Keats’ Ode To A Grecian Urn and Shelley’s Hymn To Intellectual Beauty

This paper contends that Shelley’s vision was limited as compared to Keats’.

It might have been his love for Fanny Brawne, a flare of genius, or only the springtime. But that spring, John Keats placed himself among the great English poets. He did it with all the great odes and the others .. The Eve of St. Agnes, The Eve of St. Mark, La Belle Dame sans Merci. It was the spring of 1819, a bright time, and the spring before Keats started dying.. Keats was twenty.four years old, and he would not live to see two more such springs. When it was all over, John Keats was left suspended in English poetry, charming and imperishably adolescent, timeless and enduring like the frieze on a Greek vase is timeless because it suspends a moment of heightened life.

In this spring, Keats wrote Ode on a Grecian Urn, perhaps the best of the odes and possibly the best of all his work, for it catches and holds in brief all that Keats had been trying to …