"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"--that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know (Abrahams, 2000). This, of course, is a quotation borrowed from the enigmatic final two lines of "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats. This among the greatest problems of art (maybe the greatest is that truth is not beauty, beauty not truth. Nor is it all we must to know). "Ode on a Grecian Urn" contains the most debated two lines in all of Keats's poems. The precise significance and implication of these two lines remain disputed by everybody; nonetheless, Eliot (1932), a reviewer, considered them a blot on an otherwise striking ode.
Scholars have been incapable of coming to an agreement on to whom the final thirteen lines of the ode are referring. Hypothesis can be formulated for any of the four largely apparent possibilities, i.e. poet to reader, poet to urn, poet to figures on the urn and urn to reader. Additionally, this issue is bewildered by changes in quotation marks from the original manuscript of the poem and the 1820 printed publication. In fact, if any person asserts to discern what the two lines imply, in my opinion, they are not being completely honest.
The truth of the matter is that the penultimate Keats' concluding line, i.e. "Beauty Is Truth. Truth Beauty," is open to various construes. Keats might have wanted it that way in order to enhance the poem's feel of negative potential. Keats never tries to narrate precisely what this proclamation implies to his addressees probably since he, as the speaker, is tackling only the sensory experience of the urn. He has deliberately left the interpretation of this proclamation for the audience. He cannot glimpse through his experience when observing the urn to think what "Beauty is truth, truth beauty" essentially signifies in the rational world, so he leaves the interpretation to the audience. This state suggests that a facet unknown in human consciousness exists; a major component, or experience in the meaning of being human that cannot be grappled fully. This is something that is not merely present, but as well good. This state pertains to the whole ode as well as the finishing lines.
The dream on the urn is fixed, not shifting, and one where the lines come out as sensible
The state attributed in art is "beauty is truth, truth beauty," since art is a photograph, an instant in time. It is only within art that this is comprehended or even true. When we divorce ourselves from art and stand out of it, when the human awareness is flowing and non-static, and when circumstances crop up that are difficult, during these instances, it is difficult to comprehend the significance and meaning of Keats's line. Furthermore, it is challenging to know how truth and beauty are to be identified. This is where problems crop up, and does so in probing the outlines of beauty, as well as truth. In the end, Keats could be explaining that the reason why someone ought to be dedicated to crafting art is that it is the single dominion where "beauty is truth, truth beauty" is obvious, and where one may even have a likelihood of understanding concepts like these, if only for a passing moment.
This quote is a case of a literary expression called Chaismus where words or phrases are placed in reverse arrangement to lay emphasis. It tells about Keats's artistic idealism, 'beauty is truth', that what is beautiful is necessarily the truth. This is only in the idealistic art world where there exists no clash involving beauty and truth. The beauty in art is in itself sufficient proof of its truth. The next part is just a repetition of the initial part in inverted order. However, this Keats' ideal should not be interpreted from the point of view of the world outside art. In this world, it is impossible to accept that truth is necessarily beautiful. For example, it is true that the earthquake in Japan killed many people; however, this truth cannot be beautiful. In the world outside the still realms of art, that truth is not beauty, beauty not truth. Nor is it all we must to know.
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“Beauty is truth, truth beauty” Essay
767 Words4 Pages
Of the five odes written by John Keats, this ode was written to show the beauty of love through a work of art. This work of art is a Grecian Urn, one side adorned with a woman being pursued by a “bold lover” and on the other a priest leading a heifer to be sacrificed. The beauty of this poem is given in five stanzas of iambic pentameter with a two part rhyme scheme, giving the poem a sense of a two part structure and, furthermore, two meanings just as there are two sides of the urn. The manifest meaning is one of the picture being timeless and the love eternal, while the latent meaning is that of silence and how love can be expressed without word or sound. Keats begins this depiction of beauty in the first stanza by describing the woman,…show more content…
However, we are told not to grieve, for just as the lover will never reach his beloved, his beloved will never fade and “for ever wilt thou love”. In the third stanza, Keats repeats the word happy six times and “for ever” five times. The purpose of this is to exaggerate his message of timeless beauty. The urn will forever show the same scene of the trees in full bloom, never to “bid the Spring adieu”. “More happy love! More happy, happy love!”; describing the love of the young couple, Keats says that they will be “for ever warm”, “for ever panting”, and “for ever young”. In this, the speaker rejoices in the still moment, the love that will for ever remain frozen. The repetition of happy and exclamation points also seem to show Keats’ overly sentimental feeling for the trees’ condition, almost as if he is envious of their everlasting beauty (Trumann).
Until this point the reader has seen a single side of the urn. The fourth stanza of “Ode on a Grecian Urn” begins to show us other side of the urn, as if the speaker is holding the urn in his hand and turning it over to view the rest of the design. Full of questions, this stanza gives the feeling of confusion. The speaker is contemplating the purpose of the priest, the “garlands drest” heifer, and wondering about their destination. Another part of this scene depicts a town “emptied of its folk,” leaving the speaker to wonder what