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February 19, 2007

Silence: Good, Bad, or Both?

Kent, ''On the Third Stanza of Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"In these opening two stanzas silence is proposed as superior to language, the art of the urn to the art of the poet, life on the urn to life on earth" (114).

I found this assessment interesting because this means that the speaker of the poem is practicing an art that is identified as inferior to the speakers own work. Yet, according to Kent later, "Silent inexpression is no asset but an inhuman deficiency" (115). This really does show how the third stanza is paradoxical to the earlier stanzas. I think Kent did a decent job of taking on the formalist critical approach without going overboard.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 19, 2007 6:45 PM


I did not read it that way. You make a strong point and I thank you for opening up a new idea to me.

Posted by: Mitchell Steele at February 22, 2007 4:18 PM

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