Class Notes (834,986)
Canada (508,846)
English (1,178)
Lecture 7

English 2307E - Lecture 7.docx

3 Pages
Unlock Document

English 2307E
Krista Lysack

English 2307E Thursday February 6 Lecture 7 Keats – Ode on a Grecian Urn In-Class Essay • You should have them back after reading week • You will get the handout of topics for your final essay before the break Keats, ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ • This was one of a series of odes written in praise of someone or something • Keats has a tendency to produce short, intimate, lyric poetry • In this case, the ode is about an object • There is still something unresolved by the end of the poem • The speaker wants to draw our attention to this ancient, decorated pot as some kind of excuse to draw a conclusion about beauty and truth 3 Scenes: • Courtship Dance (Stanza 1) o He is looking at a relic, not a contemporary pot o There is an image or revelry, sexual pursuit (a courtship dance) o The speaker talks to the urn, as if it were a historian that could tell a better story than a poem can o He uses 2 metaphors:  A still, unravished bride (a figure of innocence and beauty)  A foster child of silence and slow time (as though silence and slow time were helping the urn through the ages like foster parents, and preserving it) • There is a sense of everything being suspended in time o It is paradoxical – it depicts liveliness, yet remains suspended in time • A Romantic Pursuit (Stanzas 2 & 3) o There is a piper piping his music, and a man in pursuit of a young woman  A love scene set to music – however we can look at it all we want, but we can’t hear the music o Why does he say that something you can’t hear would be sweeter than music in time?  Music that’s never heard gets to keep all of its charm (there is potential, it is timeless) o The woman will always be beautiful and will not fade on the side of the urn o The speaker takes solace in suspended desire that is never realized  The lovers are poised on the moment of consummation, but their desires are never met  This suspended desire is what makes the woman so lovely o There is debate over whether there is violence suggested in the romantic pursuit, or whether it is a welcome pursuit o There is a lot of enthusiasm (‘happy’ is repeated) • A Pagan Sacrificial Ritual (Stanza 4) o Everybody has gone off to attend the ritual, leaving the town abandoned o Keats doesn’t focus on the revelry, but the abandoned town  He likes to deal with the absence of people (even as this exciting sacrifice is coming) o It is a contrast to the liveliness, the almost achievement of desire, and this silence • Cold Pastoral (Stanza 5) o On the one hand, he is complementing the urn, but is ambivalent about its effect on him o A pastoral goes back to Ancient literature that depicts a welcoming, bucolic, rural scene with harmony and music (pipers)
More Less

Related notes for English 2307E

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.