How John Keats used Symbolism in his Ode to a Grecian Urn Essay

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How John Keats used Symbolism in his “Ode to a Grecian Urn”
     John Keats was born in 1795 in Moorfields, England. He was the son of a stableman who married the owner’s daughter and eventually inherited the stable for himself. He was fourteen when his mother died of tuberculosis. Having been apprenticed to an apothecary at the age of fifteen, John felt the need to leave medical field to focus primarily poetry. Keats’s imagery ranges from all of our physical sensations: sight, touch, sound, taste, and sexuality. Keats is one of the most famous for his Odes. Traditionally, the ode is lengthy, serious in subject, elevated in its diction and style, and often elaborate in its stanza structure. “Symbolism seems the
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The silence of the urn is stressed, it is the “unravish’d bride of quietness.” Symbolism is used to compare the urn as a “foster-child of silence. Keats makes use of time and motion with the word “still.” Although the urn exists in the real world, which is subject to change and time, the urn and the life that it represents are unchanging. Hence, the bride is “unravish’d” and as a “foster” child, the urn is touched by “slow time,” not the time of the real world. Because the urn is a thing, and the figures are carved on the urn, it is not bind by time; therefore, the urn may be changed or affected over “over slow time.”
     According to author Jack Stillinger, in a book titled Twentieth Century Interpretations of Keats’s Odes, “In the first line of the poem Keats pointedly enunciates the duality of his theme in a metaphor whose dual functions are neatly balanced. By addressing the urn as a “still unravished bride of quietness,” ‘he suggests its changeless ungenerative descent through the ages, it does not reproduce itself, remains the itself and transmits itself and its meaning directly (Stillinger, pg. 49).
     Line 3 makes reference to the “Sylvan historian.” Keats is symbolizing the border of leaves that encircles the vase. This “Sylvan historian” holds all of the answers to the past that this urn is representing. The urn can express
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