English 1022E Lecture Notes - Beauty, Aestheticism, Authorial Intent

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Published on 16 Nov 2011
english lecture (ode on a grecian urn) november 25, 2010
John Keats: Ode Upon a Grecian Urn
On the Board:
Doctrine of Recollection
Platonic Forms/Ladder
Platonic Triad
“Intentional fallacy”
Pastoral: Classical, Christian
Classical Greece: Urn Makers>Urn>Keats>Ode>Reader :21st Century Canada
-There is a belief that we come with a knowledge of truths, but as we age we lose our
memories of these truths. This idea that children have this knowledge of the world that
adults don’t (In U.S.A there are lots of drawings portraying children with big, all seeing
eyes to show this idea)
-We looked at Wordsworths “Ode: Intimation of Immortality” p.1541. As time
goes by the physical gives way to the metaphysical. Contentment replaces
the glow, splendor and vision that a child has of the world. Children have
some special insight which is lost to us as adults.
-Platonic Forms and Platonic Ladder. Works in an upward movement. You get to love
one particular poetic landscape; you then will remember the beauteous forms of that
landscape and from that you build up an ideal landscape. This ladder takes you upwards
to ideal forms which exists in a remote world that we can remember slightly. Building
greater sense of abstraction we might call goodness. So that’s the doctrine of the ladder
ascending towards these ideal abstractions
-Platonic Triad:
-There are these three special abstractions we should focus on in our life:
goodness, truth and beauty. The ideal person has achieved a balance and
understanding of these three things and appreciates how they fit together.
Wordsworth and Keats is saturated in Platonism.
Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819-1820)
-Platonism became enormously influential in 19th century especially among people who
placed supreme value on art and beauty, who saw beauty to be the supreme thing to
strive for. Beauty is the supreme criterium for making judgements. If you regard
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