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The Concept of Immortality in 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'

The solution takes up detailed discussion of:

- immortality of art
- the poet's interpretation of the scenes on
the Urn
- the immortality of love scenes
- autobiographical slant

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The Concept of Immortality in 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'

Immortality through the images of non-human form is a recurring theme with Keats. He was so devastated with the tragedies of his own life that he found solace in bird-form as in 'Ode to a Nightingale'; season, as in the ode 'To Autumn'; or in inanimate objects, as in 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'. The very first line of the Ode is an address to the Grecian Urn as "unravish'd bride of quietness" and "child of silence and slow time".

We have to perceive the Ode in line with the generic tradition of Ode writing. Ode is an inscription and normally it is addressed to the object. But here Keats has made a significant departure, since the Ode is not 'to' a Grecian Urn but 'on' a Grecian Urn.

This Ode has also been perceived from an aspect - normally not seen in other odes. The Grecian Urn is a figure of power that immortalizes the dead. In this manner, it resembles the 'nightingale' where the bird becomes an abstract 'nightingale' and an art object - the immortal bird. In this Ode, Keats broadens his vision and associates immortality to the plastic ...

Solution Summary

The Concept of Immortality in 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is emphasized.

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