John Keats 's Poem, Ode On A Grecian Urn, And The Eve Of St. Agnes

2004 Words Nov 5th, 2014 9 Pages
Keats covered many topics in the poems he wrote during his short life but the theme of fantasy being a better alternative to reality was prominent throughout many of his works. To Keats the idea that, “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter” (Urn 11-12) play a major role in his poetry, demonstrating that for him the idea of what is yet to come is far better than the actual reality of the situation. Through the narratives and stories he tells in his poems, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” and “The Eve of St. Agnes,” it is made evident that Keats would rather live in the fantasy realm of his own mind than in reality. In his poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” the fantasy that Keats feels is better than reality is displayed in the scenes decorating the urn, pictures forever frozen in time. At the beginning of stanza two Keats writes, “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard/ Are sweeter” (Urn 11-12). In these lines Keats is saying that the anticipation of an event or experience is far better than the actual experience itself, or rather that the reality of a situation can never truly live up to the ideal that one has had in one’s mind. To Keats, the scenes displayed on the urn are so beautiful that he not only admires the artwork, he envies those on the urn because they will forever get to display the scenes of “Happy happy boughs” (Urn 21) and, unlike he, will never have to bid the spring “adieu” (Urn 22). To him the urn exemplifies the…
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