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Posted by angela On December - 20 - 2012 0 Comment

Dear Angie,

Can you please explain what Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is all about?  I don’t get  the beauty part!  Grazie.

Here it is in a nutshell:

The English poet Keats was fascinated by Greek classical culture, even though he had never visited the country of Greece. During a visit to the British Museum, where he admired some antiquities from the Parthenon that lord Elgin had imported into England, he fell in love with a beautiful object: an urn decorated with different scenes: musicians playing; a man trying to reach a maiden; and a procession of people following a priest about to sacrifice a young cow. For the poet, the urn represents the ideal world of beauty and art that appeals to the senses of humankind. It remains intact through time, as if frozen, and because of its stasis, it will retain its beauty. Not like in real life, where everything is transitional.

The message that Keats wants to give is that beauty is eternal and that truth is eternal; therefore, “beauty is truth and truth is beauty.” Through beauty, man can grasp the deepest meaning of human life.


E’ più semplice adesso?


John Keats



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