eng 203 platonism

eng 203 platonism - Sabrina Baez Galen Wilson English 203...

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Sabrina Baez Galen Wilson English 203 18 September 2009 Does John Keats channel Plato in Ode on a Grecian Urn ? According to Thomas C. Kennedy the author of Platonism in Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn', there is proof in the works of John Keats and also in his personal letters written to friends, that Keats was inspired by the philosophical thought processes of Platonism and Neo-Platonism. In his article Kennedy makes the strange observation that although Keats’s poems are very sensuous he “embraced a philosophy that rejects senses” much like Plato did (NP). Kennedy also goes on to make other references about Keats’s works that resembled the ideas of Platonism and Neo-Platonism such as the fact that both Plato and Keats believed that truth and beauty were not merely words but “abstract and permanent like a mathematical truth” (NP). Another thing that Plato and Keats had in common was the recurring theme of the contrast between “artistic permanence” and “human change” this is very visible in “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (Kennedy NP). Kennedy observes that the way Keats writes about the urn makes it seem like the urn “represents that which is always real being “ while the way he uses his language in the poem represents that which "consists in a state of becoming to be” (NP). So in other words Keats was using the concreteness of the urn to give his language some permanent form, and according to Kennedy this comes from Platonism ideals. Kennedy also brings up the way Keats hints at analogies between “Eros and artistic creation” which has its roots in Platonic and Neo-Platonic sources (NP). According to Kennedy, because Keats used dramatic form to transform the scene in “Ode on a Grecian Urn” it no longer becomes a “representation of a classical artifact but rather the representation of the poet’s idea of a classical artifact” Kennedy determines that the artifact
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eng 203 platonism - Sabrina Baez Galen Wilson English 203...

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