Ode On A Grecian Urn Analysis
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The two strongest concepts present in Keats poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” are desire and satisfaction. These concepts usually cannot be fully present at the same time, but Keats found something tangible that does encompass both. In this essay I will expand upon the idea of an urn having two seemingly conflicting concepts, how this idea is defined, what options the speaker has with regard to the consequences, and how the conflict is resolved. I will also give my opinion on whether or not the resolution was satisfactory.
“More happy love! more happy, happy love!” (Keats, line 25). This line describes both satisfaction and accomplishes a feeling of infiniteness. It is very upbeat and positive. Keats starts the poem with this sentiment; he also speaks to the inhabitants of the urn as if they can hear his admiring words. The feeling of satisfaction with no possible end is what Keats wants the reader to notice. “Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;” (Keats line 16) illustrates how the season, just like everything else, will stay constant. Keats also describes a man trying to kiss a woman in regards to how her beauty will never fade. Since everything in the urns universe can never change, what is present will always stand true. This also means the kiss that this man desires so much can never happen. Without change, progress and growth are impossible, which brings up the concept of desire.
“Always” is to satisfaction as “never” is to desire in this poem. Keats creates an aura of emptiness and unfulfilled desire by examining the consequences of nothing ever changing. “Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,” (Keats, line 17) is the line describing a man that can never kiss the girl. In the paragraph above I mentioned how the girls beauty can never fade, but now that aspect doesnt seem to be as sweet due to the kiss that can never happen. Even with all of the praise Keats gives to this forever-constant world, the reader cannot forget the nothingness that permeates the past and future of the urn. The trees will never know of any different seasons, the pipes will never play for a different audience, the priest will never arrive at the sacrifice and the youths will never meet their families.
Keats is initially defining this alternate universe as a contradiction. He is simply saying the urns world is filled with things that are perfect in their present state, but are not perfect in this state because it will never be anything else. The unification of these concepts brings about something totally different.
There are two options available for Keats in regards to dealing with this contradiction. On one side he could deal with the problem by letting his emotions choose which way to go. Either sadness of no change, or comfort with routine, would be the two ways his emotions could choose. If he were one to enjoy spontaneity and growth, the urns existence would seem unfulfilling. But