What poetic techniques are used in "Ode on a Grecian Urn"?

Many different poetic techniques are used in "Ode on a Grecian Urn," including apostrophe, personification, parallelism, antithesis, alliteration, metaphor, imagery, and symbolism.

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Keats uses the poetic device of apostrophe in this poem. Apostrophe occurs when an inanimate object is addressed as if it is alive. Keats addresses the urn in the first stanza, calling it:

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time
He then proceeds to ask it a series of questions, as if it can answer—an example of personification.
Keats also employs parallelism: in the final stanza he again returns to apostrophe, mirroring the first stanza in addressing the urn directly, stating:
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity
We get a sense of closure as the urn is depicting speaking back to the narrator, giving him a cryptic answer to his questions from stanza one about what it (the urn) means.

Keats also carefully structures the poem to reflect his rising emotion as he contemplates the urn and becomes more and more identified with it. The rise in emotion crescendos in the middle of the poem, in stanza three, as the speaker repeats the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 945 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 25, 2020
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