Ode on a Grecian urn: analisi strofa per strofa

Analisi in inglese delle strofe della poesia "Ode on a Grecian urn" di John Keats (2 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di chry305


Ode on a Grecian UrnOde on a Grecian Urn is a poem by John Keats, first published in January 1820.

Some scenes like those described in this poem can be found on several examples of Greek pottery surviving in museums, all the details combined together seem to have existed only in keats’ imagination. The poem captures aspects of Keats's idea of “Negative Capability”; we do not know who the figures are on the urn, what they are doing and where they are going.
The uncertainty, doubt, and mystery continues: readers are divided whether the poem advocates the beauty and truth of the urn, or if in reality Keats believes that anything of any real worth is, paradoxically, to be found in the transient world. The ode deals with the complexity of art's relationship with real life. The ode celebrates the immortality of the urn, seen as a perfect work of art, and the immortality to be acquired though art.

Ode on a Grecian urn: traduzione, parafrasi e analisi


First stanza - In the first stanza, the speaker stands before an ancient Grecian urn and addresses it. He is preoccupied with its depiction of pictures frozen in time. It is the “still unravish'd bride of quietness,” the “foster-child of silence and slow time.” He also describes the urn as a “historian” that can tell a story. He wonders about the figures on the side of the urn and asks what legend they depict and from where they come. He looks at a picture that seems to depict a group of men pursuing a group of women and wonders what their story could be: “What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? / What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?”


If the “Ode to a Nightingale” portrays Keats's speaker's engagement with the fluid expressiveness of music, the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” portrays his attempt to engage with the static immobility of sculpture. The Grecian urn, passed down through countless centuries to the time of the speaker's viewing, exists outside of time in the human sense--it does not age, it does not die, and indeed it is alien to all such concepts. 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. They do not have to confront aging and death (their love is “for ever young”), but neither can they have experience (the youth can never kiss the maiden; the figures in the procession can never return to their homes).
The speaker attempts three times to engage with scenes carved into the urn; each time he asks different questions of it. In the first stanza, he examines the picture of the “mad pursuit” and wonders what actual story lies behind the picture: “What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?” Of course, the urn can never tell him the whos, whats, whens, and wheres of the stories it depicts, and the speaker is forced to abandon this line of questioning.

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