18 Jan 2022

Ode on A Grecian Urn by John Keats Summary and Introduction


Ode on a Grecian Urn

By John Keats


This ode is a masterpiece in English literature. It is most famous among Keats’ all odes. It is liked by literature students and scholars. It is said that Keats visited the British museum in 1817. There he saw a Grecian urn. Its beauty attracted him so much that he decided to write an ode on it. 

Here this thing must be cleared that there is no special urn found in the museum which can be attributed with Keats that he saw it and decided to compose a poem. Keats admired the scenes portrayed on the urn but he was unable to understand whether the characters on the Urn were humans or super humans.


In the first stanza of the ode, there are male people, not known if they are men or gods, playing bagpipe and small drums are chasing the women. But the women are trying to escape away from them. It seems as if a wild party is going on.


Second stanza of the poem continues the first stanza scene. The wild party is on full swing and the young people are singing and dancing with full enthusiasm and the young boys are trying to kiss the beautiful girls but all in vain.


In the third stanza of the poem, the poet addresses the trees and young men printed on the urn. The poet says that they will never lose their freshness, youth and beauty because this Grecian urn has made then immortal.


In the fourth Stanza, a young cow that is lowing, is being taken to an altar of a town which is beside of a river or a sea-shore. The cow is decorated with garlands.


The fifth stanza is about the urn itself. Keats addresses the urn and says that people living in this world will lose their beauty and lives. But the people on the urn are immortal. The urn is the friend of living people because it conveys the message that beauty is truth and truth beauty, the only reality to be known by the human beings.


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