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Word Count: 1,125
Ode on a Grecian Urn John Keats portrays the theme of eternal innocence and the sufficiency of beauty throughout this poem The Grecian urn passed down through countless centuries to the time of the speakers viewing of it exists outside of time in the human sense - it does not age it does not die and it is alien to all such concepts In the speakers meditation this creates an intriguing paradox for the human figures carved into the side of the urn they are free from time but they are simultaneously frozen in time They do not have to confront aging and death their love is for ever young594 but neither can they have experience the youth can never kiss the maiden the figures in the procession can never return to their homes In the first stanza the speaker standing before an ancient Grecian urn addresses the urn preoccupied with its depiction of pictures frozen in time It is the still unravishd bride of quietness593 the foster-child of silence and slow time 593 He also describes the urn as a historian 593 which can tell a story He wonders about the figures on the side of the urn and asks what legend they depict and where they are from He looks at a picture that seems to depict a group of men pursuing a group of women and wonders what their story could be What mad pursuit What struggle to escape What pipes and timbrels What wild ecstasy 593 Using these words Keats makes the urn capture the picture of the chase before any sexual desires or intentions are fulfilled Since the urn ceases to describe anything past the chase itself the situation is purely innocent with beauty thus complying with the theme Also evident throughout the second and third stanzas is the theme of eternal innocence and beauty Keats views art as something that is eternal and lets you
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