Keats - En 260 Understanding Poetry Professor Sweeney Beauty is Truth Truth Beauty The final lines of Keats` poem Ode on a Grecian Urn pose an

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En 260 – Understanding Poetry Professor Sweeney February 14, 2008 Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty The final lines of Keats’ poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, pose an apparent and also critical question to the reader . Who is speaking; the poet to the urn, to the reader, to both the urn and the reader, or is the urn speaking to all of mankind? After reading these lines a countless number of times, it became apparent that the poet, Keats, is speaking to the urn even though throughout the majority of the poem the poet is speaking to the reader describing the urn . This question has bothered many critics and has initiated many discussions back and forth, but because these lines have such strong meaning makes the idea of an urn speaking out to mankind farfetched . It is apparent that Keats is expressing the urns limits of understanding in that all the urn needs to know in its own world is one rule: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty .” Keats builds up to the last stanza by attempting to engage into the scenes that are engraved onto the urn throughout the entire poem . In his first stanza he attempts to relate with the depictions that he sees on the urn through questioning: What men or gods are these? What maidens loath? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course EN 260 taught by Professor Sweeney during the Spring '08 term at Fairfield.

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Keats - En 260 Understanding Poetry Professor Sweeney Beauty is Truth Truth Beauty The final lines of Keats` poem Ode on a Grecian Urn pose an

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