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Ode on a Grecian Urn

Ode on a Grecian Urn


by John Keats

The Third Scene: A Sacrifice

Symbol Analysis

The scene of the priest leading a young female cow to be sacrificed seems to come out of nowhere after the steamy, agitated third stanza. What purpose does the scene serve? Is it necessary to the poem? Unlike the other two scenes, it has a more communal and religious atmosphere.

  • Line 31: The fourth stanza begins with a rhetorical question, as the speaker continues to ask about the events depicted on the urn.
  • Lines 32-34: Here’s a lovely example of pastoral imagery, which appeals to our mind’s eye with descriptions of a "green alter" and a "heifer lowing at the skies" with "silken flanks" dressed in flowers.
  • Lines 36-38: These lines contain imagery as the speaker imagines what the town might look like.
  • Lines 38-40: Boy this speaker is chatty. Now he’s addressing the "little town." You guessed it: it’s apostrophe.

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