Portland State University. Department of English
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Master of Arts (M.A.) in English
Keats, John, 1795-1821 Fall of Hyperion
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.
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Zenger, Amy A., "The Poetics of John Keats in “The Fall of Hyperion, a Dream”" (1997). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6354.