Voice and Audience in "Ode on a Grecian Urn"Explore who the voice of the poem is and whom it is addressed to. Is there more than one possibility?

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suman1983 | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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An apparent supervision of ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ reveals that the voice of the poem is that of the poet.  However many critics do contradict with this observation. Many scholars do take into consideration the last two ambiguous lines: ""Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty,"—that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know” and argue that this is the voice of the urn. There are also a number of critics who say that the last two lines are reader's response. However, most of the critics do believe that in the poem there is a singular voice and that voice is the voice of the poet. According to this interpretation the last two lines are addressed to the urn by the poet. The “Ye” of the final line refers to the urn and ““Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty”” is a knowledge that the urn communicates to the poet through its “Attic shape”.

 

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