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ode on a grecian urn

By rcoleman20 Feb 22, 2014 994 Words

John Keats was born on October 31, 1795 and he died not many years later on February 23, 1821. Keats was the first of five children. Money was a struggle for Keats majority of his life and never really got better. Once Keats was drawn out of school to get a job and help with finances he began to study medicine. Keats wrote his first poem in 1814 and after Leigh Hunt mentioned Keats in his poem Keats then decided to drop medicine and follow his dreams. In April 1819 Keats composed a poem called Ode on a Grecian Urn during the romantic period of time. Ode on a Grecian Urn became one of the top six poems of the time period. Romanticism is an international artistic and philosophical movement that redefined the fundamental ways in which people in Western cultures thought about themselves and about their world. Ode on a Grecian Urn can be described in so many elements and told in so many ways. Ode on a Grecian Urn can be best broken down by describing the lovers, the settings, and mood of the poem.

The idea of love can be seen in Keat’s poem Ode on a Grecian Urn. In the poem there are several points where he mentions the lovers. Keat’s states in the poem, “Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express.’ He also states “For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.” Critics say that in stanza 1 he describes the bride as untouched and new. Critics feel that the urn has developed silence and slow time, meaning the years the urn has sat in the museum motionless. In stanza 3 critics describe Keats as getting excited as he is watching the urn, and understand that the two worlds may never collide. His heart is affected by the two lovers and also he feels sadness because they are stuck, frozen in a world that may never change. In my opinion on the lover point of view in the poem, Keats describes the female lover are perfect, he states that she’s “unravish’d” meaning virgin. Keats sees the male lover as thirsty and all he craves is love. The lovers are in a world far from reality and Keats softens as he thinks they may never have real love. Untouchable and perfectly placed from harm the lovers sit never to kiss one another, just craving unrealistic love. In Ode on a Grecian Urn the love for the lovers is one of the many ideas expressed in the poem.

The setting of Ode on a Grecian Urn can be described in three different ways. First from the author perspective in the poem he and the urn are connected. Keats feels as if he and the urn are in a world of there one. Keats describes the urn as smooth, beautiful shaped (line 41). He goes on to state the surroundings of the urn, one with randy guys chasing a beautiful women, another with a young man playing pipes under a tree, and the third showing a cow being led by a priest to be sacrificed. These images are "fringed" or bordered by a decorative pattern of leaves (line 5). The critics’ point of view states that Keats world is small and intimate, consisting of only him and the urn. They imagine him in the British Museum or in someone’s private collection viewing the urn. Critics say there are so many references to leaves, trees, and other green things that if the urn were a real place you might have to hack your way through it with a machete. Third opinion of me is that Keats blocks out everything but himself and the urn. He describes every singles detail from the shape to the engravings. In line 42 he describes the flowers and vines wrapping around everything, reading this you can analyze that it could be spring time. Keats describes the lovers setting, the boy playing music, the men chasing women, and the cow. He broke down every detail to the leaves around them from the emotion they were feeling. Ode on a Grecian Urn was a rollercoaster of moods, as the reader there were so tons that could be evaluated.

Keats described the mood of Ode on a Grecian Urn as romantic and depressing. Keats illustrates that the couple in the poem are lovers but yet frozen in place never to feel each other’s embrace. This could be analyzed as romantic yet sad at the same time. Keats mood changes through the poem. He goes from happy and warm-hearted to sad and guilt. Critics say that the mood of the poem is happiness to envy. Keats envies the urn and the people described in it. He feels they may never be touched, harm, or infected in any way. They are forever to be in the world of no movement. They cannot achieve or experience anything. Keats has to live life and life will not freeze as if in the urn because it must go on. In my opinion the poem mood is romantic yet Keats feels sadness as well. Keats happiness is for the lovers and the love they have for one another but he saddens when he realizes they may never really experience love. The urn is a fantasy world where nothing will ever change. The mood of Ode on a Grecian Urn makes the reader wonder about the value of experiencing life rather than just having it.

Ode on a Grecian Urn was composed by John Keats in 1819. Keats imagination transferred him to another world to a place of uncertainty. Ode on a Grecian Urn can be described in so many elements and told in so many ways. The points evaluated were the lovers, the setting, and the mood of the poem.

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