A Thing of Beauty: MBOSE Class 12 English Core notes, answers

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Get summaries, questions, answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF, and of Class 12 English Core textbook (Resonance), Chapter 3, poem, A Thing of Beauty by John Keats, which is part of the syllabus of students studying under MBOSE (Meghalaya Board). These solutions, however, should only be treated as references and can be modified/changed. 

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The poem “A Thing of Beauty” by John Keats is about how beautiful things in the world give us lasting happiness and comfort. Keats begins by saying that anything beautiful is a joy forever. Its loveliness keeps increasing and it never fades away. Instead of disappearing, beauty continues to provide us with a peaceful place, like a shelter where we can rest and have sweet dreams, good health, and a sense of calm.

Keats believes that every day, we create a sort of “flowery band” that ties us to the earth. This means that we are constantly surrounded by beauty which helps us stay connected to the world. Even though there are many things in life that can make us feel sad or disappointed, such as the lack of good people or the tough, gloomy times, beauty still has the power to move away the dark clouds from our minds and make us feel better.

Keats lists several beautiful things in nature that help lift our spirits. He mentions the sun, the moon, and trees—both old and young. These trees provide shade, which is a blessing for simple sheep and for us. He also talks about daffodils growing in the green world around them and small clear streams that make a cool, hidden spot during the hot season. The middle of the forest is rich with blooming musk-rose flowers, adding to the natural beauty.

In addition to natural beauty, Keats also appreciates the beauty found in stories and legends. He mentions the grandeur of the deeds and the dooms of the mighty dead—those who have passed away but are remembered for their great actions. These tales, whether read or heard, contribute to an endless fountain of immortal drink. This means that the inspiration and joy we get from beauty are never-ending and come from the heavens. Beauty, whether in nature or in human-made creations, has a divine and eternal quality that continuously nourishes our spirits.

Keats explains that this fountain of beauty is like an immortal drink pouring down from heaven, giving us endless joy and inspiration. This metaphor shows that beauty has a never-ending and divine quality. It continuously uplifts our spirits and helps us overcome the dark and gloomy aspects of life.

The poet also suggests that despite the sorrows and troubles in life, beauty always provides a way to lift our spirits. He says that beauty, in its various forms, moves away the sadness from our hearts. For example, the sun and the moon are everyday sights, but they are beautiful and bring joy. Similarly, the trees, flowers, and streams in nature offer simple but profound beauty that comforts us.

Keats further emphasizes that the stories of the mighty dead, or the great people from history, also add to this beauty. These stories are full of grandeur and majesty, and they inspire us. They remind us of the greatness that humans are capable of and fill us with a sense of wonder and admiration.

In the poem, Keats uses rich imagery to describe the beauty around us. The “bower quiet” refers to a peaceful, shaded place in nature where we can rest and find solace. The “sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing” that beauty brings are simple yet essential parts of a happy and calm life.

The “flowery band” we create every day represents how beauty keeps us connected to life, despite its challenges. Even when we face “despondence” or sadness, the “inhuman dearth of noble natures” or lack of good people, and “gloomy days,” beauty helps us stay positive. It moves away the “pall” or the dark atmosphere from our spirits.

The poem also highlights the importance of small and simple things in nature. The sun, the moon, trees, daffodils, and clear streams are all ordinary elements, but they are full of beauty. These natural beauties offer shade, coolness, and a sense of peace, which are gifts that enrich our lives.

The “mighty dead” refers to the great people from history whose stories we remember and cherish. Their “dooms” or destinies were filled with “grandeur,” meaning their lives and deeds were majestic and inspiring. These stories are beautiful and add to the endless source of joy and inspiration that beauty provides.

Keats concludes that beauty, whether found in nature or in art, has a powerful and everlasting effect on us. It continuously uplifts our spirits, connects us to something divine, and helps us overcome the difficulties of life. This “endless fountain of immortal drink” that beauty offers is a divine and eternal source of joy and inspiration.

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Line-byline explanation

A thing of beauty is a joy forever / Its loveliness increases, it will never / Pass into nothingness;

A beautiful thing gives us joy that lasts forever. The pleasure and satisfaction we get from it do not decrease over time; instead, its attractiveness grows. This beauty never fades away or loses its value. It remains significant and impactful throughout our lives.

but still will keep / A bower quiet for us, and a sleep / Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Beauty provides a peaceful and shaded place for us to find rest. This serene environment allows us to have pleasant dreams, maintain good health, and experience calm, peaceful breathing. It creates a sanctuary where we can escape the stresses of life.

Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing / A flowery band to bind us to the earth.

Every day, we metaphorically create a “flowery band” or a chain of beautiful things that connects us to the world. This means that beauty helps us feel more connected and grounded in life. It ties us to the earth and gives us reasons to continue living and appreciating the world around us.

Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth / Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,

Despite experiencing sadness and disappointment, and even though there is a lack of good and noble people in the world, and many dark and difficult days,

Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways / Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,

Despite all the unhealthy and excessively dark paths and situations we encounter in our quest for meaning and happiness,

Some shape of beauty moves away the pall / From our dark spirits.

Some form of beauty always comes to lift the gloom and darkness from our spirits. It has the power to remove the sadness and bring light into our lives, making us feel better and more hopeful.

Such the sun, the moon, / Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon / For simple sheep;

Beauty can be found in everyday natural elements such as the sun and the moon. The trees, both old and young, that grow and provide comforting shade for sheep and for us, are examples of this beauty. These natural sights bring joy and relief.

and such are daffodils / With the green world they live in;

Daffodils, along with the green environment in which they grow, also exemplify natural beauty. Their presence brightens the landscape and brings happiness to those who see them.

and clear rills / That for themselves a cooling covert make / ‘Gainst the hot season;

Small clear streams create cool, hidden spots that provide relief during the hot season. These refreshing places are also part of the natural beauty that brings us comfort and joy.

the mid forest brake, / Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:

The dense part of the forest, filled with beautiful musk-rose flowers, is another example of natural beauty. These flowers add to the richness and attractiveness of the forest.

And such too is the grandeur of the dooms / We have imagined for the mighty dead;

The grand and majestic stories and imagined destinies of great people from the past are also sources of beauty. These tales of heroism and greatness inspire us and add to our appreciation of beauty.

All lovely tales that we have heard or read;

All the beautiful stories we have heard or read contribute to our sense of beauty. These tales enrich our lives and provide us with joy and inspiration.

An endless fountain of immortal drink, / Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

This endless source of beauty is like an eternal, divine drink that continuously flows down to us from heaven. It provides us with endless joy and inspiration, nourishing our spirits and uplifting us.

Textual questions and answers

Answer these questions briefly

1. The poet believes that a beautiful object is a treasure that only grows in worth. What are the ways in which a beautiful object can give us happiness?

Answer: By providing sweet dreams, health, and quiet breathing

2. ‘Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing A flowery band to bind us to the earth.’ What do these lines suggest to you?

Answer: They suggest that we create a connection to nature each day.

3. Name some of the things that give pain to the poet.

Answer: Despondence, inhuman dearth of noble natures, gloomy days, unhealthy and over-darkened ways

4. What helps the poet to lift his spirits? Which phrase in the poem tells you this?

Answer: Some shape of beauty moves away the pall from our dark spirits. The phrase is “Some shape of beauty moves away the pall from our dark spirits.”

5. Name, from the poem, some of the objects of beauty in nature.

Answer: The sun, the moon, old and young trees, daffodils, clear rills, mid-forest brake, fair musk-rose blooms

6. Stories woven by man are beautiful. Pick out the lines from the poem that express this idea.

Answer: “All lovely tales that we have heard or read”

7. Who are the ‘mighty dead’? Why does the poet feel that their ‘dooms’ were filled with ‘grandeur’?

Answer: The ‘mighty dead’ are those who have passed away but were significant in their lifetimes. Their ‘dooms’ were filled with ‘grandeur’ because of the majesty associated with their judgments or violent events.

8. ‘An endless fountain of immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.’ a. What is the endless fountain the poet is referring to?

Answer: It is the beauty of nature and art.

b. Why is it immortal?

Answer: Because it provides eternal joy and inspiration.

c. Where is heaven’s brink?

Answer: It is a metaphorical place from where eternal beauty and joy flow.

Appreciating the poem

Do you think that the poet suggests that beauty—whether found in nature or in art—has a far bigger purpose than giving pleasure to the beholder? Give instances from the poem to support your answer.

Answer: Yes, the poet suggests that beauty has a far bigger purpose than just giving pleasure to the beholder. In the poem, beauty is depicted as a source of eternal joy and a means to lift the human spirit from darkness. For instance, the lines “Some shape of beauty moves away the pall from our dark spirits” indicate that beauty helps to alleviate gloom and despondence. Additionally, the poet describes beauty as “an endless fountain of immortal drink,” which implies that it nourishes and sustains the soul continuously. This shows that beauty serves as a vital source of emotional and spiritual well-being, beyond mere aesthetic pleasure.

Beyond the obvious

Keats and many other poets considered the imagination to be the most supreme faculty in human beings. They believed that when we appreciate an object of art or great natural beauty, our imagination creates a reality in our minds that is far bigger than the actual object and transports us to a different realm. Do you agree?

Answer: Yes, I agree. Imagination allows us to experience beauty in a profound and transformative way. When we encounter an object of art or natural beauty, our imagination can amplify its significance, creating a deeper, more meaningful experience. For example, in Keats’ poem, the beauty of nature and art is not just a physical reality but an endless fountain of joy that sustains us emotionally and spiritually. This suggests that our imaginative engagement with beauty elevates it beyond its physical form, transporting us to a realm of eternal joy and inspiration.

Appreciating form and language

This poem has been written in a definite rhythm. There is order in the flow of words. This is in agreement with the theme because, wherever there is beauty, there is order—especially in nature. Order and rhythm go hand in hand. There is a consistency in the rhyme scheme and the length of the lines resulting in an overall balance throughout the poem. In literature, alliteration is the use of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words in a sentence. Like many other literary devices, it is used to heighten the effect of an idea on the reader. Example: noble natures. Pick out one more example of alliteration from the poem.

Answer: The example of alliteration in the poem is “cooling covert.”


‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.’ Using the ideas expressed in this beautifully-written poem by John Keats, write a descriptive essay on the theme of the poem.

1. What are the qualities of a beautiful object? How does it enhance the quality of one’s life?

Answer: The qualities of a beautiful object include its ability to inspire joy, tranquility, and a sense of connection to the world. It enhances the quality of one’s life by providing comfort, uplifting spirits, and offering a respite from life’s challenges.

2. What makes human beings unhappy? Can any person avoid pain or unhappiness? And yet, people are filled with hope and their spirits are revived when they come in touch with people or things that they find beautiful.

Answer: Human beings are made unhappy by factors such as despondence, the inhuman dearth of noble natures, gloomy days, and unhealthy and over-darkened ways. No person can avoid pain or unhappiness entirely. However, people are filled with hope and their spirits are revived when they come in touch with people or things that they find beautiful, as these encounters lift their spirits and provide a sense of joy and comfort.

3. Is beauty found only in nature? Can beauty be found in manmade objects or creative art forms? Is it possible to find beauty in mundane and everyday things around us or in everyday experiences?

Answer: Beauty is not found only in nature; it can also be found in manmade objects or creative art forms. It is possible to find beauty in mundane and everyday things around us or in everyday experiences, as beauty can be perceived in various forms and contexts, enhancing our appreciation of life and its many facets.

Extra fill in the blanks

1. A thing of beauty is a joy ______? (Forever/Never)

Answer: Forever

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13. Stories woven by man are beautiful. Pick out the lines from the poem that express this idea: ‘All lovely tales that we have ______ or read.’ (Heard/Told)

Answer: Heard

Extra true or false

1. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Answer: True

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14. Beauty in nature is depicted as a gift for simple sheep.

Answer: True

Extra question and answer

1. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever, Its loveliness increases, it will never Pass into nothingness”

(i) What is the nature of a beautiful object according to the poet?

Answer: It is a source of joy forever.

(ii) How does the poet describe the loveliness of a beautiful object?

Answer: The poet says its loveliness increases.

(iii) What will never happen to a beautiful object, according to the poet?

Answer: It will never pass into nothingness.

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15. What natural elements does the poet mention that provide beauty and joy?

Answer: The poet mentions various natural elements that provide beauty and joy, including the sun, the moon, trees old and young, daffodils, clear rills, and the mid forest brake rich with musk-rose blooms. These elements collectively create a serene and beautiful environment that uplifts the human spirit.

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