TRUTH IS BEAUTY BEAUTY TRUTH…
“Truth is Beauty and Beauty is truth”- This line in Keats” ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn” has put many a scholar puzzled and baffled. Pundits are forwarding their own stands but it is still an unwrought Urn. As in the poem these last lines are within inverted commas, it seems this declaration of a paradox is not of the poet but of some other force, could be the Omnipotent. Even if it is so for what reason would God pronounce such a paradoxical and ambiguous lines? The punctuation in the poem has put all into a mess. Now we can not either nullify this statement is not of the poet’s himself.
Let’s be a bit elaborate here. In our mundane life we are not always ready to accept this concept or discourse. Sure enough, both beauty and truth share some affinity with each other. But in the larger sense, as we go on applying this idea in each and every aspect of our dealings, it appears self contradictory. With concrete examples- A girl/boy is extremely ugly to look at, and this is the true fact. Shall we call the girl/boy beautiful/handsome? Or is it a case of Beauty? Certainly common minds would not agree to this. Secondly, if a person is appareled in the costliest and prettiest of it and looks killing all around we jump down to define that girl a beautiful one. But later it was discovered that the person’s look was artificial or all made up of. This is beauty but is it a Truth too?
Now where does the point of coherence or affinity between Truth and Beauty align? The more we try to tune them up the more they distance from each other. Sure enough for all the souls who have already demarcated lines between Truth and Beauty.
Then let’s hold it an aesthetic Beauty and an established Truth. But here too a problem pops up as far as aesthetics is concerned it is intricately associated with beauty not with truth. But again hypothetical truth also gives birth to beauty. In such case our inference would fail us.
One illustration perhaps should clear this puzzle to a little extent. Granted the actress Hema Malini is a beautiful woman and at the same time she is true too. But her beauty would decay with her death, what would remain is her essence and this mirage finally mingles with the truth that her death was imminent. So it applies here that even death (concept of death) itself is beautiful.
Well, the riddle is unfolding. At this point both Truth and Beauty assimilate and give us a sense of one Truth- God. As all thing is subject to decay for Hema Maliny’s existence too was not true as she died and no truth of her being on this Earth gives a proof. Now both the concepts ‘Beauty is truth and truth Beauty” broaden into infinity and absorb with the concept of Spirituality and spirituality is the essence of God.
The entire idea is complex and hence difficult for all to understand the paradox. For me, Keats perhaps had held a more subliminal notion and the quoted lines seem to be the speech of the all mighty God.
Tried my own analysis. If you have anything to add or remove, you are welcome.
RAJIV. The eighteenth day of the month December. 07.