Ode on a Grecian urn: analisi

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Ode on a Grecian urn di John Keats: analisi del testo in inglese, linguaggio e stile, messaggio dell'autore e commento personale (4 pagine formato doc)


Analysis of Ode on a Grecian urn di John Keats. “Ode on a Grecian urn” is an ode by John Keats. Comprehension
Ode on a Grecian urn” is a reflection on the contrast between the perfection of the world of art and the short comings and sufferings of real life.

Moreover, the beauty of works of art is eternal, while the beauty of human beings decays.

Ode on a Grecian urn: analisi del testo in inglese


In the first stanza, the poet addresses the urn as if it was alive and he calls it “Sylvan historian” on line 3.
In this stanza, what is represented on the surface of the urn, is a “flowery tale” on line 4, and an arcadian landscape.

It tells or scenes of love which will remain forever frozen in the urn. In fact, while human beings and their PHYSICAL BEAUTY decay, these images and their beauty will remain eternal.
As regards natural elements, we can find: “Sylvan” on line 3, “flowery” on line 4, “leaf” on line 5 and “dales of Arcady” on line 7. There is also an expression referring to PASSION: “wild ecstasy” on line 10. Also SOME PEOPLE are mentioned: “bride” on line 1, “foster-child” on line 2, “deities or mortals” on line 6 and “men or gods” on line 8. In this stanza, the most privileged sense is HEARING. The expressions related to it are: “silence” on line 2, “pipes and timbrels” on line 10. There are also some words related to QUIETNESS: “quietness” on line 1 and “slow time” on line 2.
Line 5 “what leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape” appeals to the sense of SIGHT. Instead, “pursuit” and “escape” on line 9, convey an idea of MOVEMENT. The questions on lines 5-10 suggest that the poet is in a particular state of mind: they are addressed to himself, so he is in the world of IMMAGINATION. Moreover, they introduce a sylvan and mythological world, since the key-word of the sestet is “legend” on line 5.


This stanza opens with a reference to the sense of HEARING and to IMMAGINATION: “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ are sweeter” on lines 11 and 12. The other expressions referring to hearing, which is the dominant sense, are: “soft pipes, play on” on line 12, “pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone” on line 14, “thy song” on line 16 and “ear” on lines 13. The phrase “never canst thou kiss” on line 17 refers to the sense of TOUCH, while “she cannot fade” on line 19, “she be fair” on line 20 and “fair” on line 15 refer to SIGHT. All these actions, however, are related to ETERNITY, since they will never be completed.
In this stanza, on the surface of the urn, there is a musician, the story of a “Bold lover” (on line 17): the poet evokes some unheard melodies that are a creation of mind; this coy will never stop playing his music, but, at the same time, he will never be able to kiss the girl. He will love her forever and she will be beautiful forever.
The natural elements mentioned are the “trees” on lines 15 and 16. There is also a reference to PASSION: “sensual” on line 13. The other actions related to ETERNITY are: “thou canst not leave/ thy song” on lines 15-16; “nor ever can those trees be bare” on line 16; “for ever wilt thou love” on line 20.

ApprofondimentoDici di amarmi: testo, analisi e parafrasi della poesia di Keats