Imagination in Keats

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Imagination in Keats John Keats was writing in an era of romanticism where imagination, freedom, and innovation were becoming present in the writers of this time period. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a renowned poem written by Keats during the romantic era. If a person were to read any of Keats poems, one would realize that a newly emergent style is present in all of his works. "Ode on a Grecian Urn" exhibits signs of imagination through the work with the ideas it speaks about. Since imagination is the highest ideal and the most important thing in the world, Keats brings this idea to life with the descriptions of music, love, and youth. He wants the reader to imagine a world through the urn and not to see what would be present if the urn could act out the apparent scenes it portrays.

Keats writes about seeing a man playing the pipes and how sweet the music is.

The urn has placed a frozen image in time of people playing music and he writes about how the music is sweeter unheard. "For ever piping songs for ever new." To the speaker, the unheard song is forever new and wishes for the music not to play to the sensual ear for fear of damaging the thoughts of sweet music in his head. He is afraid that the beauty the urn exhibits will tell a greater tale then the image he sees. The speaker must believe that the imagination is the greatest thing because he wishes not to hear any of the music. He would rather look to the urn and see a man pictured smiling and staying on key then having the real thing present and playing.

The piping music is the ideal form of music...