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Grecian Urn Ending: What the h-double toothpicks?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:16 pm
by T. Fuchs
does anyone else side with me and elliot , wondering what this really means?
(if anything)....it is so non-Keats! :evil:

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:36 pm
by Saturn
What do you mean??

The controversy over who is actually speaking in the final line???

Is it the urn itself or the poet???

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:05 pm
by Steen
No-one really knows....Its much debated.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 3:34 pm
by nightingale
I believe that it is Kets himself speaking. His philosophy can be seen to be summed up in tose lines. All of his poetry deals with the relationship between art/beauty and reality/truth. Take a look at Endymion's opening line 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever', or Ode to a Nightingale-the 'viewless wings of poesy', not to mention La Belle Dame etc. Yet only here does Keats seem to find a resting place, an end and purpose to his poetic quest, for rather than search for beauty in art, or lament its inability to satisfy in reality, Keats here accepts that beauty IS TRUTH and truth IS BEAUTY. Indeed, this cannot be explained in any words other than Keats' own, and once you understand those lines, then you realise the deep truth of the sentiment 'that is all ye know of earth, and all ye need to know.' 8)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:21 am
by Darkling
nightingale wrote: Keats here accepts that beauty IS TRUTH and truth IS BEAUTY. Indeed, this cannot be explained in any words other than Keats' own, and once you understand those lines, then you realise the deep truth of the sentiment 'that is all ye know of earth, and all ye need to know.' 8)


Exactly! It is Keats speaking. The reason it seems so bizarre is because when we read Keats he disappears and it is just you and the words. These are lines where Keats is actually speaking to us, which is rare. The fact that we are subscribed to a John Keats forum kind of says that we already get it. We buy what he is selling. It is the perfect ending for the poem. We are all children of romanticism and it is inherent in our nature to believe that "beauty is truth and truth is Beauty" That [i]is all we need to know.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:43 am
by Saturn
Welcome to the Board Darkling :D

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:46 pm
by Darkling
Thank you. :)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:23 pm
by David N
I personally think it was the urn "speaking" to the reader, offering a hint as to the true metaphysical imperative of the universe; something immortal and self-evident.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:44 pm
by fleshyniteshade
I'd say it was the urn simply because of the "a friend to man" like the urn is a friend man as a dog is a man's best friend. The urn is a thing of beauty, what more truth may the urn know?

Then again I have not sat down ever and try to analyize the poem. :-D I'm know, I'm great! :P

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:11 pm
by Credo Buffa
You know, when I went to London, I sat down in front of the Parthenon Frieze in the British Museum and read "Grecian Urn". . . sort of like reading Wordsworth in the Lake District, I seemed to reach a kind of peace and understanding with the poem like I never had before, just by being there and seeing what Keats was seeing.

Nevertheless. . . those last lines still didn't click! It's becoming maddening, really. I've tried reading them almost in every possible way, but I'm never satisfied with the answer I reach in the end.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:14 am
by Despondence
Well now, what's all this obsession with the "answer" all of a sudden? :D
Maybe there is no answer, or maybe there are many different answers, all equally valid. We know from his letters that Keats was a deeply philosophical person. Imagine, if instead it had been a totally obvious and trivial allusion wrapping up that ode - you'd probably never have given it a second thought. As it stands, it is obscure at best, but I think that's how Keats intended it. For centuries, that harmless little blurb has made people think about it, and that's the important thing!

Don't overanalyze, or you'll be forever sitting in that chamber of maiden thought ;)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:28 am
by Saturn
That's ironic that phrase now as I'm now a moderator in my own Maiden Chamber....literally - that's the name of the site - Maiden Chamber - nothing to do with Keats, but Iron Maiden :lol:

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:07 am
by Despondence
Stephen Saturn wrote: Maiden Chamber - nothing to do with Keats, but Iron Maiden :lol:

Crikey. Never pegged you as a heavy metal freak :P

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:19 pm
by Saturn
I have very strange and diverse tastes - I used to be a real metal freak as a teenager but I only listen to Maiden now really - they're actually quite melodic believe it or not :D

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:59 pm
by fleshyniteshade
I think I like that idea, since Keats believed beauty is truth maybe they are saying it to each other as every one will who passes.