Ode on a Grecian Urn Summary & Study Guide

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Lines 1-4:

The poem opens with three consecutive metaphors: the implied, rather than directly stated, comparisons between the urn the speaker is viewing and, respectively, a "bride of quietness," a "foster-child of silence and slow time," and a "Sylvan historian," Of these, the last is perhaps easiest for the reader to immediately comprehend. Ancient Grecian urns were commonly illustrated with scenes or subjects that varied depending on the era and style in which a given urn was created. While more ancient vessels featured paintings of war and heroic deeds, the one Keats had in mind probably came from the early free-style period. Urns of this era are characterized by scenes from religious and musical ceremonies similar to the ones described throughout "Ode on a Grecian Urn." Because of its subject matter, Keats's urn must date to before the fourth century B.c., yet the bucolic scenes it depicts...

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This section contains 2,827 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ode on a Grecian Urn Study Guide
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Ode on a Grecian Urn from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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