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The poem ode on a Grecian urn by John Keats was written in 1819

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Introduction

The poem ?ode on a Grecian urn? by john Keats was written in 1819. This poem is an ode because the poet is praising the Grecian urn for its beauty and art. We see that instead of just praising one specific image, he has used images from different urns and has made it into one imaginary urn. This poem has a few prevalent themes, which I will be talking about. One theme included is that of silence. We see this in almost every stanza. The opening line ?thou still unravish?d bride of quietness? makes the reader sense the tone of stillness and silence. This gives the poem a subtle start. In the second stanza the poet says ?heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.? This is again brings the theme of silence. The poet has portrayed the theme of silence in a very beautiful way in the previous instances. In the fourth stanza he brings up this theme again by portraying an empty town. ...read more.

Middle

Keats might have used eternity as a theme because we know that there were many tragedies and deaths around him and so he might have chosen eternity because he wanted to escape reality and not face death. However he realizes that this is impossible and abandons his attempt to identify with the figures on the urn. The theme of eternity could also signify his want for eternal love with Fanny because he is talking of the image on the urn where that couple?s love will be forever even though they would not be able to attain physical affection which he finds to be weary. Eternity is defined as time without end and we see that time does not move forward in the urn in this poem and everything is at a stand still. The urn exists in the real world and is therefore subject to time. However the lives it presents are unchanging. The figures carved onto the urn are not subject to time though the urn itself might be affected over ?slow time?. ...read more.

Conclusion

That cannot shed your leaves adieu.? Here he is making the image of love look even more beautiful with his nature associations. Keats? attitude towards nature is very simple because he describes it as he sees it and does not try to find a hidden meaning in it. In ?ode to a nightingale? he uses the nightingale as the symbol of joy and with its songs, he is able to forget his sorrows. Similarly in ?ode to autumn?, he looses himself in the loveliness of autumn. The lines ?where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too? show his full appreciation and praise for autumn. Keats is able to paint pictures with his words and we often see it in his poems when he uses beautiful images to signify a certain meaning. In this poem ode on a Grecian urn, we see that he has tried to relate himself to the urn but in the final stanza realizes that he is unable to do so because the urn is a separate and self-contained world. It can be a ?friend to man? but cannot be mortal and is therefore insufficient to human life. ...read more.

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