Ode to a Grecian Urn

Topics: Poetry, John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn Pages: 2 (635 words) Published: May 15, 2007
Ode to a Grecian Urn speech
John Keats, born 1975, was a man who accomplished a lot in his lifetime however his poetic achievements were never truly appreciate until the nineteenth century, way after his death. Today Keats is regarded as one of the greatest English poets, even though most people only have a partial understanding of his work.

Ode to a Grecian urn is one of the five great odes written in 1918. The main theme throughout the poem is this concept of the immortality of art versus the impermanence of human life. This concept explores the aspect of change.

Like all great literature, ode to a Grecian urn can be interpreted in many ways. This is due to the fact that the poem is based on a series of paradoxes and opposite meanings which can be perceived in different ways depending on your personal opinion.

In Stanza one Keats is describing the urn as a thing of absolute unchanging beauty. Keats apostrophises the urn and describes it as an ‘unravish'd bride of quietness.' This description of the urn is not only a metaphor yet a conceit as well which implicates that for the sake of the text we accept the metaphor to be true. This has the effect of addressing the urn and accepting the urn as alive when in actual fact we now its not.

Throughout stanza 1 Keats addresses the urn as if it is a human, even though it is an inanimate object that has existed for thousand of years and it yet to be changed. The figures, shapes, symbols and people on the urn are no subject to time or change either. This then appears to be quite aberrant as it is saying that time which brings about change hasn't happened to the urn even though time itself has passed. Keats describes the urn as a "historian" due to the fact the urn has experienced so much yet ironically enough hasn't experienced much at all. By this I mean the urn has not experienced lust, love or sadness. This concept conjures up the thought that change, good or bad, is a positive thing as without change u...
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