In stanza two, John Keats introduces the scene of two young lovers on the urn to show idealized love. This post is part of the series: John Keats Poetry Study Guide. An urn is a sort of vase. Some of the difficulty arises because there is no definitive text for this poem. They're kind of saying 'this urn is beautiful, so are the people on it.
If humans no longer need to strive to create the perfect beautiful form in whatever medium, then it frees them to be imperfect. The urn provides a space where such stories can be frozen and made essential. This part of the final two lines is compelling for a number of reasons. The Fifth Stanza Fifth stanza - we're almost done. Line 17: Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, The lover will never get the kiss he is waiting for. Keats is one of the most famous for his Odes.
He asks if the people depicted are the Ancient Greek gods, or the men, or if it was both. In the speaker's meditation, this creates an intriguing paradox for the human figures carved into the side of the urn: They are free from time, but they are simultaneously frozen in time. He ends the stanza with the idea that love causes illness: 'a burning forehead, and a parching tongue'. When this information is considered alongside a reading of the poem, then it is possible that the reader may react and respond very differently to these lines, which seemed so optimistic and positive on the first reading. Stanza 3: Line 21: Ah, happy happy boughs! So as generations passed, it stays to tell the present generation what the previous one was like. The picture is alleged to be of the actual urn that inspired the poem.
The urn is old and Keats is acting as the interpreter of the urn. But it is not just any man that observes, and neither is it just any urn. Evil has not been introduced. The men or gods are smitten with love and are pursuing them. Indeed, we would expect that all the characters of a story that was first told thousands of years ago would be dead by now.
The lute player is evidently playing beneath some trees which Keats says will never lose their leaves. They really believed more in imagination and emotion and nature as kind of being where to look for answers to stuff. If it is the urn addressing mankind, then the phrase has rather the weight of an important lesson, as though beyond all the complications of human life, all human beings need to know on earth is that beauty and truth are one and the same. Each time, the reach of his empathy expands from one figure, to two, and then to a whole town. Although it is suggested metaphorically earlier in the poem, this is the first instance in which the speaker acknowledges human death.
The art object only reflects ideals, ideals which are never achievable in real life. The poet then tries to listen to the music played by the people in the image. Summary: Keats directly addresses a Grecian urn -- a symbol of timelessness and aesthetic beauty -- and contrasts this object's version of the world with the vicissitudes of real life. He is often called as the Poet of Beauty, because… 1291 Words 6 Pages Comparing Keats Picture this: you have been told by doctors that you have a few years left to live. You might say that the Romantics are kind of the crunchy granola hippies of their day. He unfortunately never got a chance to celebrate the fruits of his hard work or witness the kind of impact he had.
Are the concluding lines a philosphical statement about life or do they make sense only in the context of the poem? This is pretty much the cold shower he needed. Do they make a final statement on the relation of the ideal to the actual? If you haven't guessed already, we're referring to John Keats, the young poet who is best known for his set of five Odes that were literary masterpieces, which reflected skills that were unfortunately never shown much appreciation during his short lifetime. The urn teases him out of thought, as does eternity; that is, the problem of the effect of a work of art on time and life, or simply of what art does, is a perplexing one, as is the effort to grapple with the concept of eternity. Here we go: Title: On a Grecian Urn means to or about a Greek urn. The ultimate irony, of course, is that Keats uses one art form, the poem, and specifically, the ode, to achieve the transmission of this artistic philosophy.
It also represents the two paradoxical sides of the urn: in one way its immortality is a positive and joyful thing, but on the other, it is full of desolation, isolation and emptiness. But you have to admit that it sounds cool. An ode is essentially a Greek poem, which gives praise. Its closest formal cousin is probably Ode on Melancholy, though it contains a slightly different rhyme scheme. It was a big shift from the Age of Enlightenment that came before the Romantic era, when reason and scientific fact ruled the day, which kind of is where we are now again, except in some corners of this country. What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn? Line 31: Who are these coming to the sacrifice? By referring to the mythological heroes of the past, Keats evokes a particular nostalgia for the supposed perfection of the preceding ages, a nostalgia which will be contested and then swept away in the declarative concluding lines. The gods also liked to hang out with humans.