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Ode on a Grecian Urn

Ode on a Grecian Urn


by John Keats

Ode on a Grecian Urn Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

The Romantics, and Keats in particular, did for the modern ode what Bach did for the fugue or what Bill Gates did for the personal computer. It’s their turf, and you can’t step on it wi...


Our speaker is too good for this world. He has his head so far in the clouds it’s a wonder he’s not in outer space. He’s the very definition of the word "Romantic." For one thing,...


"Ode on a Grecian Urn" has two settings: the speaker’s world and the world of the urn. Compared to the fantasy on the urn, the speaker’s world feels small and intimate: it consists of t...

Sound Check

Have you ever fooled around with a radio by turning the volume dial up and down, up and down? That’s what hearing this poem is like. You’ve got the same basic "song" playing underneath:...

What's Up With the Title?

It wasn’t terribly common to see the word "Ode" in a title until the Romantics came along in the 19th century. The Romantics delivered literary CPR to this ancient form and made it their own...

Calling Card

What the heck does "anachronistic diction" mean? "Diction" is the way someone talks, and "anachronistic" refers to something that belongs to another time. If some girl were to show up to class in a...


The Romantic poets were often accused of sacrificing clarity of meaning for the sake of sound, and this poem makes that trade-off in several places, notably the end. Also, it uses old-fashioned wor...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

You only have to scratch the surface of this old-fashioned sounding poem to discover the steamy, pulsing, "panting" heart beneath.

Shout Outs

Grecian Urn (title)Sylvan (line 3)Tempe (line 7)Arcady (line 7)

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