satisfaction remains with us forever. The thing of beauty leaves a forever lasting impression that inspires us to live life with hope and optimism. Also, things of beauty nourish our souls and become a memory that can never be forgotten. 

5. (a) Name the poem and its poet.

(b)Who are the 'mighty dead' in this poem? 

(c) Why is 'grandeur' here associated with the ' mighty dead' by the poet?

(d) Explain all the poetic devices used in the last two lines.

a) A Thing of Beauty is written by John Keats.

b) Grandeur is those martyrs who have died bravely in the past times and they are still remembered.

c) By this line, Poet means that they will always be remembered for their noble and good deeds and creations. He says that they have left behind a legacy for us to enjoy.

d) Metaphor- Here, the endless fountain is indirectly compared to the feeling of love/the things of beauty/ Hyperbole. It is an exaggerated statement. So, the endless fountain is compared to Heaven's brink, and the feeling of love is contrasted as an immortal drink.