What Grecian Urn?

Keats’ engraving of the Greek Sosibios Vase, c. 1819. (Sources: Wikipedia; “Shakespeare Staging,” UC Berkeley). Critics agree that the urn in “Urn” was not intended as an exact representation of a particular object.

In addition, the Carlos Museum has a few beautiful artifacts from ancient Greece, including this krater (vase used to mix wine and water) and kylix (drinking cup). These containers all served ritual functions and represent mythical scenes, similar to the ones Keats describes. An urn would contain the ashes of someone wealthy and powerful. That morbid aspect, however, does not enter poem–or does it?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s