First Advisor

Deeanne Westbrook

Term of Graduation

Spring 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in English






Keats, John, 1795-1821 Fall of Hyperion



Physical Description

1 online resource (60 pages)


The Hyperion poems are Keats's epics. Like Wordsworth in The Excursion, in these poems Keats attempts to write an epic of the unexplored regions of the human mind. Unlike Wordsworth, however, Keats uses the narrative vocabulary of Hellenic myth--a vocabulary already at hand--but alters it to suit his own purposes. As they are concerned with the mind, these poems deal with the same issues that characterize contemporary debates about the relation of mind to language, issues that illuminate what these poems are about as much as they illuminate Keats's own use of language and theory of poetry.

This essay reads "The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream" in light of these contemporary ideas and in conjunction with Keats's poems and letters. The reading concludes that Keats saw poetic language--figurative, sonorous, sensual--as the most powerful means to speculation, which he claimed to be the end of poetry. For him, the end of poetry was not imitation, and the focus of poetic activity was not the construction of a product: the poem. Rather, poetic activity was sensual and spiritual engagement with the world, and the residue of that engagement was the poetic text.


In Copyright. URI:

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier