Ode on a Grecian urn: analisi del testo in inglese

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Ode on a Grecian urn di Keats: analisi in inglese (3 pagine formato pdf)

ODE ON A GRECIAN URN: ANALISI

Ode on a grecian urn: analisi del testo in inglese.

John Keats. John Keats had a very sad life and died young (he was only twenty-five years old). Nevertheless he is considered one of the greatest English poets. The only relief for him was something beautiful. He did not refer to a superficial beauty, to concrete, material beautiful things: as he is a forerunner of Aestheticism, he follows a veritable cult of Beauty.
ODE ON A GRECIAN URN (pag.239)
Keats used to spend a lot of time in the British Museum, admiring Greek objects which were collected there. They became a source of inspiration for his poetry.
This ode is from his last collection of poems. It is made up of five ten-lined stanzas. The poem can be divided into three parts: the description of the scene painted on one side (I-II-III), the description of the scene painted on the other side (IV) and the conclusion (V). The language is high, with references to the classical world (and obviously to the Greek art). There are a lot of abstract words, which confer to the poem a position out of time, a higher meaning: from a concrete dimension, the poet ascends to an abstract one. The urn becomes a means to convey a philosophical meaning which goes beyond the mere object.

Ode on a Grecian urn: analisi

ODE ON A GRECIAN URN: ANALISI DEL TESTO

I STANZA
The poet applies to the urn, calling it «unravished bride », «foster-child», «Sylvan historian», as if it were a human being.
These expressions sound like paradoxes. How can a bride be unravished? How can an urn be a historian if it cannot speak?
Yet the poet says that the urn can tell a story more sweetly and easily than poetry does: this is another paradoxical statement. But it is true that a tale told by an image is more effective than a poet’s words. The choice of the words «silence and slow time» underlines that the urn is out of time, eternal,
everlasting.
Then there are lots of questions, through which the poet describes the scene depicted on one side of the urn. The image, which is surrounded by a decoration («leaf-fringed») and set in Arcady, represents a pursuit: some girls are trying to escape some men (or gods); there are also other human shapes, probably some minstrels.

Ode on a Grecian urn: analisi e commento

ODE ON A GRECIAN URN: ANALISI IN INGLESE

II STANZA
The first two lines contain a great truth: «Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter». It is as if the poet could really hear the melody played by the painted minstrels. This melody, which is suggested by the scene but exists only in his imagination, gives a more intense emotion than the one
given by a concrete experience. Then he applies to a young man belonging to the scene. He is sitting under a tree and singing a love song devoted to a girl. He wants to kiss the girl and he cannot, but he should not be sad for that, because even if he won’t find pleasure with the girl she will be there forever, and he will love her forever.