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John Keats 1819 John Keats 1819 painted by his friend Joseph Severn painted by his friend Joseph Severn 1795 - 1821.

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Presentation on theme: "John Keats 1819 John Keats 1819 painted by his friend Joseph Severn painted by his friend Joseph Severn 1795 - 1821."— Presentation transcript:

1 John Keats 1819 John Keats 1819 painted by his friend Joseph Severn painted by his friend Joseph Severn

2 A man in his mid- twenties wearing a dark coat sitting on a hill one leg resting over another his head slightly tilted as if listening behind him a little hill A silent landscape

3 John Keats dying John Keats dying by Joseph Severn by Joseph Severn

4 English protestant cimitery in Rome, Keats s and Severns tomb Here lies one whose name was writ in water

5

6 After a life of tragedies Keats turned to poetry, Imbued with a sense of melancholy, death and Mortality. It was conceived as: the only means to defeat and overcome death. the only means to defeat and overcome death. Poetry should spring naturally from his inner soul it didnt have to contain a message or convey a philosophical theory but only to reproduce what his own imagination suggested to him…and Beauty struck his imagination it didnt have to contain a message or convey a philosophical theory but only to reproduce what his own imagination suggested to him…and Beauty struck his imagination

7 A. Archer (1819), The Temporary Elgin Room in the British Museum : Lord Elgin transported these Parthenon marbles into England and sold them to the British Museum ( )

8 Elgin marbles

9 ELGIN MARBLES

10 Every time he [Keats] went with Severn to the Sculpture Galleries, or to Picture Exhibitions, he learned something or gained some suggestive hint...He went again and again to see the Elgin marbles, and would sit for an hour or more at a time beside them rapt in revery...with eyes shining so brightly and face so lit up by some visionary rapture… Every time he [Keats] went with Severn to the Sculpture Galleries, or to Picture Exhibitions, he learned something or gained some suggestive hint...He went again and again to see the Elgin marbles, and would sit for an hour or more at a time beside them rapt in revery...with eyes shining so brightly and face so lit up by some visionary rapture… (Sharps biography of Keats)

11 SOSIBIOS VASE 50B.C. (Louvre)

12 main themes: His experience committed him to search for something unchangeable to balance the transience of life. His experience committed him to search for something unchangeable to balance the transience of life. Real perfection doesnt lie in life itself, which is subject to the passing of time, but in the immortality of art. The eternity of art can be the illusion for the poet, but he cant avoid suffering for the laws of life Real perfection doesnt lie in life itself, which is subject to the passing of time, but in the immortality of art. The eternity of art can be the illusion for the poet, but he cant avoid suffering for the laws of life Beautiful things will never die but will keep demonstrating their beauty for all time. Beautiful things will never die but will keep demonstrating their beauty for all time. Tthe contemplation of Beauty is the only consolation in a life of sorrow and sadness Tthe contemplation of Beauty is the only consolation in a life of sorrow and sadness

13 A thing of Beauty is a joy for ever A thing of Beauty is a joy for ever He was the forerunner He was the forerunner of the of the Aesthetic Movement Art for Arts sake Art for Arts sake Oscar Wilde

14 First known copy transcribed by Keats in 1820 by Keats in 1820

15 Type of poem: lyric poem Type of poem: lyric poemlyric poemlyric poem Type of lyric poem: ode Type of lyric poem: odeode

16 the "Romantic meditative ode." It is a complex meditation on the relationship between It is a complex meditation on the relationship between ART and LIFE ART and LIFE the atmosphere is full of feelings and emotions.

17 Keats's ode seeks to find a "classical balance" between two extremes : 1. the symmetrical structure of classical literature classical literatureclassical literature 2. the asymmetry of Romantic poetry. Romantic poetryRomantic poetry The use of the ABAB structure in the beginning lines of each stanza represents a clear example of structure found in classical literature The use of the ABAB structure in the beginning lines of each stanza represents a clear example of structure found in classical literature the remaining six lines appear to break with the traditional poetic styles of Greek and Roman odes the remaining six lines appear to break with the traditional poetic styles of Greek and Roman odes The first four lines of each stanza roughly define the subject of the stanza, and the last six explicate or develop it. The first four lines of each stanza roughly define the subject of the stanza, and the last six explicate or develop it.

18 This Ode is 1. composed of five stanzas of ten lines each stanzas divided in 3 parts: the first three stanzas describing one side of the urn stanza 4 describing the other side of the urn the conclusion

19 Imagination makes the vase live again

20 The narrator addresses the urn by saying: Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness! Thou foster-child of silence and slow time 1. because it is created from stone and It is silent but it can communicate better than words and It is silent but it can communicate better than words 2. As stone, time has little effect on it and it is such a slow process that it can be seen as an eternal piece of art TimeMotion The Urn is out of time, to underline this concept he uses 3 abstract words: Quietness Silence Slow Time

21 Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: personification: personification: bride bride foster –child foster –child sylvan historian sylvan historian The urn is capable of producing a story out of the time of its creation because a border of leaves encircles the vase because a border of leaves encircles the vase because the scene carved on the urn is set in woods. because the scene carved on the urn is set in woods.

22 Engraving by Piranesi Deities Mortals Gods Maidens Pursuit Struggle Escape Pipe Timbrels Ecstasy What can you see on the urn?

23 It is introduced the valley of Arcadia, a pastoral ideal world where gods and men live together What leaf-fringd legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? the world of Love is introduced the world of music The key- word is ECSTASY. Through the world of sensations represented by nature, love and music we reach the realm of imagination; it is beyond any rational state, it is a higher form of thought Art can communicate this sense of sublime

24 What is taking place in the urn? There is a pursuit and a strong sexual element The unfulfilled desire What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

25 What leaf-fringd legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? through questions How is the description of the Urn made? The description is based on contrasts: deities/ mortals, man / gods, pursuit / escape …the silence and quietness of the first part and the excitement of the second one

26 A link with the second stanza The unfulfilled desire "The unfulfilled desire prepares for the impossibility of fulfilment of stanza 2 (.. unravish'd bride, loth, struggle to escape ) Music and musicians are symbols of poetry and poets The melody accompanying the pursuit is intensified in the second stanza Although we cannot literally hear their music, by using our imaginations, we can imagine and thus hear it even better.

27 the poet looks at another picture on the urn, this time of a young man playing a pipe, lying with his lover beneath a tree Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd, Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: sensual conveys an idea of physical pleasure opposed to spiritual one caused by unheard melodies. The senses are more limited than creative imagination. the poet asks the pipers to play not for the sensual ear but for the spirit The poet says that unheard melodies are sweeter than mortal melodies because they are unaffected by time. The Urn, with the power of art, can go beyond the senses and lead us to a deeper level of perception. Beauty imagined is far superior to beauty perceived Expectation is better than fulfilment.

28 There is a stasis that prohibits the characters on the urn from ever being fulfilled stasis Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal – yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! Represents the songs out of the time Represents the eternal desire they represent the clash between reality and the ideal Art is the only thing that can hold a moment of happiness, fix it and make it eternal

29 Third stanza: the narrator begins by speaking to a tree: The poet envies the immortality of the lute players and trees because they shall never cease playing their songs, nor be bare. Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearied, For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoyd, For ever panting, and for ever young; Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearied, For ever piping songs for ever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoyd, For ever panting, and for ever young; FOR EVER immutability makes the anticipation of pleasure sweeter and more lasting than the consummated pleasure itself.

30 More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoyed, For ever panting and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. the eternal value of the urn, a joy for ever There is a difference between human physical love and the love anticipated and wished on the urn Human passions are negative while love experienced through art gives only pleasure.

31 A paradox the human figures carved into the side of the urn are : free from time free from time but simultaneously frozen in time. but simultaneously frozen in time. They do not have to confront aging and death (their love is for ever young) They do not have to confront aging and death (their love is for ever young) but they can not have experience (the youth can never kiss the maiden; the figures in the procession can never return to their homes). but they can not have experience (the youth can never kiss the maiden; the figures in the procession can never return to their homes).

32 In order to overcome this paradox of life and death, the poem shifts to a new scene with a new atmosphere. The fourth stanza opens with the sacrifice of a virgin cow, an image that appeared in the Elgin Marbles, suggesting suffering and sadness. In order to overcome this paradox of life and death, the poem shifts to a new scene with a new atmosphere. The fourth stanza opens with the sacrifice of a virgin cow, an image that appeared in the Elgin Marbles, suggesting suffering and sadness.

33 a cow an altar an altar A child playing the flute At the background Greek buildings Greek buildings carved statues carved statues the statue of Hermes the statue of Hermes Raphael's "The Sacrifice at LystraThe Sacrifice at Lystra

34 Who are these coming to the sacrifice? To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?

35 Claude Lorrains sacrifice to Apollo What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul to tell Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. They suggest an image of sadness.

36 Claude Lorrain: a view of Delfi with procession some scene are only imagined as emptied towns…., it stresses the fact that the urn is able to stimulate imagination and communicate feelings The questions are unanswered because there is no one who can ever know the true answers

37 The final stanza : the urn is a piece of inanimate object The final stanza : the urn is a piece of inanimate object O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold pastoral! Impassive and indifferent In front of it we are unable to think, we feel confused a rural environment

38 BORGHESE VASE ( Louvre ) : Dioniso and Arianna When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," -that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know Art with its beauty will always offer consolation it helps him to face the sorrow of living, accept the difficulties of life it reminds men of the possibility of escaping from their earthly reality into the eternal world of imagination

39 key-point of Keats s conception of beauty "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," -that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know True and beauty coexist in art, they are the same thing, nothing else can survive and preserve human passions.

40 Possible interpretation a work of art can give serenity, inner peace connected with the revelation of truth, so contemplation of beauty leads to truth. truth is the essential goal of knowledge as beauty is the essential goal of art, they both tend to the same result only through the beauty, revealed through an intense spiritual experience, we can come to know truth. Both truth and beauty are immortal

41 More… Imagination is both beauty and truth, since the inner meaning of the world can reveal itself only through a moment of ecstasy. Imagination is both beauty and truth, since the inner meaning of the world can reveal itself only through a moment of ecstasy. The Urn symbolises art and beauty, providing an escape from time, change and decay into eternity. The Urn symbolises art and beauty, providing an escape from time, change and decay into eternity. The role of art is not to describe specific but universal characters, which falls under the term "Truth". The role of art is not to describe specific but universal characters, which falls under the term "Truth". There is no knowledge through reason and logic There is no knowledge through reason and logic

42 NEGATIVE CAPABILITY The poet is not concerned with a moral judgement, he must have the ability to escape from and negate his own personality, and thus open himself fully to the complex reality around him. The poet is not concerned with a moral judgement, he must have the ability to escape from and negate his own personality, and thus open himself fully to the complex reality around him. The poet is passive, accepting things as they are, not trying to change or explain them. The poet is passive, accepting things as they are, not trying to change or explain them. The poet is not searching the ideal behind the real. The poet is not searching the ideal behind the real. He is submissive to sensations, not like Wordsworth and Coleridge. He is submissive to sensations, not like Wordsworth and Coleridge. the poet disappears from the work, the work itself chronicles an experience in such a way that the reader recognizes and responds to the experience without requiring the explanation of the poet. the poet disappears from the work, the work itself chronicles an experience in such a way that the reader recognizes and responds to the experience without requiring the explanation of the poet.

43 Physical versus Spiritual Beauty Physical beauty is caught in all its forms through the senses, not only sight and hearing, but touch too Physical beauty is caught in all its forms through the senses, not only sight and hearing, but touch too A thing of Beauty is a joy for ever, physical beauty is a stimulus to create a spiritual beauty: poetry, love, friendship. A thing of Beauty is a joy for ever, physical beauty is a stimulus to create a spiritual beauty: poetry, love, friendship. Physical beauty is limited in time, it decays and dies Physical beauty is limited in time, it decays and dies Spiritual beauty is eternal. Spiritual beauty is eternal. The beauty the poet has created lives on, poetry is the only way to defeat death The beauty the poet has created lives on, poetry is the only way to defeat death


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