Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats

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How do the scenes depicted on the urn differ from real life?

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j-watson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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A great question that should be asked more often. If you read the poem in romantic terms, you might arrive at the following interpretation. The speaker in this poem is tired and bored with his era. The speaker is living during an era that is trapped into a system of values and THINKING that is not as exciting as the era of ancient greece.

Try to compare your life with school, friends, televsion, sports with the life of a boy or girl living in the ancient greek world. The boys and girls of the ancient greek world lived exciting lives filled with music, art, athletics, and love that were connected to the tales of the Greek gods.

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gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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An interesting question. The scenes on the urn appear in isolation; life always gets tangled with other things.

The scenes on the urn are perfect; life is not.

The scenes on the urn sum up specific elements of life really well. They are selected and symbolic. Life is not.

Most importantly, the scenes on the urn remain perfect, while life changes.

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