The Last Hope for Beauty In Truth Essay

The Last Hope for Beauty In Truth Essay

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Literature, as does philosophy and art, follows a continuous wave; with every the crest of a new era, there is a trough from the pervious era. When a new age of style and ideals surfaces, the ideas are often directly against the ideas of the previous period. The Romantic period was an era of emotion, it was no longer about logic or preciseness as it was during the time of Enlightenment period. Both artists and poets of the Romantic period, like John Keats, focused on the expression of feeling and demonstrated an affinity for nature. In John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” Keats brings to life images displayed on an ancient urn. The images, that become displayed in our minds, are of beauty, love, and happiness, all which have been conserved throughout the years despite the rise and fall of civilizations and kingdoms. This creation parallels the seemingly ideal and eternal world depicted on the urn, with the world Keats was born to live in. The truth that is extracted from this poem provides both answers and mysteries that, as T.S. Elliot explains, can either be seen as a “blemishing” factor or something truly profound. If it had not been for the upbringing Keats had growing up, his work would not have captured the same mastery it does now that is seen in his manipulation of sound, and use of rhetorical devices.
Keats endured many hardships during his short life, as if the death of his father alone was not enough, he also lost his mother and brother to tuberculosis (Marshall). Having the absence of family, Keats searched for something to fill in that void, that something was Fanny Brawne. Once engaged to her, Keats could not carry on with the marriage; reasons why, was that he did not think he was good enough for her because of hi...


... middle of paper ...


...f the life depicted on the urn, the eternal life he desires, he begins to recover his initial thought about eternity, “Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!” Right after that in stanza three Keats begins the go a little overboard with the happiness, almost as if he’s trying to convince himself that the beauty he sees in the life of eternity is true, “More happy love! more happy, happy love!” Keats’s tone depends on what phase he’s in, whether he’s realizing the reality of it all, or trying to find truth in what he sees as beautiful.


Works Cited

Hirst, Wolfz. John Keats. Boston: G.K. Hall Co., 1981. p.128-134.
Marshall, Kristine E., ed. “John Keats.” Elements of Literature. 6th Course. Boston: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1997.
Matlak, Richard E. “John Keats.” Critical Survey of Poetry. ed. Frank N. Magill. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Salem Press, 1982. p.1542-1558.

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