Keats's Political Romance - Endymion and Isabella
The aim of this paper is to examine Keats's engagement with the events and ideas of his day. Keats's poetry has too often been held apart as secluded bower of imagination. This is partly due to the fact that Keats's political and ideological comments are not announced, but are encoded figuratively and symbolically. It was traditional to read Endymion as a deliberate allegory, conceived more or less upon Platonic lines, of the poet's longing for and eventual union with the spirit of ideal beauty. But I view Endymion as a political romance rather than as an allegory. On this basis, the study investigates Keats's political comments as response to the politics of his contemporary England in Endymion. I treat Isabella as a critical romance and treatise on capitalists who exploit their workers in England and its colonies. The brothers of Isabella are in the business of emptying other men of all their life but the husk. In this sense, Keats reveals the fact that the oppressive political and economic conditions that define this world also move human society headlong toward fragmentation and finally to dissolution.
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