In the Romantic period, an element of Romantic poetry was a lack of convention for time and space.Through Keats poetic form, he brings to life scenes painted on a 2000-year-old urn and the spirit of the artist who created it.
In the poem Ode on a Grecian Urn, John Keats uses imagery, symbolism, and tone to advance the theme of forbidden love. It is soon brought into a sharp, detailed focus that the urn depicts two young lovers.
An assemblage of vigorous passion is compellingly portrayed on cold, motionless stone numerous times throughout the poem. "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave.
The urn, passed down through many centuries portrays the image that everything that is going on on the urn is frozen.
In the first stanza, the speaker, standing before an ancient Grecian urn uses apostrophe when he speaks to the urn as if it is alive.
He also describes the urn as a "historian," which In the second stanza, the speaker looks at another picture on the urn, this time of a young man playing a pipe, lying with his love beneath a tree.
The speaker says that the piper's "unheard" melody's are sweeter than to a mortal's ear or melody, because they are unaffected by time.To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?(Keats, II, 17-20) describes exactly what he can picture in his head as occurring were it a scene from real life.In this case, a man is trying to kiss his lover, and he is almost there, but both are frozen in time forever on this urn. With this, the reader is almost brought into the ode, viewing the urn with the narrator."Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone" (lns 11-4).The speaker describes the pictures as if they are frozen in time.It is the "still unravish'd bride of quietness," "foster-child of silence and slow time." He speaks to the urn and not about the urn, he treats the urn like it is listening to him like a human.He will never reach her to kiss her, but her beauty will never fade nor will his love for her.Another example of this is all of Stanza IV: Who are these coming to the sacrifice?