Interpretation of “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats

Interpretation of “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats
Read "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats, which is included within
this packet. It is a poem that combines the arts of poetry and pottery,
the literary with the visual. Type a paper that is approximately two
pages explaining what the poem means. Cite specific lines and
interpret them to the best of your ability. You will be graded on honesty,
insights, as well as, spelling, syntax, structure, and the clarity of the
expression of your ideas.
John Keats (1795 – 1821) was an early 19th c. English Romantic poet
who loved the culture and art of the ancient Greeks. He was also friend
of Lord Byron who advocated a rebirth of Greece, which, at that time,
was under Turkish rule. Keats, who was only 25 when he died of
tuberculosis, may have been inspired to write this poem when he
visited the British Museum which recently acquired the Elgin Marbles
and had examples of Classical Greek vase paintings. The poem is the
product of his vivid imagination.
Intellectual honesty is extremely important in writing this paper. Avoid
looking up the meaning online. Instead, submit the paper to Paraphrase, rather that quote the poem to avoid a
high percentage of plagiarism. Think of opposing themes like “life
vs. art”, or “temporary vs. eternal” as a way to guide your discussion.
Also, what does Keats mean about the relationship between “truth and
beauty”? While being mindful of proper writing mechanics, be true to
your own voice in your writing style.
Above all, as hard as it may seem, try to savor this poem. It is one of
the greatest English masterpieces of creative writing.