Ode on a Grecian Urn Questions and Answers
by John Keats

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How does John Keats's Poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" illustrate Romanticism?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The previous post was very strong.  If I may jump to the concluding lines, which are some of the most quote lines in all of poetry:  "Beauty is truth, truth beauty-- that is all/ Ye know on earth, and ye need to know."  These two lines embrace so much of the Romantic philosophy with which Keats is so largely associated.  I would suggest that the initial Romantic ideals within this couplet would be the very praising of beauty.  For the Romantic thinkers, the individual expression and articulation of that which is beautiful provides meaning to the individual consciousness.  There is little else for a Romantic thinker that resides outside of the cherishing and seeking out of beauty in all of its forms. The world is replete with it, and thus, the Romantic thinker has an obligation to find and extol it.  Keats' ending reminds the Romantic of this need in existence.  Another Romantic concept which is present in the closing lines to Keats' poem is the idea of negative capability.  An...

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mwestwood, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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