Grecian Urn

Grecian Urn

  • Submitted By: kdamman
  • Date Submitted: 03/16/2009 4:14 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 985
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 279

The Unheard sounds of a Grecian Urn

(Intro needs work) (possible quote about the importance of sound?) An examination of Keat’s “Ode to a Grecian Urn” results in a discussion and understanding of sound language as it relates to the whole.

In the first stanza, the observer will notice the words “Silence” (line 3), “rhyme” (line 4), and “pipes and timbrels” (line 11). At first, these words by themselves seem innocuous; however, when one uses the lens of sound language how said language influences a holistic view of the poem, then they come into focus and can be used quite well as examples. For instance, when examining the word “Silence,” the capitalization of the first letter makes it a proper noun and a proper parent for the urn, as it—the urn—is referred to as Silence’s foster-child. Thus, Silence is personified and as such is elevated in importance. In addition, this word illustrated the lack of sound that exists in the urn now. All of the sound accredited to it is in the past; this view connects well with the idea of art describing art describing a scene of joy. The word “rhyme” in line 4 also contributes to this idea. The speaker says, “Sylvan historian, who canst thus express a flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme” (lines 3-4). These lines show that the response to the urn as an ode, to the speaker seems appropriate as it is art commenting on art. The last phrase, “pipes and timbrels” (line 11), refers to pipes and tambourines describes the action, the sound, the experience that is occurring on the urn. In this reference, the speaker is reflecting on the previous actions that are preserved for prosperity on the urn, which will contrast against the silent and quiet urn that exists. In the comparison between the two, one finds the hidden truth and moral story: life is circular; one either experiences it or is told about through art.

The second stanza continues this line of thought and reasoning. In this stanza, one finds the words “melodies”...

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