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Keats and the problem of evil : a study of the influence of the Timaeus on Keats’ mythological vision St. Pierre, Martha 1981

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KEATS AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL:  A STUDY  OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE TIMAEUS ON KEATS' MYTHOLOGICAL VISION by MARTHA ST. PIERRE  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the. r e q u i r e d  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July, 1981 0  Martha St. Pierre 1981  In p r e s e n t i n g requirements  this thesis  British  it  freely available  for  Columbia,  I agree  that  f o r reference  permission  scholarly  f u l f i l m e n t of the  f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y  of  agree that  in partial  the L i b r a r y  shall  and s t u d y .  I  f o r extensive  p u r p o s e s may  for  that  shall  of this  It is thesis  n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  permission.  Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  thesis  be g r a n t e d by t h e h e a d o f my  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  f i n a n c i a l gain  further  copying of t h i s  d e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . understood  make  Columbia  written  Abstract  KEATS AND THE PROBLEM OF E V I L : A STUDY OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE TIMAEUS ON KEATS' MYTHOLOGICAL VISION ST.  PIERRE, M a r t h a  The  University  Adviser:  J.  of B r i t i s h  Columbia,  Geoffrey Durrant  Critics  have d e c l i n e d t o a c k n o w l e d g e t h e  o f P l a t o n i s m on K e a t s ' p o e t r y e x c e p t form.  I98I  Close analysis  i n i t s most  o f a contemporary  influence rudimentary  translation  of P l a t o ' s  T i m a e u s , however, r e v e a l s many c o n n e c t i o n s between K e a t s ' thought  and  contends  the mythology  that  Thomas T a y l o r ' s t r a n s l a t i o n  on t h e T i m a e u s u n d e r l i e o f K e a t s ' H y p e r i o n and later  develops It  importance  mythology It was  the  the  system  o f and  of soul-making  he  commentaries  t h e p o e t b e f o r e 1818  i s forced  Keats  letter. decries  o f " p h i l o s o p h y , " b u t when t h e p r o b l e m him,  thesis  o f s a l v a t i o n which  of  the evil  t o c o n f e s s h i s need t o  the world w i t h i n a p h i l o s o p h i c a l  framework.  The  o f t h e T i m a e u s p r o v i d e s him w i t h s u c h a f r a m e w o r k . cannot  be p r o v e n  a b s o l u t e l y perhaps  d e p e n d e n t u p o n t h e T i m a e u s i n h i s own  there  This  much o f t h e m y t h o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e  i n his vale  i s true that  comes t o h a u n t understand  of the d i a l o g u e .  appears  and  Keats  myth-making,  t o be a number o f v e r y d i r e c t  d i a l o g u e on h i s l e t t e r s  that  influences  on H y p e r i o n --  these  but of  are  o u t l i n e d i n Chapters Two  and Three.  What i s of most  tance i n the study o f Keats' mythology  i s the way  impor-  i n which  the poet e v e n t u a l l y reshapes and moves beyond P l a t o n i s m to answer the problem of e v i l and to e s t a b l i s h a mythology h i s own,  a mythology  of  which f i n d s embodiment i n the v a l e of  soul-making and i n the odes o f 181°. Chapter One who  t r a c e s the growth of Keats from a poet  p r e f e r s to d e l i g h t i n s e n s a t i o n s to one who  philosophic truth.  seeks  I t e s t a b l i s h e s h i s r e l i g i o u s and p h i l o -  sophic b e l i e f s before and a f t e r the problem o f e v i l ( r e c o r d e d i n March 1818)  i s brought home to him, and i n d i c a t e s how  m o d i f i e s on ^'builds upon those b e l i e f s . Many Apartments  In the Mansion  and the March of I n t e l l e c t  letter,  he  of  Keats  i n t r o d u c e s the a l l e g o r i e s which l a t e r become the b a s i s o f the mythology  of Hyperion.  Chapter Two  e x p l o r e s the process of Keats' myth-  making i n Hyperion and r e v e a l s to what extent the poet depends upon the Timaeus t o answer the problem o f e v i l . determined t o show how  Keats i s  the P r i n c i p l e o f Beauty i s i n h e r e n t  i n the world, '.and .he \adopts the P l a t o n i c world-view to e x p l a i n that m o r t a l i t y and m u t a b i l i t y are r e a l l y  calculated  towards a g r e a t e r good, are not t o be c o n s i d e r e d e v i l s .  The  p h i l o s o p h i c argument, s u s t a i n e d i n the s t r u c t u r e of the poem, f a l l s apart on the emotional l e v e l , however:  Keats' t r a g i c  v i s i o n as e x e m p l i f i e d i n the T i t a n s i s not compensated by the p h i l o s o p h i c argument. a mythology  The f a i l u r e o f Hyperion t o b u i l d  induces the poet to r e a s s e s s the problem of e v i l ,  iv  to  rework  the  i t s p a r a m e t e r s , and t h e e f f o r t  resolution The  leads f i n a l l y to  o f t h e p r o b l e m a n d t o K e a t s ' own  final  c h a p t e r e s t a b l i s h e s how, f r o m t h e P y t h a -  g o r e a n concept o f s o u l f o u n d i n t h e Timaeus, his  theology o f soul-making.  moves f a r beyond  the  i s able  problem The  and  finally  B u t a l t h o u g h P l a t o n i s m i s aban-  to define  odes  should not  h i s own p h i l o s o p h y , t o answer  of 1819 are a s e r i e s  one more a p p r o p r i a t e  explains the r o l e  of e v i l  o f myths w h i c h  I n e a c h one K e a t s Greek  develop  i l l u s t r a t e s the  theology, o f f e r i n g  in its  t o modern E n g l a n d , one w h i c h i n man's p e r s o n a l  we a r e t o know K e a t s ' m y t h o l o g y , turn.  of Keats  of evil.  weaknesses o f t r a d i t i o n a l  must  of the poet's  i n m e a s u r i n g h i s own i d e a s a g a i n s t i t ,  sustain Keats' v i s i o n .  stead  His- s y s t e m o f s p i r i t - c r e a t i o n  i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n to the thought  be u n d e r e s t i m a t e d : Keats  Keats develops  P l a t o n i s m and becomes t h e b a s i s  own, i n d e p e n d e n t m y t h o l o g y . doned,  mythology.  salvation.  i t i s t o t h e odes t h a t  If we  V  Table o f Contents  Acknowledgement I. II. III.  INTRODUCTION:  vi THE PROBLEM STATED  1  THE MYTHOLOGY OF HYPERION  2-3  THE VALE OF SOUL-MAKING AND KEATS' OWN MYTHOLOGY  68  Notes  114  Bibliography  126  vi  Acknowledgement  I wish t o express my h e a r t f e l t g r a t i t u d e f o r the d i r e c t i o n and encouragement g i v e n to me hy my t h e s i s v i s o r G e o f f r e y Durrant.  Martha S t . P i e r r e  super-  1  CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION:  THE PROBLEM STATED  To approach Keats' poetry i n terms o f a p h i l o s o p h i c a l concern such as the problem o f e v i l might be cons i d e r e d a s p u r i o u s endeavour, f o r Keats r e s i s t e d  aligning  h i m s e l f with any p a r t i c u l a r p h i l o s o p h i c a l system and d i s l i k e d the "consecutive r e a s o n i n g " such systems n e c e s s i t a t e d . The p r e s e n t study, a c c o r d i n g l y , i s not e s s e n t i a l l y p h i l o s o p h i c a l , f o r , when the problem o f the presence to  haunt the poet  o f e v i l comes  i n the y e a r s 1818 and 1819» while he  r e c o g n i z e s i t as a " p h i l o s o p h i c a l " problem r e q u i r i n g i n t e n s e thought  and v i s i o n to r e s o l v e , h i s mind i n i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  f a s h i o n p e r c e i v e s the s u b j e c t i n p o e t i c a l terms:  Keats uses  a l l e g o r y and mythology to r e c o r d both h i s understanding t h a t t h e r e i s p a i n and misery " p h i l o s o p h i c a l " acceptance  i n the world and h i s e v e n t u a l  o f the f a c t .  P l a t o n i s m comes to  p l a y a major r o l e i n Keats' t h i n k i n g , and i t i s my  belief  that i t i s the Timaeus, the dialogue which t r e a t s i t s s u b j e c t i n m y t h o l o g i c a l and not s t r i c t l y p h i l o s o p h i c a l terms, which r e c o r d s the g e n e r a t i o n o f the u n i v e r s e i n symbolic, m y s t i c a l and t h e o l o g i c a l p a t t e r n s , t h a t most i n f l u e n c e s the ppet. Keats' m y t h o l o g i c a l v i s i o n , as we s h a l l see when we come to  look a t Hyperion and the odes o f 1819, i s p r o f o u n d l y  2  i n f l u e n c e d by the P l a t o n i c world-view as set out i n the Timaeus. The  e d i t i o n of the dialogue  f i r s t read was dialogues,  which Keats  probably  Thomas T a y l o r ' s t r a n s l a t i o n of f o u r P l a t o n i c  i n c l u d i n g the C r a t y l u s , the Phaedo and  Parmenides as w e l l as the Timaeus. l a t e r knew the 180^  the  I t h i n k t h a t Keats  e d i t i o n which c o n t a i n s  extensive  notes  by T a y l o r on the Timaeus, and  t h a t the commentary f u r t h e r  i n f l u e n c e d Keats' mythology.  C r i t i c s f o r the most p a r t  r e f u s e t o acknowledge any and Keats' poetry,  but,  connection  between T a y l o r ' s work  c o n s i d e r i n g the d i v e r s i t y and amount  of T a y l o r ' s w r i t i n g and  i n f l u e n c e , i t would be s u r p r i s i n g  were Keats not to have met  with h i s work.  T a y l o r was  s i n g l e most i n f l u e n t i a l P l a t o n i s t of Keats' time, and  the there  are many examples i n the poet's w r i t i n g s t h a t a t t e s t to a s u b s t a n t i a l knowledge of Platonism. prominent s t a t u s of Platonism  i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l  ment of the time being what i t was, could have been a c q u i r e d  I t i s true that,  the  environ-  much of t h i s knowledge  from sources other than T a y l o r ;  however, Benjamin B a i l e y , whom the poet v i s i t e d at Oxford i n the autumn of 1817, and  owned a copy of the 1793 t r a n s l a t i o n ,  the i n t e r e s t he had  have induced  i n P l a t o at the time c o u l d very  Keats to read the volume.  well  There i s evidence to  suggest t h a t Keats had knowledgeoof at l e a s t the Parmenides as w e l l as the Timaeus,  2  but  i t was  the l a t t e r which would  have most a f f e c t e d the young poet and  former m e d i c a l  student.  3  I t i s not a s t o n i s h i n g t h a t he who would d i e i n 6 hours c o u l d p l a n s he brought t o c o n c l u s i o n s . -- the l o o k i n g upon the Sun the Moon the S t a r s , the E a r t h and i t s contents as m a t e r i a l s to form g r e a t e r t h i n g s -- that i s e t h e r e a l things3 would be f a s c i n a t e d by the dialogue on the f i r s t page o f h i s  which, as T a y l o r  states  Introduction,  v i n d i c a t e s t o i t s e l f the whole o f p h y s i ology, and i s conversant from b e g i n n i n g t o end with the s p e c u l a t i o n o f the u n i v e r s e ; ... s p e c u l a t i n g the same t h i n g s i n images and exemplars, i n wholes and i n p a r t s ; ... and i t leaves none o f the primary causes unexplored.  (3^9)  But w h i l e Keats might have read and a s s i m i l a t e d the dialogue at  Oxford, h i s n a t u r a l i n c l i n a t i o n s bade him r e j e c t the  influence of p h i l o s o p h i c a l speculation. I t i s necessary I t h i n k to see Keats as he evolves from a poet who d e l i g h t s only i n s e n s a t i o n s  to.one who  hungers v o r a c i o u s l y a f t e r t r u t h , f o r i t p o i n t s out how overwhelmingly h i s sudden v i s i o n o f the presence o f e v i l a f f e c t s him.  To i n s i s t  after his c r i s i s organic  urgently  t h a t Keats changes completely  i n March 1818 would-be t o d i s t o r t the  q u a l i t y o f h i s mind and to deny the many other  which mature him as a man and as a poet.  factors  I t i s nevertheless  true t h a t Keats p e r i o d i c a l l y underwent c r e a t i v e renewals, u s u a l l y e a r l y i n the year ( i n February 1'819, f o r i n s t a n c e , he i s w a i t i n g f o r the s p r i n g to rouse him so t h a t he can  4  f i n i s h Hyperion)  and t h a t a marked change i n him occurs i n  March and A p r i l 1818.  I would l i k e i t borne i n mind, though,  t h a t while I emphasize the c h r o n o l o g i c a l movement of Keats' thought  hy means of c e r t a i n key l e t t e r s because I t h i n k i t  s i g n i f i c a n t i n understanding later,  I am not unmindful  the poems to be d e a l t with  of the v i t a l i t y and wholeness of  Keats' i m a g i n a t i o n . We  are f o r t u n a t e t h a t the poet wrote so  oftennand  so t h o u g h t f u l l y to B a i l e y a f t e r h i s v i s i t to Oxford. was  Bailey  a student of theology, i n t e n s e l y committed to p h i l o s o -  phical studies.  I t i s e v i d e n t t h a t he d i d not approve o f  Keats' expressed p r e f e r e n c e f o r the sensuous, and i t would not be unreasonable  to assume t h a t he endeavoured to show  the poet the e r r o r s of h i s p o e t i c and t h e o l o g i c a l ways.  As  a r e s u l t , we have Keats defending h i s p o s i t i o n as a poet u n i n t e r e s t e d i n p h i l o s o p h y and as a man  detached  fromhhis  friend's r e l i g i o u s opinions. One  of the most s t r i k i n g f e a t u r e s of Keats' c o r r e s  spondence f o l l o w i n g h i s v i s i t  i s h i s conscious attempt  separate h i m s e l f as f a r as p o s s i b l e from i n i t s p e j o r a t i v e sense  to  "philosophy" which  ( f o r Keats) appears  t o mean a c l o s e d  system of i d e a s which by i t s very nature excludes the value of experiences not i n conformity warth i t s t e n e t s , and " p h i l o s o p h i z i n g , " a r e a s o n i n g p r o c e s s employing  from  the r a t i o n a l  f a c u l t y over the i m a g i n a t i v e (or i n t u i t i v e or n a t u r a l ) . uses the term  "philosophy" very l o o s e l y , sometimes merely  Keats as  5  a synonym f o r thought  or knowledge; however, i t i s c l e a r  t h a t when he i s r e j e c t i n g reasoned  "philosophy," he i s r e j e c t i n g  and t h e o r e t i c a l l y - b a s e d knowledge, not a l l thought.  His e v i d e n t d i s l i k e f o r p h i l o s o p h y goes hand-in-hand w i t h h i s c o n c e p t i o n of negative c a p a b i l i t y and h i s r e s o l u t i o n to d e f i n e h i m s e l f as a poet i n the Shakespearean mode as opposed to the Wordsworthian -- to be a poet content to r e s t i n u n c e r t a i n t i e s and m y s t e r i e s without  " i r r i t a b l e reaching  a f t e r f a c t and reason," r a t h e r than one who  bullies his  r e a d e r s i n t o a c e r t a i n p h i l o s o p h y and whose p o e t r y has a "palpable d e s i g n . "  Keats' d e t e r m i n a t i o n to d i s t a n c e h i m s e l f  from the r e a s o n i n g p r o c e s s , to f e a s t on s e n s a t i o n s r a t h e r than thoughts,  i s extreme; i n the l e t t e r s of e a r l y 1818  he  maintains t h a t he i s a poet and not a reasoner and that he cares not to be i n the r i g h t .  His repeated i n s i s t e n c e  on  h i s autonomy as a poet i s no doubt i n answer t o B a i l e y ' s c o n t e n t i o n t h a t p h i l o s o p h i c a l thought poets as w e l l as clergymen.  i s i m p e r a t i v e -- f o r  B a i l e y ' s deep r e s p e c t f o r  M i l t o n and Wordsworth probably d e r i v e s from t h e i r p r a c t i c e of d e a l i n g w i t h i n formal e t h i c a l Keats was  structures.  not of course without a p h i l o s o p h i c a l  p o s i t i o n , but he came by i t more i n t u i t i v e l y than systematically.  The poet's l e t t e r s r e v e a l him to be a product  the e m p i r i c i s m and s c e p t i c i s m of the e i g h t e e n t h century  of and  t h e i r d e r i v a t i v e , n a t u a l r e l i g i o n (or Deism, L e i g h Hunt's " r e l i g i o n of the Heart")  Keats' l e t t e r of November  1'817  6  to B a i l e y i l l u s t r a t e s h i s adherence t o the p r i n c i p l e s o f n a t u r a l r e l i g i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y to the d o c t r i n e t h a t a f f e c t i o n s , p a s s i o n s and s e n s a t i o n s a r e mental d i s p o s i t i o n s which proceed from the heart and are the "basis o f man's knowledge., e t h i c a l and  divine: I am c e r t a i n of n o t h i n g but the h o l i ness o f the Heart's a f f e c t i o n s and the t r u t h o f Imagination — What the i m a g i n a t i o n s e i z e s as Beauty must be t r u t h — whether i t e x i s t e d before or not -- f o r I have the same Idea o f a l l our P a s s i o n s as of Love t h a t they are a l l i n t h e i r sublime, c r e a t i v e o f e s s e n t i a l Beauty — ... I have never y e t been able t o p e r c e i v e how any t h i n g can be known f o r t r u t h by c o n s e q u i t i v e r e a s o n i n g — and y e t i t must be -- Can i t be t h a t even the g r e a t e s t P h i l o s o p h e r ever a r r i v e d a t h i s g o a l without p u t t i n g a s i d e numerous o b j e c t i o n s -- However i t may be, 0 f o r a L i f e o f Sensations r a t h e r than o f Thoughts! ( I , 184-85)  The  " n a t u r a l i s m " o f Keats' views r e s t s i n h i s b e l i e f i n  the i n d i v i d u a l ' s a b i l i t i e s t o understand apprehension  t r u t h by h i s  o f beauty and t o c r e a t e e s s e n t i a l beauty by  means o f h i s p a s s i o n s .  T r u t h i s not an a b s o l u t e  existing  o u t s i d e man's domain only t o be comprehended by c o n s e c u t i v e r e a s o n i n g , but i t i s something which l i e s w i t h i n man's powers o f c r e a t i o n :  "What the i m a g i n a t i o n s e i z e s as Beauty  must be t r u t h -- whether i t e x i s t e d before or not."  Keats'  p r e f e r e n c e f o r a '.Life, o f Sensations may have shocked h i s f r i e n d B a i l e y (although he was a f o l l o w e r o f the "moral sense p h i l o s o p h e r s " ) , ^ but i t was a l e g i t i m a t e p h i l o s o p h i c a l stance.  7  The  l e t t e r has l i t e r a r y and a e s t h e t i c r a m i f i c a t i o n s  as w e l l as t h e o l o g i c a l , among them Keats' c o n c e p t i o n o f negative  c a p a b i l i t y , the seeds of which can be found i n  h i s comparison o f Men o f Genius and Men o f Power, i n h i s unwillingness  to a s s e r t h i m s e l f too much, t o have any  determined c h a r a c t e r :  he i s " c e r t a i n o f n o t h i n g  but the  h o l i n e s s o f the Heart's a f f e c t i o n s and the t r u t h o f Imagina t i o n " ; he w i l l not take an unswerving stand a g a i n s t  phil-  osophy or thought, but w i l l merely s t a t e h i s p r e f e r e n c e f o r sensations.  A great d e a l o f what l i e s behind Keats' r e l u c -  tance t o a s s e r t c a t e g o r i c a l l y the t r u t h o f what he b e l i e v e s stems from h i s d i s l i k e o f a u t h o r i t a r i a n i s m i n any g u i s e , whether i t be Wordsworthian b u l l y i n g or B a i l e y ' s C h r i s t i a n i t y (see  "In Disgust  o f Vulgar S u p e r s t i t i o n " ) .  He p r e f e r s the  freedom o f n a t u r a l r e l i g i o n which l e a v e s man unencumbered by dogma and f r e e to a c t as a n a t u r a l  being.  E x a c t l y what Keats' " n a t u r a l r e l i g i o n " was would be impossible  t o know:  Deism was c e r t a i n l y not a s t a t i c ,  orthodox r e l i g i o n but one i n which d o c t r i n e tended t o a l t e r with the i n d i v i d u a l .  However, we do know o f h i s never-  f a i l i n g f a i t h i n a beneficent  Creator  who gave us the beauty  of the n a t u r a l world, the a f f e c t i o n s w i t h which t o p e r c e i v e i t and the i m a g i n a t i o n  w i t h which t o t r a n s l a t e i t s n a t u r a l  beauty i n t o m e t a p h y s i c a l beauty and t r u t h .  While he does  not s t a t e e x p l i c i t l y what r e l a t i o n the p h y s i c a l world bears to the m e t a p h y s i c a l realm (the world o f " e s s e n t i a l " . b e a u t y ) ,  8  we  can assume t h a t Keats h e l d the two  both to p a r t i c i p a t e i n r e a l being: not simply  to be c o e x i s t e n t  and  the m a t e r i a l world  was  a d e c e i t f u l r e f l e c t i o n of an i d e a l one.  mion's i d e a t h a t we  Endy-  can step i n t o "a s o r t of oneness," "a-  f e l l o w s h i p d i v i n e , a f e l l o w s h i p with essence"- by v i r t u e of our f e e l i n g s i n d i c a t e s an i n t i m a t e two  connection  realms, as does Keats' " a l l e g r o "  between the  Ode:  Bards of P a s s i o n and of M i r t h , Ye have l e f t your s o u l s on e a r t h ! Have ye s o u l s i n heaven too, Double l i v e d i n r e g i o n s new? Yes, and those of heaven commune With the spheres of sun and moon; With the noise o f f o u n t a i n s wond'rous, And the p a r l e of v o i c e s thund'rous; Where the n i g h t i n g a l e doth s i n g Not a s e n s e l e s s , tranced t h i n g , But a d i v i n e melodious t r u t h ; P h i l o s o p h i c numbers smooth; T a l e s and golden h i s t o r i e s Of heaven and i t s mysteries.' 7  That i s , the phenomena of the n a t u r a l world accord us of immortal t r u t h :  sight  the d i v i n e can be apprehended i n the  song of the n i g h t i n g a l e , the v o i c e of thunder and  the  sound  of water. U n t i l the  s p r i n g of 1818,  Keats  accepts the D e i s t p o s i t i o n with r e g a r d Man  i s equipped w i t h the a b i l i t y  his  a c t i o n s -- good and  pleasure  unquestioningly to the problem of  to judge the m o r a l i t y  of  e v i l are known by the f e e l i n g s of  and p a i n which they e x c i t e ; h o l i n e s s r e s i d e s i n  the a f f e c t i o n s of the h e a r t .  Because mankind has power  evil.  9  over h i s moral a f f a i r s i n consequence of the knowledge o f good and e v i l which o r i g i n a t e s i n him, Keats does not look on the existence  of moral sin;..as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l problem.  I n d i v i d u a l d i s p l a y s of i t — hypocrisy, and  etc. —  intolerance,  injustice,  i n f u r i a t e d him, and l e d him t o admire  p r a i s e great t h i n k e r s and men of a c t i o n who opposed  tyranny, such as V o l t a i r e and Kosciusko, but he accepts t h a t each person i s u l t i m a t e l y r e s p o n s i b l e  f o r h i s own  a c t i o n s and must l i v e w i t h t h e i r consequences. Keats f i n d s h i m s e l f  As a poet,  able t o enjoy a f i n e d i s p l a y of energy  whether i t s source be good or e v i l ;  he can d e l i g h t i n con-  c e i v i n g an Iago as much as an Imogen. But  the problem with e v i l t h a t i s inherent  s t r u c t u r e of the world i s another matter. view of Deism, there  i n the  From the p o i n t o f  i s no such problem, f o r the good e x p e r i -  enced i n the n a t u r a l world so o b v i o u s l y  outweighs the bad.  In h i s November l e t t e r t o B a i l e y , Keats adopts the D e i s t attitude: The f i r s t t h i n g that s t r i k e s me on h e a / r / i n g a M i s f o r t u n e having b e f a i l e d / s i c / another i s t h i s . 'Well i t cannot be helped. -- he w i l l have the p l e a s u r e of t r y i n g the r e s o u r s e s of h i s s p i r i t . (I, The  c u r t d i s m i s s a l of, or r a t h e r  186)  l a c k of concern f o r , the  f e e l i n g s of one who s u f f e r s misfortune appears i n c o n s i s t e n t with the Keats so attuned t o human sorrows we normally identify.  But the passage does serve to i l l u s t r a t e the  10  optimism o f Keats' mind:  the world i s the best o f p o s s i b l e  worlds, and man can only take p l e a s u r e i n i t .  I f tragedy  occurs, one must r e l i s h the s t r u g g l e t o overcome the c h a l l e n g e i t p r e s e n t s t o the psyche.  This cavalier  attitude  disappears not l o n g a f t e r Keats r e c o r d s i t and i s r e p l a c e d by an anguished r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t l i v i n g c r e a t u r e s are made to s u f f e r i n t h i s world f o r no apparent reason.  And Keats  i s l e f t to agonize over the cause o f i n d i s c r i m i n a t e , evil  which i s so a t v a r i a n c e with the beauty  problem  universal  o f nature.  The  o f e v i l i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l one, and u n t i l Keats'  verse e p i s t l e t o John Hamilton Reynolds, March 2 5 . 1818, he i s unaware o f any need to explore i t . The l e t t e r r e l a t e s Keats' v i s i o n o f n a t u r a l d i s o r d e r : I saw Too f a r i n t o the sea; where every maw The g r e a t e r on the l e s s feeds evermore:  —  S t i l l do I t h a t most f i e r c e d e s t r u c t i o n see, The shark a t savage prey, -- the hawk a t pounce, The g e n t l e Robin, l i k e a pard or ounce, Ravening a worm. (I, 262; 9 3 - 9 5 . 102-105) For Keats, the episode i s c a t a c l y s m i c :  i t i s not that he  had been b l i n d t o nature's grimmer a s p e c t s , but t h e i r harsh r e a l i t y had never presented i t s e l f with so much poignancy, never seemed such a p e r v e r s i o n .  Being f o r c e d f i n a l l y to  r e c o g n i z e and t o acknowledge the c r u e l t y and e v i l endemic i n the world i s doubly p a i n f u l f o r the poet: destruction i s d i f f i c u l t  i n i t s e l f the  to accept; but i n a d d i t i o n i t b e t r a y s  11  to the poet h i s l o s t innocence and has him w i s h i n g that the s t a t e of innocence c o u l d he  unending:  0 that our dreamings a l l of s l e e p ' o r wake Would a l l t h e i r c o l o u r s from the sunset take: From something of m a t e r i a l sublime, Rather than shadow our own Soul's daytime I n the dark v o i d of Night. (I, 2 6 l ; 6 7 - 7 1 ) Our s o u l meets i t s dark n i g h t when i t becomes aware of e v i l and u g l i n e s s i n the world; we  cannot f o r ever know only the  m a t e r i a l sublime, the e x q u i s i t e beauty " f o r i n the world we  of the n a t u r a l world,  j o s t l e , " and p a r t of t h a t world i s  q u i t e the r e v e r s e of sublime -- savage, b r u t a l ,  destructive.  But Keats can go no f u r t h e r than to recount h i s anguish; the tone becomes desperate as he f a c e s h i s i n a b i l i t y -- by r e a s o n of immaturity and ignorance —  to e x p l a i n t h i s newly-discovered  and n e w l y - f e l t t r u t h , t h a t there i s p a i n i n the world: — but my f l a g is-.not u n f u r l ' d On the Admiral s t a f f — and t o p h i l o s o p h i z e I dare not y e t ! -- Oh, never w i l l the p r i z e , High reason, and the l o r e of good and i l l Be my award. Things cannot to the w i l l Be s e t t l e d , but they tease us out of thought. Or i s i t t h a t Imagination brought Beyond i t s proper bound, y e t s t i l l c o n f i n e d , -Lost i n a s o r t of Purgatory b l i n d , Cannot r e f e r to any standard law Of e i t h e r e a r t h or heaven? (I, 2 6 1 - 6 2 ; 7 2 - 8 2 ) Keats r e a l i z e s t h a t the mere wish t o understand the world w i l l not e l u c i d a t e i t , good and i l l  t h a t to p e n e t r a t e the mystery  r e q u i r e s acute, mature v i s i o n .  Suddenly  of philo-  sophy, reason, knowledge are as f e r v e n t l y longed f o r as they  12  were e a r l i e r r e p u d i a t e d .  He  senses q u i t e a c c u r a t e l y  that  he i s l o s t i n a "Purgatory b l i n d " :  he  the r e a l i t y of t h i n g s but  i s at the  same time too young to  comprehend what he  Unable to fathom the  of the u n i v e r s e , his nightmarish  sees.  to d i s c o v e r perceptions,  sees too deeply i n t o  or know the  i n n e r workings  law which u n d e r l i e s  the poet i s l e f t  only with  unhappy awareness t h a t the world i s changed f o r  the  him:  It i s a flaw I n happiness to see beyond our bourn -I t f o r c e s us i n Summer s k i e s to mourn; I t s p o i l s the s i n g i n g o f the N i g h t i n g a l e . (I, 262; I t would have been impossible  82-85)  at t h i s p o i n t i n h i s l i f e  for  Keats to have w r i t t e n "Beauty i s t r u t h , t r u t h beauty": was  c l e a r to him  t h a t u g l i n e s s , the p r e c i s e opposite  i d e a of beauty and  it  of h i s  harmony, i s very much a p a r t of the  truth  of the n a t u r a l world. In Keats' c i r c l e the a e s t h e t i c c o n c e p t i o n and  of good  e v i l went v i r t u a l l y unquestioned -- B a i l e y , Hunt, Haydon,  H a z l i t t , the most i n t e l l e c t u a l l y i n f l u e n t i a l o f Keats' f r i e n d s , would c e r t a i n l y have sympathized w i t h the young poet's a n a l y s i s of h i s encounter with the disharmony and of n a t u r e : reverse  i f beauty i s the  Deist explanations  of the  would have been of no help to him: repugnant to him,  and  activity  same as.' goodness, then the  or absence of beauty i s e q u i v a l e n t  C h r i s t i a n and  s i n was  destructive  to e v i l .  s i t u a t i o n , however,  the i d e a of  he c o u l d not now  the c o n f r o n t a t i o n which t h i s new  Their  original simply  avoid  sense of r e a l i t y demanded of  13  him.  The problem would hot a l l o w escape i n t o the p o e t i c a l  character.  No honest  poet,  once he has met f a c e to face a  problem o f t h i s c a l i b r e , c o u l d continue t o o f f e r h i s r e a d e r s poetry which i g n o r e s i t . Keats immediately  I t became necessary  then -- and  took up the c h a l l e n g e -- t o f i n d the  "standard law o f e i t h e r e a r t h or heaven" which c o u l d  account  f o r the e v i l t h a t d e s t r o y s l i f e and happiness. G r a d u a l l y throughout e p i s t l e t o Reynolds,  the weeks f o l l o w i n g h i s verse  Keats evolves an awareness of the t r a g i c  i m p l i c a t i o n s o f e v i l (no longer does he shrug o f f misfortune having b e f a l l e n another) by d e f i n i n g -- not i n a r e a s o n i n g f a s h i o n but i n one r e s p o n s i v e to the experiences o f humanity the nature o f e v i l .  He sums up h i s major concerns  with i t  i n a l e t t e r t o B a i l e y i n June: Were i t i n my c h o i c e I would r e j e c t a p e t r a r c h a l c o r o n a t i o n — on accou/n/t of my dying day, and because women have Cancers.  ( I , 292)  M o r t a l i t y and s u f f e r i n g are e v i l s which are f o r Keats d i f f i c u l t to understand statement,  and i m p o s s i b l e to j u s t i f y .  The  the s i n c e r i t y o f which cannot be doubted, r e v e a l s  something very impressive about Keats:  i t l i e s i n the s h i f t  that h i s ambition has undergone, as a r e s u l t o f h i s g r a p p l i n g with the problem o f e v i l I t h i n k , from d e s i r i n g fame and recognition —  a p e t r a r c h a l crown -- to f i n d i n g  "there i s  no worthy p u r s u i t but the i d e a o f doing some good f o r the world."  —  14  With h i s r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t the luxury o f e t h e r e a l thoughts  gained  through  sense  a harsher view o f r e a l i t y , consciousness, and  Keats  also  vision  saw t h a t h i s f u n c t i o n a s a p o e t  Of p r i m a r y  of the world  will  relinquish his belief  ( h i s own a n d o t h e r s ' ) concern  affect  t o Keats  h i s work.  i n the P r i n c i p l e  things,  i t i s necessary  of e v i l  with the e s s e n t i a l  as K e a t s  was g i v i n g way t o  one t h a t embraced a t r a g i c  h i s conception of poetry  undergo change.  experience  i s how h i s new  S i n c e he  o f Beauty  somehow t o r e c o n c i l e  must  cannot  in a l l  the existence  goodness o f t h e w o r l d .  Philosophy,  r e c o g n i z e s i n M a r c h , becomes s o m e t h i n g t h a t a p o e t  must c h e r i s h :  I know n o t h i n g I have read n o t h i n g and I mean t o f o l l o w Solomon's d i r e c t i o n s o f 'get Wisdom -- get understanding' -- I f i n d c a v a l i e r days a r e gone by. I f i n d t h a t I can have no enjoyment i n the world but c o n t i n u a l d r i n k i n g of Knowledge ... The road l i e s though a p p l i c a t i o n study and thought. I w i l l pursue i t and t o t h a t end purpose r e t i r i n g f o r some y e a r s . I have been h o v e r i n g f o r some time between an e x q u i s i t e sense o f the l u x u r i o u s and a love f o r Philosophy -- were I c a l c u l a t e d f o r the former I should be g l a d -- but as I am not I s h a l l t u r n a l l my s o u l d t o the l a t t e r . ( I , 2 ? 1 , A p r i l 24) I have w r i t t e n t o George f o r some Books -s h a l l l e a r n Greek, and very l i k e l y I t a l i a n — and i n other ways prepare myself t o ask H a z l i t t i n about a years time the best metap h y s i c a l road I can take. -- For although I take p o e t r y to be C h i e f , t h e r e i s something e l s e wanting t o one who passes h i s l i f e among Books and thoughts on Books. ( I , 2 7 4 , A p r i l 27) Every department o f knowledge we see e x c e l l e n t and c a l c u l a t e d towards a g r e a t whole ... An  15 e x t e n s i v e knowledge i s n e e d f u l to t h i n k i n g people -- i t takes away the heat and f e v e r ; and h e l p s , hy widening s p e c u l a t i o n , t o ease the Burden o f the Mystery: a t h i n g I "begin to understand a l i t t l e . ( I , 277, May 3) In h i s i n s i s t e n c e on the need f o r every department  o f knowl-  edge, Keats i s not o f course f o r s a k i n g h i s p r e v i o u s f a i t h i n the a f f e c t i o n s as avenues to t r u t h , to " h o l i n e s s " ; what he understands can perhaps  i s t h a t s e n s a t i o n s have to he r e i n f o r c e d and  he augmented hy another form o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g --  one which has t o he worked a t and developed r a t h e r than simply experienced:  there i s a " d i f f e r e n c e o f h i g h Sensations  w i t h and without knowledge."  While prepared t o steep h i m s e l f  i n s c h o l a r s h i p , the poet r e t a i n s a h e a l t h y a t t i t u d e about i t s possibilities:  " I t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o know how f a r knowledge  w i l l console us f o r the death o f a f r i e n d and the i l l 'that flesh i s heir to."  And perhaps  "Wisdom i s f o l l y " ( I , 2 7 7 - 7 9 ) -  But he i s n e v e r t h e l e s s eager to i n v e s t i g a t e the p o t e n t i a l b e n e f i t s t h a t knowledge might The  have.  " p a i n f u l and acute l a b y r i n t h " through which  Keats passes i n March and A p r i l l e a d s to a c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n of p e r c e p t i o n s i n h i s l e t t e r of May 3 r d t o Reynolds of which i s quoted above).  The tendency  (part  of h i s imagination  to convert a l l experience and thought i n t o p o e t i c a l formulat i o n s a c t s upon',his new c o n c e p t i o n o f the world. effort  I n an  t o understand h i s p r e v i o u s i n d i f f e r e n c e t o and p r e s e n t  concern w i t h the r e a l i t y o f the world as he now sees i t , Keats f a s h i o n s an a l l e g o r y to d e s c r i b e the p r o c e s s by which  16  an i n d i v i d u a l matures: Apartments"  lie c a l l s l i f e  a "Mansion of Many-  and i d e n t i f i e s each stage of a person's d e v e l -  opment with a p a r t i c u l a r chamber i n the mansion. apartment  the occupant  i s at f i r s t  I n each  w e l l - s a t i s f i e d with him-  s e l f and h i s knowledge of the world, but g r a d u a l l y i s made aware of l i m i t a t i o n s i n h i s knowledge and i s compelled to seek t r u t h beyond h i s immediate surroundings. of  The  "awakening  the t h i n k i n g p r i n c i p l e -- w i t h i n us" i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r  the p r o g r e s s from the I n f a n t or Thoughtless Chamber i n t o the Chamber of Maiden Thought where one r e j o i c e s i n the new-born activity  of mind.  One  of the e f f e c t s of d e v e l o p i n g the  critical  i n t e l l i g e n c e , however, i s t h a t tremendous one of sharpening one's v i s i o n i n t o the h e a r t and nature of Man -of c o n v i n c i n g ones nerves t h a t the World i s f u l l of Misery and Heartbreak, P a i n , Sickness and o p p r e s s i o n -- whereby T h i s Chamber of Maiden Thought becomes g r a d u a l l y darken'd and at the same time on a l l s i d e s of i t many doors are set open — but a l l dark -- a l l l e a d i n g to dark passages -- We see not the b a l l a n c e of good and e v i l . We are i n a M i s t . (I,  281)  Here Keats i s g i v i n g v o i c e a g a i n to t h a t f e e l i n g almost of  suspension -- of being l o s t i n a Purgatory b l i n d , knowing  only t h a t p a i n e x i s t s , but being unable to r e a d the balance of  good and i l l .  What i s impressive about the a l l e g o r y i s  not simply the r e i t e r a t i o n t h a t the world i s f u l l  of misery  and heartbreak, but the f a c t that Keats has advanced the emotional t r i b u l a t i o n of the darkened of  h i s March e p i s t l e , and i s u n i t i n g  beyond  second chamber  " s e n s a t i o n s with knowl-  17  edge";  he i s r e a s o n i n g out the k i n d o f l i f e - p r o c e s s which  every i n d i v i d u a l must undergo.  The i n c l u s i o n o f h i s f r i e n d  Reynolds and the Wordsworth of " T i n t e r n Abbey" i n the same life  journey which he i s on i s an e x t e n s i o n o f Keats' p o e t i c  v i s i o n from p e r s o n a l to c o l l e c t i v e , from s u b j e c t i v e to objective.  The s c h e m a t i z i n g of human experience i n the  a l l e g o r y of the Mansion c o n s t i t u t e s Keats' f i r s t towards a m y t h o l o g i c a l v i s i o n — the  real  step  towards an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f  world i n terms of a framework of thought r a t h e r than a  s e r i e s of p e r s o n a l responses. N a t u r a l l y Keats i s anxious t o c o n s i d e r the i m p l i c a t i o n s which h i s new, the  f o r m a l i z e d c o n c e p t i o n of l i f e has f o r  poet and f o r p o e t r y :  the Mansion becomes the r e f e r e n c e -  p o i n t by which h i s own work and t h a t of other poets can be measured.  Wordsworth's genius, a c c o r d i n g to Keats, i s to  be seen i n h i s e x p l o r a t i o n of those dark passages which the  younger poet i s only aware e x i s t , and i n h i s p e n e t r a t i o n  of  the human h e a r t as i t responds to each o f the apartments  of  life.  Once a poet has had the presence of e v i l impressed  upon him, h i s t a s k i s to r e f l e c t the burden o f l i f e  for his  r e a d e r s , as Wordsworth does.  As a t h i n k e r , Wordsworth  d i f f e r s from M i l t o n i n t h i s :  Wordsworth uses p h i l o s o p h y (I  t h i n k Keats would say) as a process of o r d e r i n g and e x p l a i n i n g experience, and each new  d i s c o v e r y i n t o the human heart t h a t  he makes expands h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l outlook; M i l t o n , by c o n t r a s t , imposes a system which i s s t a t i c ,  i s composed o f  18  " r e s t i n g p l a c e s and seeming sure p o i n t s of Reasoning," i s not g i v e n to e x p l o r i n g new hut i s s a t i s f i e d with the the P a r a d i s e L o s t . "  The  areas of f e e l i n g and  and  thought,  " h i n t i n g s of good and e v i l i n comparison  sees Wordsworth as the deeper  of the two poets which  of the two  says l e s s  about  them r e a l l y than about Keats and the p r o c e s s through which he i s going.  (Keats at other times accuses Wordsworth of  as much dogmatism as he here a s c r i b e s to M i l t o n , and  later  on P a r a d i s e L o s t becomes every day a g r e a t e r wonder to How the world?  him.)  does the poet d e a l with the knowledge of p a i n i n A l l of Keats' energies a t t h i s p o i n t are con-  c e n t r a t e d on t h i s q u e s t i o n , and h i s d i s c u s s i o n of M i l t o n and Wordsworth i n d i c a t e s h i s newly-acquired c o n v i c t i o n t h a t great p o e t r y which d e a l s w i t h l i f e ' s major i s s u e s depends upon a p h i l o s o p h i c a l v i s i o n ; i n f a v o u r i n g Wordsworth to h i s predecessor Keats i s determining the s o r t of organic p h i l o s o p h i c a l outlook which he h i m s e l f would l i k e .  Keats'  primary concern i s t h e o l o g i c a l and p o e t i c a l , how  to e x p l a i n  e v i l i n the world, and h i s main i n t e r e s t s are those he working  i n the e p i c p o e t s .  another f o r m u l a t i o n : a way  sees  His a n a l y s i s d i r e c t s him to  "the "grand March o f I n t e l l e c t " becomes  of c o n c e i v i n g i n s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l  and  theological  terms the h i s t o r y of p h i l o s o p h y and p o e t r y , and i t p o i n t s out to Keats the enormous task ahead of him i f he wishe s to be "among.the g r e a t e s t . "  I t i s c l e a r t h a t a t t h i s stage i t i s  the e p i c which he sees as the proper v e h i c l e f o r examining  19  the problem of the presence o f e v i l .  The e p i c i s able a t  once t o p o r t r a y d r a m a t i c a l l y p a i n and s u f f e r i n g and t o suggest explanations, o f why e v i l should  e x i s t , and t o o f f e r  condolence and perhaps a m e l i o r a t i o n o f the burden o f the mystery to i t s r e a d e r s . The  l e t t e r o f May 3rd i s important i n many r e s p e c t s --  Keats' c o n f r o n t a t i o n with of philosophy  so many i d e a s and h i s acceptance  as one o f the poet's t o o l s give him the b a s i s  on which to develop h i s i d e a s and h i s work as a poet. a l l e g o r i z i n g o f human l i f e of thought betrays  and of the h i s t o r i c a l  a c a s t o f mind i n the process  His  progress o f mytholo-  g i z i n g , o f c o n s t r u c t i n g a world-view capable o f e x p l a i n i n g the mysteries  met w i t h i n the world.  The problems o f e x i s t e n c e ,  e s p e c i a l l y t h a t o f s u f f e r i n g , go beyond the poet's  personal  response, and enter the realm o f u n i v e r s a l , p h i l o s o p h i c , epic  concerns. Where philosophy  and poetry  converge o f course i s i n  mythology -- the p o e t i c a l or n a r r a t i v e r e n d e r i n g  of p h i l o -  sophic, t h e o l o g i c a l t r u t h s .  Any mythopoeia t o be complete  must meet c e r t a i n c r i t e r i a :  most important among them i s  the e x p l a n a t i o n and  o f the u n i v e r s e  o f man i n h i s t o r i c a l  i n the form o f a cosmology  terms; a l s o r e q u i s i t e i s a theology  or d o c t r i n e by which man's s p i r i t u a l s e l f i s i n t e r p r e t e d and  his spiritual life  of man and the u n i v e r s e  enhanced.  From the comprehension  i n t h e i r t o t a l i t y , there  emerges a  body o f myths which develops and s u s t a i n s the. mythopoeic  20  v i s i o n , and u s u a l l y a set of symbols,  emblems and metaphors  by which the myths become u n i v e r s a l l y r e c o g n i z e d . first  attempt  Keats'  at m y t h o l o g i z i n g , t h a t i s , c r e a t i n g h i s  own  mythology, i s Hyperion; i t s s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses can to  a g r e a t degree  complete  be t r a c e d to i t s success i n o f f e r i n g a  system by which t o understand the world and man's  place i n i t . Of course Keats' mythology i s u l t i m a t e l y a p e r s o n a l one.  N e v e r t h e l e s s , he i s bent upon o f f s e t t i n g h i s p r i v a t e  responses to l i f e  by p r e s e n t i n g a u n i v e r s a l v i s i o n which  attempts to address i t s e l f pations.  I t was  to many of man's major preoccu-  necessary to reshape myth to meet h i s needs,  not as he d i d f o r Endymion where he took up whatever legends seemed to s t r i k e h i s fancy, but i n such a way something  as would show  e s s e n t i a l about the human c o n d i t i o n .  The d i f f e r e n c e between Endymion and Hyperion i s profound, not so much f o r the c o n c l u s i o n s they come t o , f o r Keats i n s t i n c t i v e l y l i n k s the n a t u r a l world w i t h the but f o r the framework which he b u i l d s (or f a i l s  ideal,  to b u i l d as  i n the case of Endymion) around the ideas c o n t a i n e d i n the poems.  Endymion i s the i s s u e of Keats' i n t r i n s i c love f o r  Greek myth, f o r the l o v e l i n e s s of the s t o r i e s and the of  the p o e t r y which embodies them.  beauty  To the s e n s u a l world  which the p a s t o r a l hero- and the poet d e l i g h t i n i s somewhat artificially  superimposed  an i d e a l v i s i o n , but the  tonism of the poem can i n no way  Neo-Pla-  be reckoned a p h i l o s o p h i c a l  21  statement.  Keats i s simply l u x u r i a t i n g i n "pure poesy";  he takes 4000 l i n e s of one hare circumstance with p o e t r y .  and f i l l s  them  I f the poem can be s a i d t o be c o n s t r u c t e d on  a v i s i o n , i t i s one which f i n d s a young i n d i v i d u a l to indulge i n beauty and romance; the legends poem i s based e x i s t f o r t h e i r own sake.  allowed  on which the  Hyperion,  on the  other hand, i s an e p i c , and the cosmic t o t a l i t y which Keats p r e s e n t s i s meant t o convey^ u n i v e r s a l t r u t h s which should be of b e n e f i t to a l l mankind. Keats' understanding  The poem i s the e x p r e s s i o n o f  o f r e a l i t y as i t i s manifested  i n d i v i d u a l ' s apprehension  o f the presence  of e v i l  i n the  ("Tom has  s p i t a l e e t l e blood t h i s a f t e r n o o n , and t h a t i s r a t h e r a damper -- but I know -- the t r u t h i s there i s something r e a l i n the World") and as i t through time  leads t o knowledge and  wisdom. Keats' knowledge o f the m a t e r i a l which he transforms i n t o h i s own mythology o r i g i n a t e s i n such works as Chapman's t r a n s l a t i o n s of Homer, Sandys' o f Hesiod and Ovid, Hyginus, Spenser and M i l t o n ; and e d i t o r s o f Keats have t r a c e d much of the Hyperion poem to i t s sources.  But one i n f l u e n c e which  has been i g n o r e d or d i s m i s s e d as i m p o s s i b l e i s Thomas T a y l o r ' s o  t r a n s l a t i o n o f the Timaeus o f P l a t o .  The d i a l o g u e p r o v i d e d  Keats not so much with p a r t i c u l a r d e t a i l s concerning the a c t i o n s <5f the gods; r a t h e r i t i n f l u e n c e d the way i n which Keats came to use mythology.  Hyperion  becomes under the  a u t h o r i t y o f T a y l o r ' s P l a t o a comprehensive o u t l i n e o f the  22  makeup o f t h e w o r l d b a s e d patterning Keats gives  on a t h e o l o g i c a l . , , m y s t i c a l  o f t h e laws o f t h e u n i v e r s e . cosmic  The way  i n which  s i g n i f i c a n c e t o t h e knowledge t h a t  now p o s s e s s e s owes much t o t h e p e r v a s i v e  power o f t h e  G r e e k myths a s t h e y grew up a r o u n d a n d t h e n s e r v e d embody t h e a b s t r a c t i o n s  of Platonic  philosophy.  to  he  23  CHAPTER TWO THE MYTHOLOGY OF HYPERION  The p l a n o f study which Keats decides t o pursue i n the s p r i n g o f 1818 i s suddenly i n t e r r u p t e d i n the autumn hy the i l l n e s s o f h i s b r o t h e r Tom. t i o n t o the problem  of e v i l ,  The need t o f i n d a s o l u -  i n t e n s i f i e d by the imminence  of h i s b r o t h e r ' s death, p r e c i p i t a t e s the poet i n t o b e g i n n i n g h i s e p i c Hyperion before he i s ready. its  Keats plunges  into  " a b s t r a c t images" i n an e f f o r t t o escape the tragedy  crowding i n upon him, and t o work out as w e l l as he can, with an as-yet i n s u f f i c i e n t knowledge, an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f experience capable o f e x p l a i n i n g human a f f l i c t i o n . i s embarked upon prematurely, but not b l i n d l y :  The poem  Keats has  been t h i n k i n g about i t s i n c e Endymion, and we have the testimony o f Woodhouse t o i n d i c a t e t h a t h i s p l o t i s i n o readiness.  As w e l l , Keats has h i s p e r c e p t i o n s o f the pre-  ceding s p r i n g to e x p l o i t :  the v i s i o n o f e v i l , now v i v i d l y  r e i n f o r c e d i n the dying Tom; the a l l e g o r y of the Mansion of Many Apartments and i t s r e l a t i o n to the Burden of the Mystery; and the grand March of I n t e l l e c t .  Hyperion might  be c a l l e d an e x p l o r a t i o n i n t o one of the dark,  third  Chambers, a search f o r some r e l i e f t o the n i g h t m a r i s h ignoance o f Maiden-Thought.  There a r e many reasons f o r Keats'  i n a b i l i t y t o go on with the poem, not the l e a s t o f which i s  24  the g r i e f that  c a u s e d hy T o m ' s d e a t h ,  hut the  f u n d a m e n t a l one  h i s t h i n k i n g s i m p l y has not advanced f a r  him t o answer t h e p r o b l e m o f The f a c t  enough  for  evil.  t h a t H y p e r i o n i s a n e p i c and not  the  romance i t was o r i g i n a l l y i n t e n d e d t o be s u g g e s t s  the  seriousness It  w i t h which Keats  i s no d o u b t t h e r e s u l t  t h a t he d e c i d e s  is  i s approaching h i s w r i t i n g .  o f t h e May 3 r d M a r c h o f  t o c a s t H y p e r i o n as a n e p i c ,  the  Intellect consideration  o f Wordsworth and M i l t o n as g r e a t p o e t s h a v i n g been i n terms of t h e i r epic v i s i o n .  It  is his belief  i n t h e power o f  the  g e n r e t o a c c o m p l i s h good i n t h e w o r l d , a l o n g w i t h h i s a m b i t i o n t o e s t a b l i s h h i s own p l a c e him upon h i s e p i c t a s k . several  layers  found i n the an e f f o r t  As a n e p i c ,  t h e poem  that  sets  comprehends  o f m e a n i n g , b u t t h e p r i m a r y one i s t o  be  symbolic w o r l d - o r d e r which the poet presents  to account  f o r the problem of p a i n .  of the T i t a n s to t h e i r f a l l , break,  i n English poetry,  i s too m a s t e r f u l l y  in all its  The  response  a n g u i s h and  heart-  drawn f o r us t o t h i n k t h a t  Keats  has n o t the p r o b l e m o f e v i l as h i s p r i n c i p a l s u b j e c t .  The  Timaeus of P l a t o p l a y s a l a r g e  the  cosmogony  the poet i n t r o d u c e s  part  i n Keats'  i s based on the  w o r l d - o r d e r a s he w o u l d h a v e d i s c o v e r e d i t t r a n s l a t i o n at B a i l e y ' s .  I n making use  o f t h e Timaeus and i t s t h e o l o g i c a l endeavouring to p r o f i t from the "high reason,'" to  design: Platonic  i n Thomas  of the  Taylor's  world=system  i m p l i c a t i o n s , Keats  store  in  of philosophy  is  or  e q u i p h i m s e l f w i t h enough k n o w l e d g e  to  25  c l e a r away the m i s t s , to see the balance of good and  evil.  Hyperion i s t o r e c o n c i l e the' problem of p a i n t o the i d e a t h a t the u n i v e r s e i s i n h e r e n t l y good.  For the  time Keats w i l l be u s i n g mythology f o r i t s o r i g i n a l  first purpose:  as an u t t e r a n c e of r e l i g i o u s t r u t h , t h a t i s , a g i v i n g order and shape to a v i s i o n of c r e a t i o n which d e f i n e s man's s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n and h i s p l a c e i n the scheme of t h i n g s . Keats to  i s very much on h i s way  to m y t h o l o g i z i n g i n Hyperion,  r e n d e r i n g concrete, dramatic  embodiment to the a b s t r a c t  p r i n c i p l e s which govern e x i s t e n c e . succeeded  However, t o have  f u l l y would have r e q u i r e d a l a r g e r and more con-  f i d e n t knowledge than Keats was  then i n p o s s e s s i o n of, and  the poem as mythology i s more one o f a s p i r a t i o n than of completion.  N e v e r t h e l e s s , with the fragment, K e a t s . s e t s  h i m s e l f f i r m l y i n l i n e with the g r e a t E n g l i s h poets.  The  e x c e l l e n c e of the verse, the magnitude of h i s "more a n x i e t y for  Humanity" which r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n the b e a u t i f u l concep-  t i o n of the f a l l e n T i t a n s secure the poet's t i t l e to fame. Attempting  an e n t i r e mythology was  perhaps an e r r o r , but i n  the venture Keats once a g a i n ' h i t s the soundings'  from which  he i s f i n a l l y to emerge v i c t o r i o u s as a m y t h o l o g i c a l poet i n his  own  right. The m y t h o l o g i c a l d e s i g n of Hyperion i s of l a r g e  proportions:  while the problem of e v i l i s Keats' main  concern, the poet does not i n t e n d t o d e l i n e a t e i t alone; r a t h e r the poem i s to be an e x t e n s i v e m y t h i c a l n a r r a t i v e i n  26  which the problem of e v i l w i l l be r e s o l v e d .  The  Timaeus  p l a y s a l a r g e r o l e i n Keats' p l a n , but before c o n s i d e r i n g that r o l e , one other f a c t o r c o n t r i b u t i n g to the mythology of the poem should be noted.  We  f i n d Keats i n f l u e n c e d not  only by t r a d i t i o n a l Greek poetry and myth, but a l s o by contemporary s p e c u l a t i v e mythologies  which i n t e r p r e t Greek  myth i n a l l manner of ways to support v a r i o u s r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l t h e o r i e s .  1 0  Keats was  particularly  a f f e c t e d by the s p e c u l a t i v e mythographer Edward Davies, a copy of whose C e l t i c Researches he owned.  That author  boldly  hypothesizes the i n f i l t r a t i o n of the Old Testament Jews a l o n g w i t h t h e i r c o u n t e r p a r t s i n Greek mythology (who  l a t e r become  i d e n t i f i e d as the B r i t i s h Druids) i n t o E a r l y B r i t a i n . theory which equates Druids was it  (11.  Greek gods and heroes with the a n c i e n t  a popular one,  and Keats was  w i l l i n g to draw on  i n order t h a t h i s poem be a n a t i o n a l e p i c .  "Sleep and P o e t r y " we 169-72,  I83)>  The  As e a r l y  as  see the poet i n f l u e n c e d by the theory  and i n Hyperion h i s i n t e n t i o n i s to expand  the i d e a i n t o a B r i t i s h mythology r e c o u n t i n g the r i s e poetry from A s i a to Greece to I t a l y and f i n a l l y  to  of  England. ^  That Keats l i n k e d the w e l f a r e of England with t h a t of her p o e t r y , b e l i e v i n g t h a t the s p i r i t u a l h e a l t h of a people  i s dependent upon i t s a r t i s t i c h e a l t h , i s apparent  i n the l e t t e r he w r i t e s to George i n America while a t work on Hyperion,  14th  October  1818:  D i l k e , whom you know.to be a Godwin  1  27  p e r f e c t i b i l / I t / y Man, p l e a s e s h i m s e l f with the i d e a t h a t America w i l l he the country to take up the human i n t e l l e c t where england leaves o f f — I d i f f e r there with him g r e a t l y -- A country l i k e the u n i t e d s t a t e s whose g r e a t e s t Men are F r a n k l i n s and Washingtons w i l l never do t h a t -- They are great men doubtless but how are they to be compared to those our countrey men l i k e M i l t o n and the two Sidneys -- The one i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l Quaker f u l l of mean and t h r i f t y maxims the other s o l d the very Charger who had taken him through a l l h i s B a t t l e s — Those American's are great but they are not sublime Man -- the humanity of the U n i t e d S t a t e s can never reach the sublime. (I, 397-98) The  s u b l i m i t y of Hyperion was  to be a c o n t r i b u t i o n to h i s  country's honour and to her w e l f a r e .  The importance  of a  B r i t i s h mythology, i m p l i c i t l y p o s t u l a t e d i n the l e t t e r  and  by the poem, i s by the autumn of 1819  by  so s t r o n g l y f e l t  Keats t h a t he sees the n e c e s s i t y of w r i t i n g i n pure E n g l i s h idiom. Perhaps more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , however, i s the f a c t t h a t such an o u t l i n e —  one which would see Saturn e v e n t u a l l y  r u l i n g B r i t a i n (the I s l e s of the B l e s t ) and n u r t u r i n g the growth of E n g l i s h poetry -- p r o v i d e d Keats with a s t r u c t u r e to h i s poem and an h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e by which the modern reader would r e c o g n i z e h i s world.  Within i t ,  the  March of I n t e l l e c t would f i n d a more complete e x p r e s s i o n than i t had when f i r s t conceived: the g r e a t e r beauty  Keats would  and t r u t h of each new  i s b u i l t upon the p r e v i o u s one.  The  illustrate  p o e t i c a l age as i t  adoption of the Greek-  28  D r u i d - E n g l i s h c o n n e c t i o n we can see as a convenience.  Keats  was aware t h a t h i s a l l u s i o n s t o "Druid stones" and Saturn's "Druid l o c k s " would be s u f f i c i e n t t o i n d i c a t e to h i s r e a d e r s the p r o g r e s s of the poem.  The mythography Keats i s u s i n g  i s one s m a l l f a c e t o f h i s mythmaking, but i n i t we r e a l i z e the immense p l a n s he had f o r Hyperion but was unable t o realize.  He c o u l d , no doubt, have continued the h i s t o r i c a l  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the development o f poetry; what was l a c k i n g was not i n f o r m a t i o n , but knowledge.  Where the poem f a i l s i s  not i n i m a g i n a t i v e s p e c u l a t i o n concerning p o e t r y , but i n f i n d i n g the r i g h t p h i l o s o p h i c a l answer to compensate the Titans f o r t h e i r loss of sovereignty. P l a t o n i s m -- to which Keats looks f o r a s o l u t i o n i n his  t h e o l o g i c a l questionings —  p a r t o f thought  was o f course an i n t e g r a l  i n E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e l o n g before the a r r i v a l  of Thomas T a y l o r , and we see i t i n i t s commonly-held t e n e t s working i t s way i n t o Wordsworth's "Immortality even i n t o Keats' brand  e a r l i e r poetry.  Ode" and  I t i s the p a r t i c u l a r  o f Platonism, though, i n the Timaeus, t h a t a f f e c t s so  much the thought  and poetry o f Keats.  I have suggested  that  the poet turned t o the Timaeus b e l i e v i n g t h a t philosophy was a source o f the knowledge r e q u i r e d to u n r a v e l the more pressing complexities of l i f e ; p h i l o s o p h y only i n the widest  however, the Timaeus i s sense o f the term ( i n the f a c t  t h a t i t i s w r i t t e n by a p h i l o s o p h e r ) , f o r i n i t s m y t h o l o g i c a l mode o f e x p r e s s i o n i t escapes the c r i t i c a l ,  argumentative  29  technique  P l a t o u s u a l l y e x h i b i t s i n h i s d i a l o g u e s and  c e n t r a t e s on d e s c r i p t i o n ; indeed, falls  the p h i l o s o p h e r  con-  sometimes  short of m a i n t a i n i n g p e r f e c t l y - d i s c i p l i n e d p h i l o s o p h i c a l  a n a l y s i s i n h i s e f f o r t to e n v i s i o n the c r e a t i o n and  "behaviour  12 of the u n i v e r s e . and  Here was  more of poetry than  philosophy,  the i m a g i n a t i v e q u a l i t y of the w r i t i n g would have s u i t e d  Keats'  poetical disposition.  He was  w i l l i n g to t r u s t  to  the t r u t h s i t s symbolism conveyed r a t h e r than to the  explicit,  more reasoned arguments of other P l a t o n i c d i a l o g u e s ,  of  other p h i l o s o p h i e s perhaps. Keats would have r e c o g n i z e d p o e s i s at i t s g r e a t e s t :  i n the d i a l o g u e mytho-  an o r d e r i n g of p e r c e p t i o n s  r e v e a l e d by means of analogy, imagery and meaning of the u n i v e r s e .  symbolism  Myth i s used, not as the  of the other d i a l o g u e s which are i n t r o d u c e d to a l l e g o r i c a l l y c e r t a i n d o c t r i n e s o f Platonism, method of c o n c e i v i n g and essence unknowable and  and  impossible  forming  ineffable.  i m p o s i t i o n of p a t t e r n and  which the "myths"  illustrate but as a  i n words what i s i n I t i s the  imaginative  e x p r e s s i o n on ideas s p e c u l a t i v e  of l o g i c a l d e f i n i t i o n .  (Timaeus o f t e n  r e p e a t s h i s u n c e r t a i n t y as to the accuracy  of h i s s t a t e -  ments, but has  f a i t h t h a t h i s a s s e r t i o n s are " a s s i m i l a t i v e "  of the t r u t h . )  For i n s t a n c e , to exonerate the c r e a t o r from  any  c u l p a b i l i t y with r e f e r e n c e to the presence of  evil,  Timaeus has the a r t i f i c e r address h i s j u n i o r gods, commanding them to c r e a t e the m o r t a l race i n order t h a t he not  be  30  h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the e v i l d e v o l v i n g upon t h a t r a c e . no time of course  does P l a t o b e l i e v e t h a t h i s "God  a perpetually reasoning  who  d i v i n i t y " (Timaeus, 4 8 3 ) has  At is  the  immanence c o n f e r r e d upon him here by Timaeus; but i n s t r a i n i n g to r e a l i z e i n words the i d e a s and forms o f c r e a t o r and  c r e a t i o n , the p h i l o s o p h e r  mythological  conceptions.  i s f o r c e d to f a l l back on  Strictly  speaking,  these  concep-  t i o n s sometimes b e l i e the f o r c e of other statements w i t h i n (see Note 1 2 above), but i n the main, Timaeus  the d i a l o g u e presents  a s p e c t a c u l a r l y compact cosmic v i s i o n which e x p l a i n s  the c r e a t e d world The  and  i t s laws.  interdependence of m a t e r i a l and  and c e l e s t i a l ,  s p i r i t u a l , mundane  i n h e r e n t i n P l a t o ' s mythology, owes i t s source  to the c e n t r a l purpose of the dialogue which "prepares to understand p h y s i c s , not only p h y s i c a l l y - but (Taylor, 4 l 6 ) .  theologically"  W i t h i n the s t r u c t u r e of i t s thought -- where  the cosmos i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms of man,  and man  to c o n t a i n p a r t i a l l y e v e r y t h i n g t h a t the u n i v e r s e wholly world  i s shown contains  -- come the c o n c l u s i o n s that what e x i s t s i n the n a t u r a l i s , although  d i s t a n t from D i v i n i t y , whole, r e a l  good, and that p h i l o s o p h i c t r u t h i s to be found i n the we  us  see.  and world  P l a t o i l l u s t r a t e s the u n i v e r s e working i n a p e r f e c t l y -  harmonized order where d i v i n e t r u t h can be apprehended i n the contemplation The  dialogue  of the beauty which t h i s order  i s unique i n the P l a t o n i c canon:  s t r e s s e d i s not the ignorance  creates.  what i s  of a darkened cave, the almost  31  s p i r i t u a l v o i d o f m a t e r i a l e x i s t e n c e , but the beauty and good which c h a r a c t e r i z e the whole o f the c r e a t e d  universe.  Timaeus r e p r e s e n t s the power of even our "shadowy  thoughts"  to a t t a i n to t r u t h , the b e a u t i f u l being very much a p a r t of the s e n s i b l e world.  The p r i n c i p a l i n t e n t o f the Timaeus i s  to i n d i c a t e how e v e r y t h i n g , i n c l u d i n g man and h i s mundane world, moves towards the good, the p e r f e c t i o n o f i t s e l f . T a y l o r i n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n e l u c i d a t e s much o f the dialogue and h i s comments are l e a r n e d and thorough; but he Neo-Platonizes it  i t s meaning as w e l l , endeavouring to b r i n g  i n t o l i n e not only with the other P l a t o n i c d i a l o g u e s but  w i t h the whole t r a d i t i o n of P l a t o n i s m h i s e c l e c t i c commentary,  and Neo-Platonism.  In  T a y l o r ' s aim i s t o see the d i a l o g u e  i n terms o f some o f the more a b s o l u t e d o c t r i n e s o f Platonism, and he sometimes n e g l e c t s to give due c r e d i t to the statements which are o f t e n more suggestive  than c a t e g o r i c a l .  He does  admit i t s anomalous c h a r a c t e r , c a l l i n g a t t e n t i o n to P l a t o ' s Pythagorean use o f exemplar and image t o i l l u s t r a t e t r u t h by analogy, and he i s c e r t a i n l y not backward i n h i s a d m i r a t i o n f o r the beauty o f the m y t h i c a l c o n c e p t i o n s .  But i t i s he  and not Timaeus who a s s e r t s t h a t the m a t e r i a l world the t r u t h o f r e a l being, t h a t shadow."  distorts  i t i s "shadows f a l l i n g upon  Timaeus, on the other hand, while he  recognizes  t h a t our knowledge i s l i m i t e d , does not suggest t h a t the world  of the senses i s i n any way an u n r e a l one: But the g r e a t e s t employment  of the eyes,  32  with r e s p e c t to the use f o r which they were bestowed on us by the D i v i n i t y , we s h a l l now endeavour to e x p l a i n . F o r , i n my o p i n i o n , the s i g h t i s the cause o f the g r e a t e s t emolument t o us on the present occasion; s i n c e what we a r e now d i s c o v e r i n g concerning the u n i v e r s e c o u l d never have been d i s c o v e r e d without s u r v e y i n g the s t a r s , the sun, and the heavens...., the nature o f the u n i v e r s e . But from a l l t h i s we o b t a i n the p o s s e s s i o n of p h i l o sophy; a g r e a t e r good than which never was nor ever w i l l be bestowed by the Gods on the mortal r a c e . And t h i s i s what I c a l l the g r e a t e s t b e n e f i t o f the eyes. ... But concerning v o i c e and h e a r i n g , we again a s s e r t t h a t they were bestowed on us by the Gods on the same account.  (519)  In the Timaeus there i s no i n d i c a t i o n t h a t the p h y s i c a l world  i s an impoverished  realm, t h a t mortals  the chains of e x i s t e n c e :  need c a s t o f f  1  i t i s i n f a c t the p h y s i c a l world  as Keats understood i t , and i n choosing  the Timaeus t o  work with, Keats was opposing h i m s e l f t o the Platonism, and T a y l o r ' s Neo-Platonism, which see the c o r p o r e a l  world  as a cave a f f o r d i n g us only p e r v e r s i o n s f o r knowledge. Because P l a t o i s so i n t e n t upon a f f i r m i n g t h i s premise t h a t the world  i s c a l c u l a t e d towards the good, he  has t r o u b l e r e c o n c i l i n g the presence of e v i l w i t h h i s v i s i o n : i n f a c t , he and Keats a r e ; f a c e d with the same problem. the p h i l o s o p h e r ,  there i s no doubt t h a t the e v i l which  e x i s t s i s the product  o f a necessary  process:  For, as the D i v i n i t y was w i l l i n g t h a t a l l t h i n g s should be good, and t h a t as much as p o s s i b l e n o t h i n g would be e v i l ; hence, r e c e i v i n g every t h i n g v i s i b l e , and which  For  33  was not i n a s t a t e of r e s t , but moving with c o n f u s i o n and d i s o r d e r , he reduced i t from t h i s w i l d i n o r d i n a t i o n i n t o order, c o n s i d e r i n g that such conduct was "'/> by f a r the b e s t . For i t n e i t h e r ever was l a w f u l , nor i s , f o r the best of causes to produce any other than the most b e a u t i f u l of e f f e c t s . (Timaeus, 4 7 7 - 7 8 ) There i s no malevolence  here.  Only because  of i t s pre-  e x i s t e n c e i n chaos and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s complete e r a d i c a t i o n does e v i l s u b s i s t i n the u n i v e r s e .  Sometimes  Timaeus seems to h i n t t h a t the i d e a s of m o r t a l i t y  and  m u t a b i l i t y e x i s t i n the mind of the c r e a t o r and thus, f o r the world to be as p e r f e c t as p o s s i b l e , they must f i n d expression i n h i s creation.  Both e x p l a n a t i o n s , a s s u r e d l y ,  give r i s e to the graver q u e s t i o n i n g of the omnipotence and benevolence founded  of God,  but as the whole P l a t o n i c world-view i s  on a b e l i e f i n both, doubts are d i s c l a i m e d before  they have a chance to take r o o t .  F o r , as Timaeus says, " I t  i s more j u s t to d i s c o u r s e c o n c e r n i n g good t h i n g s than such as are e v i l V  (564).  And t h i s i s e x a c t l y what Hyperion i s prepared to do. Although misfortune b r i n g i n g with i t p a i n and  tribulation  i s to be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the poem, i t i s the good i n h e r e n t i n l i f e ' s processes that Keats means to emphasize.  It-  would be i m p o s s i b l e to c a l c u l a t e to what extent the Timaeus f i g u r e s i n Keats' t h i n k i n g , to what extent i t merely a s o l i d support f o r him t o a s s e r t h i s own p r i n c i p l e s .  affords There  c e r t a i n l y e x i s t s an a f f i n i t y between Hyperion and the d i a l o g u e  3^  in  their  central moves  thesis  that  it  towards  read  the .dialggue  beginning the mind at  the  epic,  time  possibilities Hyperion.^ important memory  mythology Keats  of  uses  mythical  get  the  the  the  with  Platonic about,  the  mythological that  cosmogony  of  the  see  he  on,  in it  has  poet  materials  first  the  Keats  to  poem i n  he  saw  his  the  cosmogony  to  Timaeus  plays  Keats  his an  working  finds  in  from  the  abstractions'),  Timaeus  the  had the  and  If  prior  outlook:  'visionary  Later  itself.  then that  as  but  poem.  his  of  Keats the  to  fashion his  will  r e t u r n to  for  his  experience  which  in its  mythology. one;  to  once  would  takes  Titans  been  own the  "system  of  of  Hyperion  The  explore  by  the  concrete  Olympians — the  world,  i n s p i r e d by t h e certainly  main subject it  than dictates  a well-known mythic  presentation  Keats  enough  be r e l i a b l e ,  yet  informs rather  own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f  w h i c h may h a v e  and  came  he  good  to  through.  overthrow  at  the  was  is  a year  Timaeus  The T i m a e u s of  it  of  was  so much d e t a i l s  and w i l l  salvation,"  it  i n Keats' not  it  we k n o w t h a t  adapting  universe.  ...dialogue  but  world-order  improvement  Bailey's,  However  is  the  the  and perhaps  of  part  (it  at  that  is to  of  ensure  —  the it  interpretation  P l a t o n i c mythology, owes s o m e t h i n g a  to  one that  theological  of  a v i s i o n of  the  that  conclusions  come  c o u l d be v e r i f i e d  open and s p e c u l a t i v e  story  cosmos  and i n f u s e s  an  Hyperion is  i n need  the  enough  within its to  a l l o w the  world to  structures, poet  room  35  f o r p e r s o n a l wanderings, p e r s o n a l surmises. Timaeus has i t s own evil,  While the  d i f f i c u l t i e s i n meeting the problem of  i t s c o n s t r u c t i o n of the world  i s n e v e r t h e l e s s sub-  s t a n t i a l enough and a t the same time  e l a s t i c enough to  o f f e r Keats a s e c u r i t y i n i t s cosmogony. The theogony of Hyperion i s by no means a complete one,  but the poet nonetheless r e v e a l s enough of the d i v i n e  order to c o n f i r m t h a t he i s f o l l o w i n g P l a t o ' s c o n c e p t i o n of c r e a t i o n with r e f e r e n c e to the h i e r a r c h y of the gods. A c c o r d i n g to Timaeus, the t r a d i t i o n a l gods ( i . e . the T i t a n s and Olympians) are merely p a r t of the whole scheme of c r e a t i o n , and they are "secondary"  i n power and  i n b i r t h to  t h e i r c r e a t o r the Demiurgus, the p l a n e t s or " c e l e s t i a l " to Heaven and E a r t h t h e i r p a r e n t s ,  to Time (the moving  image of E t e r n i t y ) and to the e t h e r e a l elements. -^ 1  are f i x e d gods and v e r i t i e s , whereas the secondary l u n a r y , or mundane, or j u n i o r ) gods, although w i t h i n g e n e r a t i o n and s u b j e c t to change.  These (or sub-  immortal,  are  Once the Demiurgu  of the Timaeus has f a b r i c a t e d the u n i v e r s e and realm,  god  i t s empyrean  he a p p l i e s h i m s e l f to the t r a d i t i o n a l gods: I n t h i s manner, then, . 1 . . . . . ; . the g e n e r a t i o n of these Gods i s to be d e s c r i b e d : That Ocean and Tethys were the progeny of heaven and e a r t h . That from hence Phorcys, Saturn, and Rhea, and such as s u b s i s t together from these, were produced. That from Saturn and Rhea, J u p i t e r , Juno, and a l l such as we know are c a l l e d the b r e t h r e n of these descended. And l a s t l y , others which are r e p o r t e d to be the  36  (Timaeus, 5 0 1 )  progeny of these.  \  The A r t i f i c e r of the u n i v e r s e thus addressed them: "Gods of Gods, o f whom I am the demiurgus and f a t h e r , whatever i s generated hy me i s i n d i s s o l u b l e , such being my w i l l i n i t s f a b r i c a t i o n . Indeed every t h i n g which i s bound i s d i s s o l u b l e ; but t o be w i l l i n g t o d i s s o l v e t h a t which i s b e a u t i f u l l y harmonized, and well-composed, i s the p r o p e r t y of an e v i l nature. Hence, so f a r as you are generated, you are not immortal, nor i n every r e s p e c t i n d i s s o l u b l e ; y e t you s h a l l never be d i s s o l v e d , nor become s u b j e c t to the f a t a l i t y of death; my w i l l being a much g r e a t e r and more e x c e l l e n t bond than the v i t a l c o n n e c t i v e s with which you were bound a t the commencement of your generation. (Timaeus,  5 0 1 - 5 0 4 )  He d e l i v e r e d to the j u n i o r Gods the p r o v i n c e of f a b r i c a t i n g m o r t a l bodies, and g e n e r a t i n g whatever e l s e remained necessary to the human s o u l ; and gave them dominion over every t h i n g consequent to t h e i r f a b r i c a t i o n s . He l i k e w i s e commanded them to govern as much as p o s s i b l e i n the best andmmost b e a u t i f u l manner the m o r t a l animal, t h a t i t might not become the cause of e v i l to i t s e l f . (Timaeus,  511-12)  The genealogy  p r e s e n t e d here i s standard; what i s to be  remarked i s the p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n and  responsibilities  g i v e n to the o f f s p r i n g of Heaven and E a r t h .  Keats c r e a t e s  h i s gods i n the image of P l a t o ' s -- they are w i t h i n generat i o n , they are l i m i t e d i n t h e i r knowledge and t h e i r powers, and they are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r g o v e r i n g the m o r t a l world i n the "most b e a u t i f u l manner" p o s s i b l e . That h i s j u n i o r gods are w i t h i n the mutable world i s s u f f i c i e n t l y evident.  But Keats c l e a r l y marks as w e l l  37  t h e i r p o s i t i o n r e l a t i v e t o the e n t i r e u n i v e r s e .  Coelus  c h a r a c t e r i z e s the T i t a n s as symbols d i v i n e , M a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f t h a t beauteous l i f e D i f f u s ' d unseen throughout e t e r n a l space. (I, 316-18) They a r e "shap'd and p a l p a b l e Gods," symbols, and are not to  be equated with  g i b l e being.  "beauteous l i f e "  or the realm  As the r u l e r s o f m o r t a l s ,  of i n t e l l i -  the T i t a n s are  knowledgeable o f what m o r t a l i t y and m u t a b i l i t y s i g n i f y , and what they  s u f f e r i n t h e i r f a l l i s a f u r t h e r d i s t a n c i n g from  the empyrean realm  -- a t a k i n g on o f , not only the e a r t h as  t h e i r d w e l l i n g p l a c e , but the more p a i n f u l q u a l i t i e s o f mortals.  Saturn  s t r i v e s , i n what he b l i n d l y sees as h i s  d i s g r a c e , a g a i n s t the p a s s i o n s  o f rage,  fear, anxiety,  remorse, spleen, d e s p a i r , but i n v a i n ; f o r Fate Had pour'd a m o r t a l o i l upon h i s head, A d i s a n o i n t i n g poison. (II, 96-98) Thea too experiences  human agony i n her defeat and i n her  sympathy f o r Saturn: One hand she p r e s s ' d upon t h a t a c h i n g spot Where beats the human h e a r t , as i f j u s t t h e r e , Though an immortal, she f e l t c r u e l p a i n .  (I, 42-44) To make h i s gods undergo what he sees t o be the p l i g h t o f the human being i n p a i n and ignorance for  i s Keats' i n t e n t i o n ,  the poem i s to explore, among other t h i n g s , the Mansion  of Many Apartments; Keats,  in, humanizing h i s c h a r a c t e r s as  38  much as he does, does not  l e s s e n the  s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r c r i s i s ,  hut r a t h e r renders i t at once  more immediate and more u n i v e r s a l . as  cosmic, p h i l o s o p h i c a l  In p o r t r a y i n g h i s gods  " u n l i k e Gods," the poet i s not d i v e r g i n g from the  kind  of mythology found i n the Timaeus where a t t r i b u t e s of  the  i n t e l l i g i b l e and m a t e r i a l realms are f r e e l y interchanged, i s i n the same p r o c e s s of m y t h o l o g i z i n g his assertions The focussed godhead. given, evident  of r e a l i t y  i n Hyperion, the  i n the poem are most  only T i t a n who  r e a s o n f o r h i s continued  sharply  has r e t a i n e d h i s  power i s not  expressly  but he i s " b r i g h t e s t " of Coelus' c h i l d r e n , and w i t h i n the  i n beauty should f a l l because he i s may  as i s Timaeus, making  " a s s i m i l a t i v e of the t r u t h " of human experience.  orders  The  but  l a r g e r meaning of the poem (where  be f i r s t  i n might") t h a t he  be e a s i l y c o n j e c t u r e d :  "The  "first  i s last  i s the most b e a u t i f u l o f ' h i s r a c e .  i t is  to Why  sun i m i t a t e s to a  he greater  degree than the  other p l a n e t s the permanency of e t e r n i t y "  (Timaeus, 5 6 4 ) ;  i t i s f a b r i c a t e d from the most d i v i n e o f  the elements.  K e a t s , " l i k e P l a t o , designates  " p l a n e t " orb of f i r e , and  grants  However, i n s p i t e of t h i s beauty and  he i n h a b i t s and sovereignty  over i t .  cause the sun to  rise:  s u p e r i o r beauty.  his position within  Hyperion i s merely the  attends the  a  Hyperion i n consequence of  h i s r e l a t i o n with the most e x a l t e d p l a n e t ,  the sublunary h i e r a r c h y ,  the sun  c e l e s t i a l planet,  S i x hours before  "sun's  God";  but he has  no  dawn, Hyperion would  39  F a i n would he have commanded, f a i n took throne And b i d the day begin, i f but f o r change, He might not: -- No, though a p r i m e v a l God: The s a c r e d seasons might not be d i s t u r b ' d . (I, 290-93) The h i e r a r c h y i s c l e a r :  the c e l e s t i a l god, the sun, c o n t r o l s  Time, the sacred seasons.  And Hyperion i s i n f e r i o r to both;  h i s power as a secondary god i s over only the m o r t a l world. L i k e Hyperion, the other j u n i o r gods are circumscribed i n their a b i l i t i e s .  Saturn's "godlike  exercise"  while he governed c o n s i s t e d o f m i l d patronage over the l e s s e r s t a r s and elements, and a somewhat s t r o n g e r r u l e over the earth.  His a c t s were Of i n f l u e n c e benign on p l a n e t s p a l e , Of admonitions t o the winds and seas, Of p e a c e f u l sway above man's h a r v e s t i n g . ( I , 108-110)  Though an immortal god, he has no u l t i m a t e a u t h o r i t y .  His  questions But cannot I c r e a t e ? Cannot I form? Cannot I f a s h i o n f o r t h Another world, another u n i v e r s e To overbear and crumble t h i s to naught? Where i s another chaos? ( I , 141-45) are r h e t o r i c a l , extravagant,' f o r he can do none of these t h i n g s , he has done none of them. d e t a i l how  Both Coelus and Oceanus  S a t u r n came i n t o being, and i t was  to g e n e s i s from  subsequent  chaos.  R e l a t e d to t h e i r r e s t r i c t e d powers i s the l i m i t e d knowledge the T i t a n s p o s s e s s .  In C o e l u s  1  address to Hyperion  40  we  d i s c o v e r t h a t the f o r c e s behind c r e a t i o n are hidden  the gods.  from  The T i t a n s , l i k e the f i r s t r a c e of sublunary gods  i n the Timaeus (and here P l a t o i s f o l l o w i n g Hesiod), are the o f f s p r i n g of Heaven and E a r t h .  They and t h e i r parents are  unaware of the p r i n c i p l e s of t h e i r g e n e r a t i o n .  For Coelus,  Hyperion i s the Son o f M y s t e r i e s A l l unrevealed even to the powers Which met at / h i s / c r e a t i n g . Nor  do the T i t a n s understand  (I, 310-12)  the cause of t h e i r d o w n f a l l ,  but b e l i e v e i t to be the power of the Olympians.  For  Saturn, although he has read "strange l o r e " and i s l e a r n e d i n the legends of the f i r s t t h i n g s that he cannot  of days, there are reasons f o r  fathom.  He addresses  the gods:  Not i n my own sad b r e a s t , Which i s i t s ©wn great judge and searcher out, Can I f i n d reason why ye should be thus. (II,  It  129-3D  i s only the g r i e f of having l o s t t h e i r supremacy t h a t  the T i t a n s know.  T h e i r f a t h e r , who  recounts the f a l l ,  can  d e s c r i b e , but he cannot e x p l a i n : I saw him f a l l , I saw my f i r s t - b o r n tumbled from, .his throne! To me h i s arms were spread, to me h i s v o i c e Found way from f o r t h the thunders round h i s head! • • •  I have seen my sons most u n l i k e Gods. D i v i n e ye were c r e a t e d , and d i v i n e In sad demeanour, solemn, u n d i s t u r b ' d , U n r u f f l e d , l i k e high Gods, ye l i v ' d and r u l e d : Now I behold i n you f e a r , hope, and wrath;  41  A c t i o n s of rage and p a s s i o n ; even as I see them, on the m o r t a l world beneath, In men who d i e . — T h i s i s the g r i e f , 0 Son! (I, 322-25,  328-35)  While Keats appears to be f o l l o w i n g Hesiod i n a t t r i b u t i n g the parentage  of the T i t a n s to Heaven and E a r t h  (as w e l l as i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the den t o which the gods fall), Hesiod.  he i s i n f a c t u s i n g the P l a t o n i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of I t has always p u z z l e d c r i t i c s of Hyperion t h a t  Coelus should love and p i t y h i s sons when the Theogony, which they were depending upon as Keats' source, has Heaven vowing vengeance on Cronos  (or S a t u r n ) .  But g i v e n the b a s i s  of the Timaeus, and Keats' obvious concurrence i n i t ,  that  e v e r y t h i n g i n the world moves towards the good, i t i s only n a t u r a l that Coelus p r i d e h i m s e l f on the beauty and power of h i s c h i l d r e n , and t h a t he sympathize  i n t h e i r woes.  If  Keats had i n mind the o u t l i n e of the r i s e of p o e t r y , no doubt Saturn and h i s T i t a n s would e v e n t u a l l y have come'to accept theccensures of Oceanus, to see themselves as a necessary but t r a n s i t o r y phase i n the advancement of the world, and t o r e c o g n i z e t h e i r f u n c t i o n i n g i v i n g l i f e and knowledge to the Olympians.  The wars would thus be metaphors f o r the  p a i n and t u r b u l e n c e experienced i n the p r o c e s s of necessary change.  The T i t a n s must needs bow  s i n c e the commission  to £heir s u c c e s s o r s ;  of the j u n i o r gods i s to r u l e i n the  best and most b e a u t i f u l manner, the Olympians must be  sub-  m i t t e d to", f o r i n t h e i r g r e a t e r beauty they are capable of s u p e r i o r governing.  42  Oceanus' d e s c r i p t i o n of the coming-into-being of the u n i v e r s e and i t s gods, with L i g h t or V i s i b i l i t y the main element  of the c e l e s t i a l beginnings, w i t h the A r t i f i c e r  c o n t i n u i n g to abide i n h i s own h a b i t d u r i n g c r e a t i o n , with the n o t i o n that Time ("the r i p e hour,"  and  "upon t h a t very  hour") rose together w i t h the u n i v e r s e i s i n accord w i t h the P l a t o n i c mythology:  16  From chaos and p a r e n t a l darkness came L i g h t , the f i r s t f r u i t s of that i n t e s t i n e b r o i l , That s u l l e n ferment, which f o r wondrous ends Was r i p e n i n g i n i t s e l f . The r i p e hour came, And with i t l i g h t , and l i g h t , engendering Upon i t s own producer, f o r t h w i t h touch'd The whole enormous matter i n t o l i f e . Upon t h a t very hour, our parentage, The Heavens, and the E a r t h , were m a n i f e s t : Then thou the f i r s t born, and we the g i a n t r a c e Found o u r s e l v e s r u l i n g new and beauteous realms. ( I I , 191-201) As w e l l , the sage's r e a s o n i n g of how  and why  the T i t a n s '  fall  occurs, which w i l l be looked at l a t e r , i n i t s n a t u r a l i s m and its  understanding of g e n e r a t i o n as p r o c e s s , i s i n keeping  with P l a t o n i c  doctrine.  In order to c l e a r up a m i s c o n c e p t i o n of the poem which i s almost u n i v e r s a l l y accepted, i t i s necessary to r e c o g n i z e t h a t Keats i s working w i t h i n the P l a t o n i c world of the Timaeus.  Although they e x h i b i t weakness, a l l the f r a i l i -  t i e s of the human c o n d i t i o n , the T i t a n s do not f a l l  from  17 weakness, from un-godlike a c t i o n s . '  T h i s should be  from Oceanus' statement t h a t they f a l l from course of Nature's Of thunder, or of Jove.  apparent  law, not f o r c e ( I I , 181-82)  43  But more than Oceanus  words, which, i t i s t r u e , do  1  not  always conform to the emotional t r u t h of the poem, we the examples of the y e t - t o - f a l l Hyperion and quering  of the  have  con-  Olympians to i l l u s t r a t e t h a t the r e v o l u t i o n which  takes place does not r e s u l t from wrongful or weak a c t i o n s on the p a r t of the T i t a n s .  Hyperion, s t i l l  d e s t i n e d to l o s e h i s power: do can save him.  The  nothing  eagle's  (unseen, unheard before  wings and n e i g h i n g  (I, 182-85)  d e p o s i t i o n without h i s having acted i s c l e a r to him  it  And  i s "now," a f t e r the f a l l ,  f u l l of f e a r , hope and  to  steeds which  s i g n a l Hyperion's  at a l l .  does he d e s p e r a t e l y  t r y to hasten the dawn.  is  he can do or r e f u s e  by gods or wondering men)  h e r a l d the approach of A p o l l o  defeat  sovereign,  Only a f t e r h i s and i n e f f e c t u a l l y  Coelus s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e s t h a t that the T i t a n s are l i k e  mortals,  wrath.  But more remarkable and  d e f i n i t i v e evidence t h a t  Keats makes h i s sublunary gods, whether T i t a n or Olympian, s u b j e c t to u n i v e r s a l laws over which they have no power, i s the f a c t t h a t even the Olympians, f a t e d to e x c e l t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s , do not r e a l i z e t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n the scheme of things. destroy  Saturn's passionate the new  order  execrations  and  (quoted above, p. 3 9 ;  his threat  to  I, 1 4 1 - 4 5 )  Found way onto Olympus, and made quake The r e b e l t h r e e . ( I , 145-46) The  Olympians do not  given, to them.  The  comprehend the power t h a t has  been  T i t a n Enceladus, h u r l i n g mountains i n  the second  war, s c a r ' d the younger Gods To hide themselves i n forms of beast and (II,  The  i n s e c u r i t y o f the new  bird. 71-2)  order i s not s u r p r i s i n g when we  c o n s i d e r t h a t the younger gods r e p r e s e n t simply  another  stage i n g e n e r a t i o n , t h a t they are p a r t of a process not f u l l y r e c o g n i z e d or understood. apparent  T h e i r c o n d i t i o n i s most  i n A p o l l o whose q u e s t i o n s , p a r a l l e l i n g  Saturn's  Who had power To make me d e s o l a t e ? whence came the strength? How was i t n u r t u r ' d to such b u r s t i n g f o r t h , While Fate seem'd s t r a n g l e d i n my nervous grasp? ( I , 102-105) show him to be as uncomprehending as the aged god.  Apollo  asks: Where i s power? Whose hand, whose essence, what d i v i n i t y Makes t h i s alarum i n the elements, While I here i d l e l i s t e n on the shores In f e a r l e s s y e t i n a c h i n g "Ignorance? ( I l l , 103-107) One  o f Keats' themes i s the growth o f the i n d i v i d u a l  ignorance to the a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge through experience.  from  painful  However much s t r e s s i s l a i d upon ignorance,  though, h i s c h a r a c t e r s remain d e i t i e s of formidable  qualities.  Saturn may  his  not be aware of the powers which conduct  d o w n f a l l , but he has r u l e d as a k i n g , he has  'read and  s t u d i e d deep,' and h i s emotional f a c u l t y i s capacious. A p o l l o , and we may  suppose h i s f e l l o w Olympians too, are  45  g i v e n "knowledge enormous."  What Keats i s endeavouring to  embody i n h i s poem i s the f o r c e o f u n i v e r s a l laws which must be reckoned with, and the f a c t that a l l ,  conquered and  conquering, are caught i n a p r o c e s s not e a s i l y understood. No blame a t t a c h e s i t s e l f t o those who s u f f e r , no f a u l t i s to be found i n the i n d i v i d u a l .  Rather, ignorance i s a  c o n d i t i o n n a t u r a l w i t h i n the p a t t e r n i n g o f the u n i v e r s e ; to vanquish i t e n t i r e l y i s i m p o s s i b l e .  However, the p a i n o f  ignorance can be to a great extent a l l e v i a t e d i f one r e c o g n i z e s the a b s t r a c t t r u t h that beauty and goodness  are the  b a s i s o f the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the world. While not y e t apparent to the T i t a n s , t h i s t r u t h i s n e v e r t h e l e s s w r i t t e n i n t o the f a b r i c o f the poem. w i l l be p r e s e n t i n g —  we see him a t work on i t i n h i s s t r u c -  t u r i n g of the c e l e s t i a l , reality —  Keats  sublunary and mundane orders o f  a p e r f e c t l y - h a r m o n i z e d u n i v e r s e i n which the beauty  of the world w i l l be apparent.  I n a remarkably f i n e use o f  the four elements as they r e f l e c t  experiences w i t h i n the  poem, Keats e r e c t s a s o l i d support t o h i s cosmic system.  A  good p a r t o f the Timaeus i s devoted to the study o f the elements.—  after a l l ,  universe consists —  they are the m a t e r i a l s o f which the  from t h e i r demurgic,  intelligible  ence as form t o t h e i r s u b s i s t e n c e as matter.  1  exist-  Pi  One can  r e a d i l y imagine that the P l a t o n i c d i s c o u r s e would have impressed and d e l i g h t e d the poet, e s p e c i a l l y as a former medic a l student, i n i t s e x p l i c a t i o n o f the v a r i o u s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s  4 6  the elements assume., p a r t i c u l a r l y as a p p l i e d t o the composit i o n of the body with i t s p a s s i o n s , senses, humours and diseases.  While Keats may  Timaeus i n h i s treatment  not he c o n s c i o u s l y r e c a l l i n g the  of the elements,  the imagery he  employs, where the elements mark the d i v i s i o n between the e t h e r e a l and c o r p o r e a l orders of h i s c o s m o l o g i c a l design, c e r t a i n l y shows the i n f l u e n c e of the d i a l o g u e . The  fall  of Saturn i s r e f l e c t e d i n h i s s e p a r a t i o n  from the elements he was  used to a s s o c i a t e w i t h and command.  That they c o n s t i t u t e d an important p a r t of h i s r u l e as k i n g can be noted i n the f a c t t h a t he looks to them to e x p l a i n his  collapse: In s i g n , symbol, or p o r t e n t Of element, e a r t h , water, a i r , and f i r e -At war, at peace, or i n t e r - q u a r r e l i n g One a g a i n s t one, or two, or t h r e e , or a l l Each s e v e r a l one a g a i n s t the other t h r e e , .As f i r e with a i r loud w a r r i n g when r a i n - f l o o d s Drown both, and press them both a g a i n s t e a r t h ' s f a c e , Where, f i n d i n g sulphur, a quadruple wrath Unhinges the poor world; -- not i n t h a t s t r i f e Wherefrom I take strange l o r e , and r e a d i t deep, Can I f i n d reason ,why /we/ should be thus. (II, 139-49)  (Keats presumes the i n s t r u c t i v e nature of the elements i n h i s mythology much as does Timaeus f o r whom t h e i r g e o m e t r i c a l composition and r e l a t i o n s among one another form a b a s i s f o r s c i e n t i f i c a a n d p h i l o s o p h i c knowledge.  In f a c t ,  Saturn's  catalogue has much i n common with Timaeus' d e s c r i p t i o n of the many a c t i v i t i e s of the elements. ^) 1  w i t h the deposed d e i t y is  The poem opens  " f a r from the f i e r y noon," where there  "no s t i r o f a i r " ; the stream which passes by i s " v o i c e -  47  less," the  "deadened";  earth.  and the a n c i e n t god f i n d s no comfort from  The p h y s i c a l s e t t i n g c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s Saturn's  l o s s of r o y a l t y :  here i s a k i n g c a s t i n t o the e q u i v a l e n t i n  nature o f a c a s t l e ' s dungeon, l o c k e d away, d e p r i v e d o f a l l t h a t possesses h e a l t h , "beauty, pomp.  But the imagery too  r e v e a l s the p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e a l i t y o f Saturn's present s t a t e : his  i d e n t i t y i s gone, he t e l l s Thea, l e f t between h i s throne  and the e a r t h -- h i s l i f e l e s s n e s s , h i s l a c k o f i d e n t i t y  find  e x p r e s s i o n i n the elements which no longer p a r t i c i p a t e i n his  l i f e , w i t h which he can no longer i d e n t i f y h i m s e l f .  The  l o s s of s o v e r e i g n t y i s summed up by Thea as the d i s u n i o n o f the  k i n g and e a r t h , water, a i r and  fire:  heaven i s p a r t e d from thee, and the e a r t h Knows thee not, thus a f f l i c t e d , f o r a god, And ocean too, with a l l i t s solemn n o i s e , Has from thy sceptre pass Id; and a l l the a i r Is emptied o f t h i n e hoary majesty. Thy thunder, conscious o f the new command, Rumbles r e l u c t a n t o'er our f a l l e n house; And thy sharp l i g h t n i n g i n u n p r a c t i s ' d hands Scorches and burns our once serene domain. (I,  The gods' once p e a c e f u l dominion, now  55-63)  t h e i r abode, e x p e r i -  ences the very lowest form the elements can assume:  disorder  and u n r u l i n e s s where l i g h t n i n g i s c a u s t i c and b r i n g s w i t h i t harm. T h i s mundane f i r e which burns and scorches i s i n c o n t r a s t to the c e l e s t i a l home of Hyperion.  The p l a n e t i n  which the god r e s i d e s and to whose pre-eminence continued power i s f a b r i c a t e d from f i r e , of  the elements.  he owes h i s  the most e t h e r e a l  Timaeus t e l l s us t h a t i n i t s pure form,  48  the  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of f i r e  i s v i s i b i l i t y , not heat.  Keats  makes use o f t h i s d i s p a r i t y between the e t h e r e a l and corp o r e a l forms o f the element to d e p i c t the g r a d u a l r e d u c t i o n i n Hype.rion's s t a t u s . of  "blissful light,"  The sun, h i s "lucent empire"  consists  "pure f a n e s , " b l a z e , splendour and  symmetry; but when Hyperion enters i t a t n i g h t f a l l ,  having  a l r e a d y r e c e i v e d omens o f h i s d e f e a t , he e n t e r s " f u l l o f wrath," and h i s f l a m i n g robes, t o r e f l e c t the heat o f h i s anger, g i v e a r o a r "as i f o f e a r t h l y f i r e " t h a t scares away the (the  e t h e r e a l Hours.  Even the s u g g e s t i o n of e a r t h l y  fire  r o a r i s as i f of e a r t h l y f i r e ) i n the c e l e s t i a l palace  i s i n t r u s i v e and f r i g h t e n i n g , and i t b e t r a y s Hyperion's waning s o v e r e i g n t y . his  The disappearance of l i g h t , f i r s t . " i n  empire, and secondly i n h i m s e l f , f u r t h e r portends h i s  downfall: The b l a z e , the splendour, and the symmetry, I cannot see -- but darkness, death and darkness. (I, 241-42) When he cannot operate the dawn as he would, when h i s impotence i s abundantly c l e a r to him, h i s d i v i s i o n from f i r e i s n e a r l y complete:  celestial  he s t r e t c h e s h i m s e l f a l o n g the  clouds i n "radiance f a i n t . V  By the end of Book I, he has  l e f t h i s f i e r y home and has plunged i n t o the lower, mundane elements: Then with a slow i n c l i n e o f h i s broad b r e a s t , L i k e to a d i v e r i n the p e a r l y seas, Forward he stoop'd over the a i r y shore, And plung'd a l l n o i s e l e s s i n t o the deep n i g h t . (I,  354-57)  49  A p o l l o , who the  r e p l a c e s Hyperion as the sun's god, experiences  r e v e r s e of Hyperion's downward course through the e l e -  ments.  He i s j u s t awakened and i n the morning  twilight  w i l l q u i t the h e a v i e r e a r t h l y elements f o r the His  celestial.  d e i f i c a t i o n begins when the "dark, dark, and  p a i n f u l o b l i v i o n " which s e a l s up h i s eyes (and which corree--sponds to Hyperion's newly-acquired v i s i o n o f death and darkness) i s transformed i n t o the a s p i r a t i o n f o r a c e l e s t i a l home: upon the grass I s i t , and moan, L i k e one who once had wings. -- 0 why should I F e e l c u r s ' d and thwarted, when the l i e g e l e s s a i r Y i e l d s to my step a s p i r a n t ? why should I Spurn the green t u r f as h a t e f u l t o my f e e t ? Goddess benign, p o i n t forth"some unknown t h i n g : Are there not other r e g i o n s than t h i s i s l e ? What are the s t a r s ? There i s the sun, the sun! ( I l l , 90-97) Although the young god understands not, he senses that he must i n h a b i t a realm more d i v i n e than the one he knows.  It  is  the elements which i n e f f e c t t e l l him so:  is  a l i e n to h i s touch, water has no meaning f o r him as he  s i t s i d l y by the shore ( 1 . And  106),  the dense e a r t h  the a i r i n v i t e s h i s f l i g h t .  i t i s the sun, the v i s i b l e f i r e  of the c e l e s t i a l order,  which a t t r a c t s h i s n o t i c e , and towards which he longs. in  Apollo,  the process of r e a d i n g the elements, o f g l e a n i n g the knowl-  edge which they o f f e r , i s i n d i r e c t c o n t r a s t to Saturn whose f a l l marks a s e p a r a t i o n between h i m s e l f and the power he once had to be comforted by the elements, to govern over them and to read t h e i r s e c r e t s .  The passing-away  of the o l d  50  order of the gods and the ascent of A p o l l o are thus f u l l y r e f l e c t e d i n Keats' m a n i p u l a t i o n the elements correspond The  to present  i n h i s mytho-  can only speculate upon, although we know  from the treatment it  of the ways i n which  to the v a r y i n g l e v e l s of r e a l i t y .  exact process Keats was  l o g i c a l world we  skill-  of A p o l l o and the speech of Oceanus t h a t  i s to a s s i m i l a t e the P l a t o n i c concept  of g e n e r a t i o n :  "a  motion or p r o c e s s i o n towards the i n t e g r i t y and p e r f e c t i o n of the u n i v e r s e " ( T a y l o r , 4 3 6 ) .  T a y l o r i n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n to  the Timaeus r e f e r s to v i o l e n t r e f o r m a t i o n s  i n the cosmic  order  which are ordained hy D i v i n i t y ; and quotes a passage from P r o c l u s i n which the p h i l o s o p h e r d e s c r i b e s the  progressions  i n t o the e a r t h : I t i s necessary to remember, t h a t through the d e v a s t a t i o n s of these two elements, f i r e and water, a more p r o l i f i c r e g e n e r a t i o n of t h i n g s takes p l a c e at c e r t a i n p e r i o d s of time; and t h a t when D i v i n i t y i n t e n d s a r e f o r m a t i o n , the heavenly bodies concur with t h i s d e s i g n . (435) For there are p r o g r e s s i o n s of a l l the c e l e s t i a l Gods i n t o the e a r t h ; and e a r t h c o n t a i n s a l l t h i n g s , i n an e a r t h l y manner, which heaven comprehends c e l e s t i a l l y . Keats' war  (430)  between the T i t a n s and Olympians which f i n d s the  former c a s t i n t o the mundane world  i s hence accounted f o r  w i t h i n the P l a t o n i c cosmogony as i t r e c o g n i z e s r e v o l u t i o n s to be p a r t of the generated  world and as i t d e f i n e s the  d i f f e r e n t s t a t i o n s of the j u n i o r gods i n the u n i v e r s e .  The  51  reasons f o r change are a b s t r a c t , they are " i d e a s " e x i s t i n g i n the mind of the demiurgus.  Keats' sublunary gods  s u f f e r or prosper w i t h i n g e n e r a t i o n cannot  who  see the a b s t r a c t  p r i n c i p l e s of which they are the v i t a l r e a l i z a t i o n s .  Yet  there are c l u e s to the understanding of the process o f the world i n h e r e n t i n c r e a t i o n which should i n s p i r e a f a i t h i n and understanding of the e s s e n t i a l goodness of t h i n g s : i s beauty  i n the heavenly  appearance,  bodies and i n Nature,  there  i n their  i n t h e i r o r d e r l y movements and laws, which  r e v e a l s the goodness of the c r e a t e d u n i v e r s e and which, by analogy, r e v e a l s the goodness of the p r i n c i p l e s by which the a r t i f i c e r e s t a b l i s h e s h i s world. Keats' world-system  with i t s " a b s t r a c t images" i s  meant to show the t r u t h df the P l a t o n i c d o c t r i n e that p h y s i c a l world embodies m e t a p h y s i c a l t r u t h , that  the  divine  knowledge i s to be apprehended i n the machinery of o r d i n a r y existence.  But because the T i t a n s are b l i n d to the reasons  f o r t h e i r p a i n , i t i s necessary t h a t the t r u t h be for  them.  elucidated  I t f a l l s t o Oceanus, s o p h i s t and sage, to e x p l a i n  the p a t t e r n of the u n i v e r s e and the law of Nature  which  account f o r t h e i r p r e s e n t c o n d i t i o n :  180  Yet l i s t e n , ye who w i l l , w h i l s t I b r i n g p r o o f How ye, p e r f o r c e , must be content t o stoop: And i n the p r o o f much comfort w i l l I g i v e , I f ye w i l l take t h a t comfort i n i t s t r u t h . We f a l l by course of Nature's law, not f o r c e Of thunder, or of Jove. Great Saturn, •  a  •  as thou wast not the f i r s t of powers, So a r t thou not the l a s t ; i t cannot be:  52  190  Thou a r t not the b e g i n n i n g nor the  end.  • • •  210  220  230  240  Mark w e l l ! As Heaven and E a r t h are f a i r e r , f a i r e r f a r Than Chaos and b l a n k Darkness, though once c h i e f s ; And as we show beyond t h a t Heaven and E a r t h In form and shape compact and b e a u t i f u l , I n w i l l , i n a c t i o n f r e e , companionship, And thousand other s i g n s o f p u r e r l i f e ; So on our h e e l s a f r e s h p e r f e c t i o n t r e a d s , A power more s t r o n g i n beauty, born of us And f a t e d to e x c e l us, as we pass I n g l o r y that o l d Darkness: nor are we Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the r u l e Of shapeless Chaos. Say, doth the d u l l s o i l Q u a r r e l with the proud f o r e s t s i t hath f e d , And f e e d e t h s t i l l , more comely than i t s e l f ? Can i t deny the chiefdom of green groves? Or s h a l l the t r e e be envious of the dove Because i t cooeth, and-.hath snowy wings To wander wherewithal and f i n d i t s j o y s ? We are such f o r e s t - t r e e s , and our f a i r boughs Have bred f o r t h , not p a l e s o l i t a r y doves, But eagles g o l d e n - f e a t h e r ' d , who do tower Above us i n t h e i r beauty, and must r e i g n In r i g h t t h e r e o f ; f o r ' t i s the e t e r n a l law That f i r s t i n beauty should be f i r s t i n might: Yea, by t h a t law, another r a c e may d r i v e Our conquerors to mourn as we do now. Have ye beheld the young God of the Seas, My d i s p o s s e s s o r ? Have ye seen h i s f a c e ? Have ye beheld h i s c h a r i o t , foam'd a l o n g By noble winged c r e a t u r e s he hath made? I saw him on the calmed waters scud, With such a glow of beauty i n h i s eyes, That i t e n f o r c ' d me to b i d sad f a r e w e l l To a l l my empire: f a r e w e l l sad I took, Arid h i t h e r came, to see how-dolorous f a t e Had wrought upon ye; and how I might best Give c o n s o l a t i o n i n t h i s woe extreme. ( I I , 177-82, 188-90,  205-42)  Oceanus' n a r r a t i o n of the c r e a t i o n and the p r o g r e s s o f the u n i v e r s e , demonstrating t h a t as each new u n f o l d s the world i s improved,  stage i n g e n e r a t i o n  i s the b a s i s o f h i s argument.  The T i t a n s themselves have b e n e f i t e d from change, and they cannot expect t h a t the u n i v e r s e w i l l cease i t s movement  53  towards the p e r f e c t i n g of i t s e l f . first  same p r i n c i p l e which  brought f o r t h good out of chaos, c r e a t e d Heaven  E a r t h , and ful  The  then i n t r o d u c e d  the T i t a n s and  the new  and  and  beauti-  realms over which they r u l e d , i s s t i l l at work w i t h i n  the world.  When the e v o l u t i o n a r y  properly recognized,  subdue any  which engenders g r e a t e r  philosophy,  p a i n s u f f e r e d i n the  the Good are synonymous:  D i v i n i t y introduces  sees beauty a l l i e d to order, Oceanus' v i s i o n of the  the  proportion)  shapeless and according  idea of good i n t o  "form and  denotes u n i t y .  goodness of  c o n s i s t i n g of  transgeometrical  Immediately d i s p l a c i n g that which  to number" (Timaeus, 491)  and  the  fairer,  signs of "purer l i f e , "  shape compact," and  was  e t e r n a l image f l o w i n g  d i v i s i o n , Heaven and E a r t h . are  underlies  "blank" darkness are  blank are Time, "the  e x c e l t h e i r parents,  the  T h i s concept that  and p r o g r e s s i v e  (the element of f i r e ,  of t h e i r f i g u r e and  their  inherent  into l i f e .  i n the P l a t o n i c  f i g u r e and p r o p o r t i o n  "Shapeless" chaos and  formed by l i g h t  process  beauty.  world by imposing b e a u t i f u l forms on i t .  creation.  of c r e a t i o n i s  Oceanus reasons, a p h i l o s o p h i c a l content-  ment must o v e r r i d e and  Beauty and  character  because  The  Titans  because of  t h e i r companionship which  Oceanus does not announce how  i t i s that  Olympians are s t i l l more b e a u t i f u l than the T i t a n s , but  the his  immediate r e c o g n i t i o n of t h e i r s u p e r i o r i t y (he and Mnemosyne are the  only T i t a n s to have seen t h e i r conquerors and  both  immediately acquiesce i n t h e i r f a t e ) i s i n keeping with  the  5^  P l a t o n i c i d e a . t h a t the b e a u t i f u l speaks to our f a c u l t i e s and truth.  t h a t i t i s at once p e r c e i v e d  Beauty i s the  highest  as goodness  supreme p r i n c i p l e i n a l l t h i n g s :  Keats i t i s what makes the tragedy of l e a r bearable; Oceanus, who  sees the beauty o f Neptune and who  what makes h i s sorrow and p a i n endurable. Oceanus c a l l s upon the  " e t e r n a l law"  i n s t r e n g t h to e x p l a i n t h e  unseating  of h i s r o y a l house.  for  i t is  In h i s address  that f i r s t  c r e a t i o n and  The  i n beauty i s then the  argument presumes,  Keats s u r e l y meant to c a r r y i t out,  The  p a r t i n g words of the  Receive the t r u t h , and The  t r u t h i s t h a t the u n i v e r s e  progression The thus,  and  towards p e r f e c t progression  o f a n a t u r a l , organic  Titans  sage are:  l e t i t be your balm. (II,  243)  f o l l o w s an o r d e r l y , b e a u t i f u l  being.  i s "Nature's law."  i n l a t e r supporting  and  that the Olympians would  do more good f o r the realms they s e i z e d than were the capable o f .  for  as sage  sees i n t o the b e a u t i f u l p a t t e r n i n g of the u n i v e r s e ,  first  and  In l a b e l l i n g i t  t h i s a b s t r a c t t r u t h by means  argument ( 1 1 .  217-28), Keats may  very  w e l l have the P l a t o n i c mythology of the Timaeus i n mind. The  dialogue  i s a book concerning  Nature, T a y l o r t e l l s  and  P l a t o c o n s i d e r s r i g h t l y that Nature i s n e i t h e r matter  nor m a t e r i a l form nor body nor n a t u r a l powers, but through her p a r t i c i p a t i o n of' the good, t h a t i s , the g i b l e cause:  "she  us,  i s divine intelli-  governs the whole world by her powers,  55  by her summit comprehending the heavens, but through these r u l i n g over the f l u c t u a t i n g empireoof g e n e r a t i o n . "  That  g e n e r a t i o n " s u b s i s t s through c o n t r a r i e t y and mutation" i s necessary because i t i n v o l v e s matter.  That which she r e v e a l s ,  however, i s t r u e being, and the movement (the mutations) o f g e n e r a t i o n i s always c a l c u l a t e d towards t r u e being, i s i n a " s t a t e of becoming to be t r u e " (413-18).  Nature's law to  whose course Oceanus a t t r i b u t e s the changes which occur i n the  u n i v e r s e i s e x a c t l y t h a t which oversees g e n e r a t i o n i n the  Timaeus; i t s o r i g i n i s the f i r s t  cause which d i r e c t s the  world i n i t s c o n v e r s i o n towards the good. While Timaeus, because he wants to a r t i c u l a t e metap h y s i c a l t r u t h s , i n v e s t i g a t e s the m y s t i c a l laws which govern the  cosmos, h i s dialogue t r e a t s p r i m a r i l y 6F the p h y s i c a l  world. but  Nature does not remain merely an a b s t r a c t  works her way  entity,  i n t o p h y s i c a l r e a l i t y where she i n d i c a t e s  by her o r g a n i c p r o p e r t i e s the l i f e  and goodness of d i v i n e  p r i n c i p l e s h i d d e n from us by our l i m i t e d p e r c e p t i o n . it  i s T a y l o r i n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n who  f o r our b e n e f i t  Again condenses  an e x t e n s i v e passage of the d i a l o g u e , t h i s time concerning the  r o l e o f the e a r t h and her n a t u r a l q u a l i t i e s .  of  the world i s "consummately  vital;  to  habitude and a l l i a n c e , l i f e  of  " d i v i n e i l l u m i n a t i o n s " (447).  The  body  or indeed, a c c o r d i n g  itself"  (420), and she i s f u l l  I n order t o demonstrate her  l i f e - g i v i n g p r o p e r t i e s which by analogy show the i n t e l l e c t u a l l y l i f e - g i v i n g q u a l i t i e s of s p i r i t u a l t r u t h s , T a y l o r asks, "For  56  how i s i t p o s s i b l e t h a t p l a n t s should l i v e while a b i d i n g i n the e a r t h , and when separated from i t d i e , u n l e s s i t s v i s i b l e bulk was f u l l o f l i f e ? " of  (447).  I t i s this species  argument, t y p i c a l o f the p h i l o s o p h y o f the Timaeus, t h a t  Oceanus i n t r o d u c e s i n t o h i s e x p o s i t i o n . w i t h i t s beauty,  The p h y s i c a l world  i t s l i f e - s u s t a i n i n g and p r o c r e a t i v e powers,  i t s l e v e l s o f e x i s t e n c e , can by analogy  demonstrate t o the  T i t a n s t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n the m y s t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f generation.  Ordained by the heavens a r e the p r o c e s s and beauty o f  the n a t u r a l world which l e a d t o knowledge o f d i v i n e t r u t h s . Oceanus c h a r a c t e r i z e s the p r o g r e s s as upward movement from the d u l l e a r t h t o f o r e s t t r e e s , t o doves, t o eagles goldenf e a t h e r e d , touched w i t h the most reverenced element o f f i r e ; the examples he uses a r e meant to p a r a l l e l the p r o g r e s s  from  chaos through t o the Olympians, always an upward movement towards the d i v i n e . attempt  The appeal to nature i n the god's  to persuade h i s l i s t e n e r s t o accept g r a c e f u l l y  d e s t i n y f i t s i n t o Keats' m y t h o l o g i c a l , p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n the a b i l i t y o f nature i n her beauty s p i r i t u a l needs  their  belief  t o answer to man's  "What the i m a g i n a t i o n s e i z e s as Beauty  must be t r u t h . " (The t r a n s f o r m i n g , i n t e l l e c t u a l power o f nature was v i v i d l y brought  home to Keats while on h i s S c o t t i s h t o u r o f  the p r e v i o u s summer.  Images o f p h y s i c a l nature might be  t r a n s i t o r y , butythey n e v e r t h e l e s s impress with knowledge o f the d i v i n e :  t h e i r spectators  57  What a s t o n i s h e s me more than any t h i n g i s the tone, the c o l o r i n g , the s l a t e , the stone, the moss, the rock-weed; or, i f I may so say, the i n t e l l e c t , the countenance of such p l a c e s . The space, the magnitude . of mountains and w a t e r f a l l s are w e l l imagined "before one sees them; but t h i s countenance or i n t e l l e c t u a l tone must surpass every i m a g i n a t i o n and defy any remembrance. I s h a l l l e a r n p o e t r y here and s h a l l h e n c e f o r t h w r i t e more than ever, f o r the a b s t r a c t endeavour of being able to add a mite t o t h a t mass of beauty which i s harvested from these grand m a t e r i a l s , by the f i n e s t s p i r i t s , and put i n t o e t h e r i a l e x i s t e n c e f o r the r e l i s h of one's fellows. I cannot t h i n k w i t h H a z l i t t t h a t these scenes make man appear l i t t l e . I never f o r g o t my s t a t u r e so completely. ( I , 301) The mass of beauty,  or t r u t h , which i s h a r v e s t e d from  the  m a t e r i a l world i s t h a t knowledge of i n t e l l e c t u a l Beauty which makes us f o r g e t the l i t t l e n e s s of t h i s our l i f e ,  of  t h i s our s m a l l s t a t u r e , and a f f o r d s us i n s i g h t i n t o the. realm of essence.  For a poet, the mental images o f t h a t  knowledge become the i n s p i r a t i o n and f o u n d a t i o n of h i s a r t . ) In  the speech  of Oceanus, Keats comes as c l o s e as  he ever w i l l i n ' h i s p o e t r y to a s s e r t i n g an  ethic:  Now comes the p a i n of t r u t h , t o whom ' t i s p a i n ; 0 f o l l y ! f o r to bear a l l naked t r u t h s , And to envisage circumstance, a l l calm, That i s the top of s o v e r e i g n t y . ( I I , 202-205) Acknowledge f a l l i b i l i t y  and a c t i n accordance  Oceanus urges h i s f e l l o w T i t a n s .  The  with i t ,  c o u n s e l i s i n keeping  w i t h the e t h i c s of the Timaeus where man  contemplating the heavens i s to r e g u l a t e  58  h i s e r r i n g l i f e a c c o r d i n g to them. He i s to partake of the repose o f nature and of the order o f n a t u r e , to b r i n g the v a r i a b l e p r i n c i p l e o f h i m s e l f i n t o harmony with the p r i n c i p l e o f the same. The e t h i c s o f the Timaeus may be summed up i n the s i n g l e i d e a of 'law.' To f e e l h a b i t u a l l y t h a t he i s p a r t o f the order of the u n i v e r s e i s one of the h i g h e s t e t h i c a l motives o f which man i s capable. And i f t h a t order i n c l u d e s the s u f f e r i n g of p a i n and h e a r t ache as i t must, the e v i l encountered i s to be borne nobly, stoically.  We  f i n d Oceanus' admonition, and i n f a c t much o f  h i s speech, d i f f i c u l t to a t t r i b u t e to the Keats who that  "man  writes  should not d i s p u t e or a s s e r t but whisper r e s u l t s  to h i s neighbour" ( I , 224), and who  r a r e l y concerns h i m s e l f  21 with e t h i c a l conduct.  And y e t i t i s c e r t a i n that the poem  i s meant to hinge upon the t r u t h of Oceanus' words. advice i s sound:  His  there i s n o t h i n g the T i t a n s can do but  accept t h e i r f a t e ; the Olympian age w i l l b r i n g more Beauty and Good i n t o the world.  Yet the attempt t o c a l l upon the  laws o f Nature to order the behaviour of the T i t a n s , while it  i s i n keeping with the P l a t o n i c cosmogony w i t h i n which he  i s working, i s probably more t o be a s c r i b e d t o the c l o s e to f r a n t i c need by t h i s time f o r Keats to f i n d t h a t  elusive  "standard law o f e i t h e r e a r t h or heaven" which, i f i t cannot j u s t i f y the presence of e v i l , can perhaps a t l e a s t our way  direct  i n the face of i t . I t i s not i n Keats to be " d i d a c t i c .  While he  clings  f o r the moment to the i d e a that the law of nature can d i r e c t  59  the conduct of man, false.  the poem proves t h i s s u p p o s i t i o n t o he  In h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n to the Poems, de S e l i n c o u r t sums  up Keats' understanding of nature: The supreme t r u t h to the poet i s not to he found i n the l e s s o n s of nature, hut i n her mysterious beauty, and i n her never f a i l i n g power, whencesoever i t may s p r i n g , to respond to the every mood of the changing h e a r t of man. Nature does not c a l l upon him to understand t h i s , but simply to r e c o g n i z e i t . 2  2  I t i s her beauty t h a t l e a d s to g n o s i s .  For Keats, nature i s  what i s experienced; t r u t h i s what i s f e l t of her.  Her m y s t i c a l element  i n the p e r c e p t i o n  r e s i d e s not i n an i d e a l con-  c e p t i o n of her p e r f e c t laws, but i n her a b i l i t y to speak to man,  as poetry does, h i s h i g h e s t thoughts.  Moreover, the  s i g n i f i c a n c e nature has i s that which i s c o n f e r r e d upon'her by man  who  p a r t i c i p a t e s i n her.  P l a t o n i s m , which sees the  s o u l responding to the b e a u t i f u l forms i n nature, i s at the c e n t r e of t h i s c o n c e p t i o n of the r o l e of nature, but Keats d i f f e r s from most —  perhaps a l l -- other p h i l o s o p h i c a l  nature p o e t s , f o r while they emphasize the God-given Keats s t r e s s e s the p e r c e i v e r .  I n v a r i a b l y i t i s the  forms, indivi-  dual with whom Keats i s p r e o c c u p i e d : Scenery is:Tfine -- but human nature i s f i n e r -The Sward i s r i c h e r f o r the t r e a d of a r e a l , nervous, e n g l i s h f o o t -- the eagles nest i s f i n e r f o r the Mountaineer has l o o k ' d into' i t . -( I , 242) Humanity i s more important than nature; t h i s w i l l always  be  6o  Keats' b i a s , and the profound humanism of Hyperion i s i n keeping with t h a t b i a s . teach a man  An emotion, a v i s i o n , a tragedy  to mourn i n s p i t e of summer s k i e s , they can  can spoil  the s i n g i n g of the n i g h t i n g a l e , j u s t as Keats' o r i g i n a l perc e p t i o n of e v i l had done.  Of course, Keats i s c o n s t a n t l y  aware of the h e a l i n g e f f e c t s of nature t h a t can put a to r i g h t s a g a i n -- i t i s the overpowering  b e l i e f i n her  e s s e n t i a l goodness t h a t has l e d to h i s d i f f i c u l t i e s d e a l i n g with the problem of e v i l .  The  man  in  c a p a c i t y of nature to  soothe man's woes i n e v i t a b l y comes from her laws, the harmony she e x h i b i t s , and Keats c e r t a i n l y knows t h i s , his  whole s p i r i t  but h i s p o e t r y ,  i s drawn to the i n d i v i d u a l who  looks on  nature, not i n an e f f o r t to d i s c o v e r e t h i c a l norms, but f o r comfort and a i d . Oceanus i s s o p h i s t not only i n the Greek c o n n o t a t i o n of  the word; as much as Keats would have i t otherwise,  god's r e a s o n i n g t h a t e v i l i s not r e a l l y  the  evil i s fallacious.  The P l a t o n i c -equation of Beauty w i t h T r u t h upon which Oceanus bases h i s argument i n f a c t causes the poem to apart.  Keats l o s e s h i m s e l f as i t were from the very  fall beginning  where the concrete experience of p a i n c r e a t e s a beauty  which  possesses more t r u t h than does Beauty i n the a b s t r a c t . D e s c r i b i n g Thea, Keats w r i t e s : that face: How b e a u t i f u l , i f sorrow had not made Sorrow more b e a u t i f u l than Beauty's s e l f . (I.  34-6)  61  (Once Keats has succeeded i n answering the problem o f e v i l in  t h e v a l e o f soul-making, these l i n e s w i l l not c o n t r a d i c t  the  e s s e n t i a l , a b s t r a c t i d e a o f the goodness  and beauty o f  the  world, but i n the cosmic v i s i o n o f Hyperion, they under-  mine the theory o f g e n e r a t i o n which i t advances.) Another f o i l to Oceanus' argument i s Clymene, a goddess whom c r i t i c s a r e o f t e n q u i c k t o d i s m i s s , as are the T i t a n s , as a weak and s u p e r f l u o u s c h a r a c t e r . her  speech, sandwiched  I t i s t r u e that  between those o f Oceanus and Enceladus,  seems unimpressive when compared w i t h the grandeur o f the one and the f i e r y energy o f the other. ful  But i n i t s q u i e t , grace-  a r t l e s s n e s s , i t has much t o say: I am here the s i m p l e s t v o i c e , And a l l my knowledge i s t h a t j o y i s gone, And t h i s t h i n g woe c r e p t i n amorig^our h e a r t s . (II,  252-54)  Of what expedience are the words o f Oceanus, c a l c u l a t e d to astound i n t h e i r wisdom, i n the f a c e o f such f o r l o r n , a c h i n g ignorance and pain?  And y e t i s Clymene t o be d i s m i s s e d  because she can only f e e l and cannot p h i l o s o p h i z e ?  Keats,  i n p l a c i n g her speech where he does, i n the c o u n c i l o f the gods, o b v i o u s l y a t t a c h e s a great d e a l o f importance t o what she says and f e e l s .  I n f a c t , he shows her f e e l i n g s t o be  c l o s e r t o r e a l i t y than Saturn's f u t i l e hope and Enceladus' u s e l e s s anger: l e t me t e l l Of what I heard, and how i t made me weep, And know t h a t we had p a r t e d from a l l hope. (II, 259-61)  62  Oceanus e x p l a i n s g e n e r a t i o n i n cosmic and. n a t u r a l terms, and the e x p l a n a t i o n i s s u c c e s s f u l as an argument i n a sense; but the t e s t o f g e n e r a t i o n it,  i s how i t a f f e c t s those who l i v e i n  and the t r u t h o f the poem i s t h a t r e g a r d l e s s of the  good which Nature's law b r i n g s i n t o being, there i s a tremendous amount o f woe c r e p t i n among h e a r t s . I t i s unfortunate must s p e l l i t s demise.  t h a t the very essence o f Hyperion  Those a l l e g o r i e s of the p r e c e d i n g May  which the poem i n c a r n a t e s c o n s t i t u t e i t s major problem.  The  Mansion i s embodied i n the T i t a n s as they pass from p e a c e f u l r u l e through the dark n i g h t o f the s o u l i n t o agonized and  defeat,  somewhat l e s s s u c c e s s f u l l y i n A p o l l o who, g i v e n "knowl-  edge enormous," escapes t h e s t a t e o f p a i n f u l ignorance and whose t h i r d chamber we know w i l l be a triumphant one as the father of a l l verse.  The March o f I n t e l l e c t i s the essence  of Oceanus' e x p l a n a t i o n o f the f a l l i s supported  o f the T i t a n s , and i t  by the knowledge which i s g i v e n to A p o l l o ; i t  i s evident t h a t the Olympians w i l l know more than the T i t a n s . How to r e c o n c i l e the important  t r u t h s o f these  t h a t change accounts f o r so much anguish  two concepts --  and t h a t change i s  the v e h i c l e f o r p r o g r e s s i v e good -- i s the burden o f Hyperion. Keats attempts a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n by d r a m a t i z i n g  personal  p a i n and s e t t i n g i t i n a s y m b o l i c a l cosmic s t r u c t u r e which w i l l r e v e a l i t s necessary  p a r t i n the p r o g r e s s i v e  improve-  ment o f the world through time. But t o p o r t r a y so p o i g n a n t l y ,  so d r a m a t i c a l l y and  c o n v i n c i n g l y the T i t a n s ' unhappiness i n t h e i r a d v e r s i t y  63  i s to destroy  the triumph of the march of time.  word Enceladus uses to d e s c r i b e what has and  E v i l i s the  been done to them,  the responses of the L e a r - l i k e Saturn, of Hyperion  s t r e t c h e d along a dismal  r a c k of clouds,  of Clymene, of  Enceladus h i m s e l f , are so v a r i e d i n t h e i r expressions g r i e f , and the c h a r a c t e r s  are so l i t t l e  consoled  by  of the  argument f o r endurance t h a t e v e n t u a l l y Keats' argument runs out.  The  t a n g i b l e p a i n overbalances the a b s t r a c t reasons  f o r i t . Perhaps f o r the p h i l o s o p h i c mind c o n s o l a t i o n were p o s s i b l e , but Keats' sympathy i s too f i n e l y - t u n e d to those unable to p r o f i t from the wisdom of the sea-god.  By Book  I I I Keats i s compelled to demonstrate the v e r a c i t y of Oceanus' philosophy, The  but A p o l l o i s no match f o r the hapless  knowledge he gains and  d e i f i c a t i o n are pulses;  the  s u f f e r i n g he  i m p l a u s i b l e , ungenuine, not  experiences at felt  on  the  the p a i n t h a t the T i t a n s have undergone cannot  redeemed by t h i s c h a r a c t e r  be  ofvwhom i t i s d i f f i c u l t to b e l i e v e  t h a t the t h i n k i n g p r i n c i p l e i s y e t awakened. poetry  Titans.  Also,  the  of Book I I I i s the weak, l o o s e , romance-writing of  Endymion, not the t i g h t l y - c o n t r o l l e d symbolic which t r e a t e d of the T i t a n s .  composition  Keats i s f o r c e d to abandon the  poem. The  e p i c f o r i t s f i r s t two  hooks i s ,a s u c c e s s f u l b i d  at imaging a world-order whose i n t e r c o n n e c t i n g realms of e x i s t e n c e r e f l e c t many t r u t h s about the human c o n d i t i o n . But  as an e n t i r e mythology Hyperion f a i l s , because i t s poet  cannot s u s t a i n i n harmony the v a r i o u s  l e v e l s of a c t i o n  and  64  the p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e s o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s , because he not bend h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f the t r u t h o f human tragedy a b s t r a c t i d e a of g e n e r a t i o n .  The  canto  the  s t o i c a t t i t u d e which would  have to be adopted by the T i t a n s was  impossible  upon them a f t e r such a b e a u t i f u l r e n d e r i n g  to t h r u s t  of t h e i r  pain.  Thea's sorrow i s more b e a u t i f u l than the laws of Nature, by v i r t u e o f Keats' c o n c e p t i o n  and  sympathy, and  the q u a l i t y of the p p e t r y .  As much as the Timaeus a i d s  Keats i n c o n c e i v i n g h i s cosmic order, to him why  i t cannot yet  such misery as the T i t a n s experience  poet i s s t i l l coalesce  by v i r t u e of  exists.  i n need of a s t r u c t u r e of thought that  i n one  perceptions  explain  and  The  will  complete, i n f o r m i n g v i s i o n a l l of h i s i d e a s , beliefs.  Althoughtthe  mythology does not succeed i n i t s cos-  mogonic v i s i o n , i t s q u a l i t y as an a e s t h e t i c mode which b r i n g s to l i f e  the more p a r t i c u l a r i z e d p e r c e p t i o n s  poet i s f o r the f i r s t  two  of  books of Hyperion superb.  as a p o e t i c a l form whose beauty g i v e s i n s i g h t i n t o dent t r u t h i s the hallmark of the e p i c .  We  the Myth  transcen-  can g l e a n  per-  haps a- l i t t l e of Keats' f e e l i n g f o r the mythology of Greece and h i s f a i t h i n i t s c a p a c i t y to t r e a t s y m b o l i c a l l y of man's r e l i g i o u s needs i n the f o l l o w i n g excerpt " S p i r i t of Ancient  from L e i g h Hunt's  Mytholo;gy":  Imagine the f e e l i n g s with which an a n c i e n t b e l i e v e r must have gone by the o r a c u l a r o^aks of Dodonaj or the calm groves of the Eumenides; or the f o u n t a i n where Proserpine vanished under the ground with P l u t o ; or  65  the Greek Temple of the m y s t e r i e s of E l e u s i s ; or the l a u r e l l e d mountain Parnassus, on the s i d e of which was the temple of D e l p h i , where A p o l l o was supposed to he present i n person. . Ima- gine P l u t a r c h , a devout and y e t a l i b e r a l b e l i e v e r , when he went to study theology and p h i l o s o p h y at D e l p h i : with what f e e l i n g s must he not have passed a l o n g the woody paths of the h i l l , approaching nearer every i n s t a n t t o the d i v i n i t y , and not sure t h a t a glance of l i g h t through the t r e e s was not the l u s t r e of the god h i m s e l f going by! T h i s i s mere p o e t r y to us, and very f i n e i t i s ; but to him i t was p o e t r y , and r e l i g i o n , and beauty, and g r a v i t y , and hushing awe, and a path as from one world to another. ... In a l l t h i s there i s a deeper sense of another world than i n the h a b i t of c o n t e n t i n g o n e s e l f with a few vague terms and embodying n o t h i n g but Mammon. There i s a deeper sense of another world, p r e c i s e l y because there i s a deeper sense of the present: of i t s v a r i e t i e s , i t s b e n i g n i t i e s , i t s mystery.23 Keats would have agreed that deep s p i r i t u a l t r u t h s are to be d i s c o v e r e d i n the n a t u r a l world by the m y s t i c a l , t i v e f a c u l t y such as the Greeks  employed i t .  through p o e t r y , i s the means by which man to h i s r e l i g i o u s grasp of r e a l i t y . f u l l mythology was  what Keats was  imagina-  And myth,  gives utterance  The establishment of a attempting; had h i s ambi-  t i o n been r e a l i z e d , Hyperion would have r e p r e s e n t e d f o r England a deeper  sense of h e r s e l f and of the d i v i n e .  oh.  Keats' r e t e l l i n g of the s t o r y of c r e a t i o n i s mythmaking i n t h a t i t adds to our knowledge concerning the of the world, the p o s s i b l e meanings behind i t , tions. omy  origin  i t s implica-  However, where Keats' myth-making reaches i t s auton-  i n Hyperion i s i n i t s p r i m i t i v e beauty,  i t s achievement  66  of that to,  " n a k e d a n d g r e c i a n m a n n e r " he e a r l i e r  that  grandeur  poraries,  looked forward  of conception which impressed h i s  even the  s c a t h i n g B y r o n , so much.  The p o r t r a y a l  o f t h e T i t a n s , who "become c o l o s s a l m y t h o l o g i c a l representing Keats' dition, doubt;  but i t  intensity  is  e v e n more d e p e n d e n t  of symbol,  without  upon t h e n o b i l i t y and  on t h e beauty  of the  image a n d a n a l o g y  d e l i v e r up s p i r i t u a l t r u t h a s i t states.  human-con-  cosmic system a r o u n d them,  of the blank v e r s e ,  w h i c h by means  figures  unique p o e t i c a l v i s i o n of the  depends upon t h e  contem-  describes  poetry  i s able  to  e v e n t s and e m o t i o n a l  J  Myth a t authority rests  i t s g r e a t e s t becomes a f o r m o f g n o s i s ;  its  on the t r u t h i t , c a n r e v e a l  beauty.  Keats'  d e d i c a t i o n to the  Beauty  i n a l l t h i n g s " and h i s f a i t h t h a t  w o r l d a s we e x p e r i e n c e confusion,  " e t e r n a l Being, the P r i n c i p l e of  i t never  i n h i s mythology.  to i t  t h a n has b e a u t y ,  why.  Keats  the presence  A t t h e moment, and i t  i t resides  i n the  diminish i n . s p i t e of  h i s i n a b i l i t y to r e c o n c i l e  to i t  through i t s  is  of  pain  s o r r o w h a s more  impossible to  i s t r y i n g i n Hyperion to  his  connect  truth  understand  the  abstractions  o f t h e m y t h i c a l c r e a t i o n and t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f g e n e r a t i o n knowledge  - - p h y s i c a l and t h e o l o g i c a l .  forms o f knowledge  are  b u t he h a s n o t ; y y e t  learned to  thought  leads  effect  c a l c u l a t e d towards a great see  to the r e g r e s s i v e  t o an i n a b i l i t y to get  He knows t h a t  the whole.  poetry  a search f o r the vale  all  whole,  The i m p a s s e  o f Book I I I a n d  o n w i t h , t h e poem.  to  later  Hyperion i s i n  o f s o u l - m a k i n g , an answer  in  to  67  the prohlem o f e v i l .  I t s poet f a i l s to f i n d what he i s  l o o k i n g f o r , but i n the e f f o r t to mythologize,  to see some  standard law, he n e v e r t h e l e s s manages t o w r i t e some p o e t r y which secures the success o f the incomplete and which cannot but be thought  brilliant  poem,  o f as the s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f  the great p o e t r y o f I 8 I 9 . Whether i t i s an i n s t i n c t i v e awareness t h a t i n P l a t o he w i l l  f i n d i f he searches hard enough the "high r e a s o n " he  needs, or whether he ismmerely t r y i n g to r e f r e s h h i s memory of  the Timaeus i n order t o r e v i t a l i z e the mythology he has  begun i n Hyperion,  Keats some time  i n e a r l y 1819 I t h i n k  must have r e r e a d the d i a l o g u e , but i n the 1 8 0 4 e d i t i o n , which c o n t a i n s e x t e n s i v e notes by Thomas T a y l o r .  I t i s the notes  as much as the dialogue i t s e l f t h a t b r i n g Keats to the end of  h i s researches.'  68  CHAPTER THREE THE VALE OF SOUL-MAKING AND  KEATS' OWN  MYTHOLOGY  I t i s necessary to t u r n back to the l e t t e r s i n the s p r i n g of 1819  i n order to f o l l o w Keats' t h i n k i n g , f o r h i s  poems e x h i b i t l i t t l e p h i l o s o p h i z i n g , and i t i s now  inhhis  p h i l o s o p h i c a l s p e c u l a t i o n s t h a t the Timaeus can be seen to be so i n f l u e n t i a l .  The  e v o l u t i o n of Keats' mythic  vision  begins with Hyperion and achieves i t s m a t u r i t y i n the odes o f 1819;  u n d e r l y i n g the assuredness of the odes i s the  of thought Keats works out i n March and A p r i l ,  system  based t o a  l a r g e extent upon the a u t h o r i t y of t h a t segment of P l a t o n i s m which i s the Timaeus. of February 14 to May i n America, we  P a r t i c u l a r l y i n the l o n g j o u r n a l 3 "to h i s b r o t h e r and  letter  sister-in-law  see Keats moulding what he has found i n the  d i a l o g u e , drawing a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s from i t s cosmogony, and g e n e r a l l y c o n s i d e r i n g h i m s e l f i n terms of i t s philosophy.  Perhaps without i t s a i d , t h e poet would have  reached c o n c l u s i o n s s i m i l a r to those found i n the A p r i l v a l e of soul-making  letter;  i t i s , however, d i f f i c u l t  imagine e i t h e r the u n f i n i s h e d e p i c or soul-making  21  to  without  the P l a t o n i c s t r u c t u r e s behind them. R a r e l y does Keats cease to q u e s t i o n h i s value and r o l e as a poet; r a r e l y i s he able t o put a s i d e doubts as to h i s u s e f u l n e s s i n b e n e f i t i n g mankind.  As a poet and not a  69  reformer or a t e a c h e r , he has to t r u s t to h i s i n n e r v i s i o n and i t s p o e t i c a l e x p r e s s i o n to e f f e c t good.  A r r i v i n g at the  t r u t h of the v a l e of soul-making, a t r u t h he f e e l s on h i s p u l s e s , a t r u t h we f e e l i n the p u l s e s of the l e t t e r ' s prose, he i s at l a s t f r e e to g i v e r e i n to h i s genius, to w r i t e w i t h the t h e o l o g i c a l c e r t a i n t y that has evaded him so long. J u s t as the p h y s i c a l and mental s u f f e r i n g of h i s f r i e n d Reynolds a year e a r l i e r prompted Keats' s p e c u l a t i o n s about human l i f e ,  so the impending  d i s t r e s s o f another  mouses him from an e g o t i s t i c a l m e d i t a t i o n on h i s own  friend  troubles  to an impersonal, p h i l o s o p h i c a l contemplation of the u n i v e r s a l problems  of e x i s t e n c e .  On March 1 9 ,  immediately  upon r e c e i v i n g a note from Haslam p o r t e n d i n g the death of h i s f a t h e r , Keats begins to s p e c u l a t e about circumstances which b r i n g with them change and l o s s , p a i n f u l butnnecessary to c o n f r o n t and bear.  The  s u b j e c t i s not a new  poet, c e r t a i n l y ; but the way i t r e p r e s e n t s a new  one f o r the  i n which he begins to handle  stage i n h i s t h i n k i n g .  The t o p i c s  intro-  duced at t h i s time r e c e i v e f u l l e r treatment on A p r i l 2 1 ;  that  i s to say, Keats spends a month c r i t i c a l l y a n a l y z i n g , not only h i s own p e r c e p t i o n s of the world, but as I hope w i l l become c l e a r , the P l a t o n i c p h i l o s o p h y of the Timaeus which he had begun to depend upon i n Hyperion, but which had somehow  f a i l e d to penetrate" the mystery  of the problem of e v i l .  Keats' system of s a l v a t i o n , the h a r v e s t of a l l h i s e x e r t i o n s t h i s month, i s no more p u r e l y P l a t o n i c than i s C h r i s t i a n i t y ,  70  y e t n e i t h e r system would e x i s t as i t does without the view l a i d out hy P l a t o .  The p h i l o s o p h i c a l c e r t i t u d e  Keats' e v e n t u a l system comes from h i s c a r e f u l  worldof  re-examination  of the i d e a s of the Timaeus and h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of p h i l o sophy i n a much more profound and s e r i o u s way  than ever  before. He mentions t h a t he has been t h i n k i n g about Socrates and the w r i t i n g s through which the p h i l o s o p h e r i s known: he has been d i s c u s s i n g P l a t o with h i s p u b l i s h e r T a y l o r . (Might T a y l o r have l e n t him the 1804  e d i t i o n of the  Dialogue  as he had l e n t him so many other books d u r i n g t h e i r a s s o c i a tion?)  Keats  sees i n Socrates a man  and the ..term he uses -a f f i n i t y to h i s own a man,  completely  "disinterest  " d i s i n t e r e s t e d " -- bears c l o s e  i d e a l of negative c a p a b i l i t y .  a t h i n k e r , a p h i l o s o p h e r whom Keats admires,  Here i s and i t  i s perhaps i n seeing Socrates i n t h i s l i g h t , i n terms a k i n to h i s own  h i g h e s t n o t i o n s , t h a t Keats succumbs to the power  of p h i l o s o p h y .  For the f i r s t time he c a l l s h i s mind a  "speculative"-one...He  acknowledges t h a t p h i l o s o p h y  become something " r e a l " f o r him, f o r i t i s not only h i s , but i s  has  and moreover, t h a t the need everyone's"  You w i l l not t h i n k t h a t on my own accou/n/t I repeat M i l t o n ' s l i n e s "How charming i s d i v i n e Philosophy Not harsh and crabbed as d u l l f o o l s suppose But m u s i c a l as i s A p o l l o ' s l u t e " — No -- no f o r myself — f e e l i n g g r a t e f u l as I do to have got i n t o a s t a t e ofcomind to r e l i s h them p r o p e r l y -- Nothing ever becomes r e a l t i l l i t i s experienced — Even a Proverb i s no proverb  71  to you t i l l your L i f e has i l l u s t r a t e d it. The it  ( I I , 81)  p h i l o s o p h i c mind i s not something to he eschewed; can he as holy and as c r e a t i v e as the poet's  Although i t i s more or l e s s a year philosophy  indeed,  imagination.  s i n c e Keats decided  that  i s n e e d f u l t o a t h i n k i n g man, p h i l o s o p h i z i n g as  an e x e r c i s e i s n e v e r t h e l e s s hew to him; the only r e c o r d we have o f i t as a s e r i o u s and r e l a t i v e l y e x t e n s i v e is i n this journal l e t t e r .  occupation  I t h i n k Keats h i m s e l f i s aware  of the f a c t t h a t he i s t h i n k i n g i n an e n t i r e l y new f a s h i o n , and t h a t he has i n mind Timaeus' maxim "that t o t r a n s a c t and know h i s own concerns and h i m s e l f , i s alone  the p r o v i n c e o f  a prudent man" (5^7) when he claims h i s due f o r the p h i l o s o p h i c a l course  he i s now on:  "Give me t h i s c r e d i t -- Do  you not t h i n k I s t r i v e -- to know myself? c r e d i t — " ( I I , 81). thought of Socrates  Give me t h i s  With the s o l i d i t y o f the d i s i n t e r e s t e d  (and the i m a g i n a t i v e , t h e o l o g i c a l Timaeus)  s u p p o r t i n g him,- Keats i s s t r i v i n g to know h i m s e l f : i m p a r t i a l l y the world it.  to examine  and h i s r e l a t i o n as a m o r t a l animal to  The dogmatism o f Oceanus v a n i s h e s ,  i n q u i r i n g i n t o the nature  and we have Keats  of things.  "This i s the world," he says.  And the world  t h a t he  goes on to d e s c r i b e i s the one T a y l o r c h a r a c t e r i z e s as "not n a t u r a l l y adapted to abide  f o r a moment" ( 4 7 6 ) .  Keats, more  p o e t i c a l l y , d e s c r i b e s change: Circumstances are l i k e clouds c o n t i n u a l l y  72  g a t h e r i n g and b u r s t i n g — While we are l a u g h i n g the seed o f some t r o u b l e i s put i n t o <he> the wide a r a b l e l a n d of events -- while we are l a u g h i n g i t sprouts i s grows and suddenly bears a p o i s o n f r u i t which we must p l u c k -C o n s i d e r i n g the presence  ( I I , 79)  o f e v i l i n such terms a v e r t s the  q u e s t i o n o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y or a c c o u n t a b i l i t y which e f f e c t i v e l y destroyed Hyperion:  the p a s s i v e d i r e c t s the a t t e n t i o n away  from the agent, towards the "we" who must p l u c k the p o i s o n fruit.  And y e t , i n s p i t e o f the "we," Keats avoids the  p i t f a l l o f f e e l i n g too deeply the p a i n caused  by m u t a b i l i t y .  He has d i s t a n c e d h i m s e l f from the emotional t r i b u l a t i o n o f the T i t a n s :  h i s philosophy i s to be balanced and d i s p a s s i o n a t e  i n i t s account  o f man and the world.  In the same n e u t r a l v e i n Keats comments upon the m o r t a l nature.  H i s v i s i o n o f man and animal as one, as  s u b j e c t to i d e n t i c a l laws and needs, as p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the same l i f e processes on the mortal animal.  i s i n tune with P l a t o ' s d i s c o u r s e Timaeus has the c r e a t o r order the  j u n i o r gods: That m o r t a l natures, t h e r e f o r e , may s u b s i s t , and t h a t the u n i v e r s e may be t r u l y a l l , convert y o u r s e l v e s , a c c o r d i n g to your nature, to the f a b r i c a t i o n o f animals, i m i t a t i n g the power which I employed i n your g e n e r a t i o n ..., c a u s i n g them"to i n c r e a s e by s u p p l y i n g them with a l i m e n t , and r e c e i v i n g them back a g a i n when d i s s o l v e d by c o r r u p t i o n . (504-505) Keats sees the same i n s t i n c t s , f o r amusement, f o r " i n c r e a s e , " for  a c t i o n , o p e r a t i n g both i n the animal and i n the "noble  73  a n i m a l Man": The g r e a t e r p a r t o f Man make t h e i r way w i t h the same i n s t i n c t i v e n e s s , the same unwandering eye from t h e i r p u r p o s e , the same a n i m a l eagerness' as the Hawk - The Hawk wants a Mate, so does the Man - l o o k a t them Doth they s e t about and p r o c u r e on/e/ i n the same manner - they get t h e i r f o o d i n the same manner - - . . . . I go among the F e i l d s / s i c / and c a t c h a g l i m p s e of a s t o a t or a f i e l d m o u s e p e e p i n g out o f the w i t h e r e d g r a s s - - the c r e a t u r e has a purpose and i t s eyes are b r i g h t w i t h i t - - I go amongst the b u i l d i n g s of a c i t y and I see a Man h u r r y i n g a l o n g - - t o what? The C r e a t u r e has a purpose and h i s eyes are b r i g h t with i t . (II, 79-80) While K e a t s c a l l s upon Wordsworth t o g i v e weight t o perception:  "But t h e n as Wordsworth s a y s ,  this  'we have a l l one  human h e a r t , ' " Wordsworth would h a r d l y have c o n c e i v e d  of  such a p a r a l l e l of f i e l d m o u s e and man; on the o t h e r hand, Taylor t e l l s  us:  Orpheus, t h e r e f o r e , e s t a b l i s h i n g one demiurgus o f a l l d i v i d e d f a b r i c a t i o n , who i s analogous t o the one f a t h e r t h a t g e n e r a t e s t o t a l f a b r i c a t i o n , produces from him the whole mundane i n t e l l e c t u a l m u l t i t u d e , the number o f s o u l s , and c o r poreal compositions. T h i s demiurgus, ( v i z . Bacchus) t h e r e f o r e , g e n e r a t e s a l l t h e s e u n i t e d l y ; but the Gods who a r e p l a c e d about him d i v i d e and s e p a r a t e h i s fabrications. Orpheus s a y s , t h a t a l l the o t h e r f a b r i c a t i o n s o f the d i v i n i t y were s e p a r a t e d i n t o p a r t s by the d i s t r i b u t i v e Gods, but t h a t h i s h e a r t alone was p r e s e r v e d i n d i v i s i b l e By the p r o v i d e n c e o f Minerva. I n - w r i t i n g t o George and Georgiana i t would have been much  74  simpler to r e c a l l " t o them the words o f Wordsworth r a t h e r than t o begin to e x p l a i n the Orphic s i b l e heart." fically  d o c t r i n e o f the " i n d i v i -  Whether Keats had T a y l o r ' s d i s c u s s i o n s p e c i -  i n mind would be impossible  to prove, and y e t we  know from the A p r i l 21 l e t t e r t h a t Keats i s s e r i o u s l y cons i d e r i n g the P l a t o n i c make-up o f humanity i n terms o f i n t e l l e c t , heart and s o u l as i t corresponds to the world, and h i s grouping of c o r p o r e a l compositions-, d e r i v e from the Orphic,  animal with human, would seem to  Platonic tradition.  Up to t h i s  p o i n t , none o f the s p e c u l a t i o n s o f the March l e t t e r i s nece s s a r i l y i n f l u e n c e d by the Timaeus; they r e c a l l i t s image of the world, but cannot be s a i d t o depend upon i t .  What i s  s i n g u l a r i s Keats' i n t r o d u c t i o n o f the " s u p e r i o r genera" o f P l a t o ' s cosmogony. Angels, daemons and heroes p l a y a s u b s t a n t i a l p a r t i n the Timaeus.  In t h e i r many forms, they mediate between  the gods and humanity.  While Keats seems not to r e c o g n i z e  the e x i s t e n c e  -- perhaps the i d e a o f them had too  o f angels  C h r i s t i a n a r i n g to i t -- he d i s c u s s e s heroism as an important e n t i t y i n the world and c o n j e c t u r e s whether daemons e x i s t or not.  Of the h e r o i c he w r i t e s :  ... we have a l l one human heart -- there i s an e l l e c t r i c f i r e i n human nature-. t e n d i n g to p u r i f y -- so t h a t among these human c r e a t u r e / s / there i s c o n t i n u a l l y some b i r t h o f new heroism.  ( I I , 80)  His words come c l o s e to T a y l o r ' s paraphrase o f Produs.:-:  75  the h e r o i c s u b s i s t s a c c o r d i n g to i n t e l l e c t and a c o n v e r t i v e energy; and hence i t i s the i n s p e c t i v e g u a r d i a n o f p u r i f i c a t i o n , and a m a g n i f i c e n t l y o p e r a t i n g l i f e . The  h e r o i c i s an  'electric fire,'  which ' p u r i f i e s ' and  'a c o n v e r t i v e  leads to a good l i f e .  b e i n g s " who  erroneous o p i n i o n s  His statement t h a t a t h i n g to be hated, the  commonest Man  "superior  "though a q u a r r e l i n the energies  d i s p l a y e d are f i n e ;  the v i r t u o u s p h i l o s o p h e r ,  back upon the p e c u l i a r brand of philosophy  which are g i v e n man  makes the c l a i m that ... f e a r and  not  capable poet but  falls  dialogue, of the  senses  at h i s commencement;  he  were necessary to  anger were n e c e s s a r y " ( 5 0 8 - 5 0 9 ) .  h a b i t of d e s c r i b i n g and and  naturalness  " v i o l e n t passions  In h i s  e n l i g h t e n i n g r a t h e r than m o r a l i z i n g  d i c t a t i n g , Timaeus i s f a r from r e p r e s e n t i n g Keats'  tuous" p h i l o s o p h e r .  the  presented i n the  In the p s y c h o l o g i c a l p o r t i o n of the  Timaeus s t r e s s e s the goodness and  all,  streets  shows a grace i n h i s q u a r r e l " ( I I , 80)  l i v i n g i n gusto and  and passions  who  he might have.  only supports h i s c o n t r a s t of the n e g a t i v e l y  Timaeus.  later i n  watch over the r e a s o n i n g s of such as he,  might be amused by any  is  energy'  And  the l e t t e r Keats asks i f there might not be  (500)  Depending upon the  he f i n d s i n the S o c r a t i c dialogue,  "vir-  "disinterestedness"  Keats i s f i x i n g what he  f e e l s to be a s o l i d , p h i l o s o p h i c a l groundwork on which he b u i l d h i s poems; i t w i l l g i v e him for  the confidence,  the next few months, to c a r r y on,  to render  at  can  least  imaginatively  76  i n t o poetry the t r u t h s he has worked out f o r h i m s e l f w i t h the a i d o f the Timaeus. While  the poet admits  to a new r e l i s h f o r d i v i n e  Philosophy, he never f o r a moment l e t s go e i t h e r the c o n t r a s t between poetry and p h i l o s o p h y , or h i s p r e f e r e n c e f o r the "not so f i n e " p o e t r y .  What does change i n t h i s month o f  p h i l o s o p h i z i n g i s h i s c o n c e p t i o n o f the range or comprehens i v e n e s s o f p h i l o s o p h y , i t s a b i l i t y t o address the whole human s p i r i t , not only the mind.  Along with the d i v i s i o n  between poetry and p h i l o s o p h y Keats had always seen a separat i o n between "Philosophy human and d i v i n e " as though d i v i n e knowledge d i f f e r e d somehow from the knowledge needed i n human matters.  The d i s p a r i t y i s apparent  i n not a few o f  h i s l e t t e r s of 1 8 1 8 , i n c l u d i n g the May 3rd d i s c u s s i o n o f M i l t o n and Wordsworth, and a l s o i n Hyperion where the "human" knowledge o f Clymene ("And a l l my knowledge i s t h a t j o y i s gone") i s i n sharp c o n t r a s t to t h e c o g i t a t i o n s o f Oceanus who sees t r a n s c e n d e n t l y i n t o u n i v e r s a l causes.  Keats was  so i n t e n t upon s t r e s s i n g the "human" element i n h i s p o e t r y -the a f f e c t i o n s o f the heart -- t h a t he was i n a sense b l i n d e d to the value f o r the poet it  i s e a s i l y understood  human i s never  of the d i v i n e i n p h i l o s o p h y .  Again,  t h a t i t i s the Timaeus, where the  s a c r i f i c e d to the d i v i n e , which c o n t r i b u t e s  to the poet's changing thought.  Man, we are t o l d by T a y l o r ,  comprehends e v e r y t h i n g d i v i n e i n a p a r t i a l manner, and the u n i v e r s e i s a cosmic animal seen t o f u n c t i o n i n human terms.  77  When Keats f i n a l l y a c q u i r e s t h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the world, complex  and d i f f i c u l t to grasp as i t i s f o r one who  has  always d i v i d e d the two, t h a t d i v i n e knowledge and the knowledge which comes from d a i l y e x i s t e n c e are e s s e n t i a l l y  one,  he i s able to e r e c t a p h i l o s o p h i c a l system "which does not a f f r o n t our r e a s o n and humanity" On A p r i l 1 5 ,  (II, 103).  a f t e r Keats w r i t e s "I am s t i l l a t a  stand i n v e r s i f y i n g -- I cannot do i t y e t w i t h any p l e a s u r e " ( I I , 84), he proceeds to copy our two r e c e n t poems: B e l l e Dame sans M e r c i " and "Song o f Four F a i r i e s . "  "La The  s t a n d s t i l l i t would seem i s i n w r i t i n g what he judges to be s i g n i f i c a n t p o e t r y , t h a t i s , Hyperion.  The  "Song of Four  F a i r i e s " i s h a r d l y s i g n i f i c a n t p o e t r y , y e t i t does the p o s s i b i l i t y  indicate  o f another debt to the Timaeus which, as has  been noted, i s much concerned w i t h the f o u r elements. poem i s l i g h t - h e a r t e d , a song, and not i n the l e a s t  The  philo-  s o p h i c a l i n c h a r a c t e r ; but the mating which takes p l a c e i n it  i s based upon the P l a t o n i c p a i r i n g of the elements.  In  the poem, the s p i r i t s A i r and Water f l y away t o g e t h e r while F i r e and E a r t h seek "In the earth's wide e n t r a i l s o l d Couches warm."  T a y l o r t a b l e s the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the elements thus: Fire:  subtle, acute, movable  Air:  Water:  dense, blunt, movable  Earth:  subtle, blunt, movable dense, blunt, immovable.  (^37)  78  And  he says of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between E a r t h and  Fire:  ... you may p e r c e i v e how admirably the two extremes f i r e and e a r t h are connected;  (437)  . . . the l a s t p r o c e s s i o n of f i r e /Is/ subterranean; f o r a c c o r d i n g to Empedocles, there are many r i v e r s of f i r e under the earth.  (438)  Keats i s fond of w r i t i n g s l i g h t , c l e v e r verse to pass the time:  the  "Song of Four F a i r i e s " i s not i n s p i r e d p o e t r y ,  but a f a n c i f u l demonstration of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s connections  of the elements.  and  Their properties, i t i s true,  are not to be found e x c l u s i v e l y i n the P l a t o n i c d i a l o g u e , but the f a c t t h a t the poem i s w r i t t e n at t h i s time leads to the not i m p l a u s i b l e surmise t h a t i t i s i n f l u e n c e d by  the  Timaeus. "La B e l l e Dame," i n c o n t r a s t to the song, i s poetry at  i t s g r e a t e s t , and  venture  i s Keats'  i n t o myth-making.  first  entirely successful  That the poet does not  i t s b r i l l i a n c e , t h a t he l a t e r t h i n k s the  "Ode  to Psyche" h i s  f i r s t poem to r e f l e c t the pains of composition, l a c k of confidence  he has without  recognize  i n d i c a t e s the  h i s "system of s a l v a t i o n . "  But the f i n e n e s s o f the b a l l a d i n i t s austere and  quiet  beauty shows the poet to be not very d i s t a n t from answering the problem o f e v i l : and  s e a r c h i n g and  "La B e l l e Dame" suspends the  i n t h e i r stead o f f e r s a disengaged, imper-  s o n a l p r e s e n t a t i o n of what man loss.  questioning  s u f f e r s because of change  and  In i t s i m p l i e d acceptance of the -world as i t i s there  79  i s a foreglimpse The  of the theme of the  poem captures  odes.  the d e s o l a t i o n t h a t r e s u l t s when  love and hope must be f o r f e i t e d , and  at the same time demon-  s t r a t e s the u n i v e r s a l i t y (kings, p r i n c e s and w a r r i o r s undergone what the knight  have  experiences) and n a t u r a l n e s s  the d e s p a i r which n e c e s s a r i l y occurs w i t h i n the  of  impermanent  2 fi world.  To argue t h a t the k n i g h t has been to h e l l or heaven  i n h i s encounter with the lady i s I t h i n k to miss the 27 of the poem;  .  .  point  •  Keats i s perhaps t h i n k i n g of the Orphic  journey  to the underworld when he has h i s knight meet a k i n d of s p i r i t u a l death i n the p h y s i c a l love of the  e l f i n grot,  that the subsequent s u f f e r i n g endured w i l l guarantee s a l v a t i o n of h i s s o u l i s not even h i n t e d a t . moral, no c o n s o l a t i o n i n the poem. a m y t h i c a l p i c t u r e of t h i s world: it,  however t r a n s i t o r y and  the knight stood  the  There i s no  What Keats p r e s e n t s  is  the happiness p o s s i b l e i n  imperfect  world of the poem i s imperfect,  but  i t might be  as imperfect  (and the v  as P l a t o ' s cave-:---  cannot be a b s o l u t e l y c e r t a i n t h a t he has  under-  the lady; the l a d y , though a f a e r y ' s c h i l d , weeps f u l l  s o r e ) ; and the misery which a l s o i s p a r t of i t , c o n s t i t u t i n g the h e l l of e x i s t e n c e , where "no world of f l u x , and the knight  birds sing."  i s caught, as i n e x t r i c a b l y  as the seasons, between i t s good and f u l l but the sedge i s withered; l o v e , but he authenticates  i s alone and,  This i s a  i l l : the granary i s  the knight  and woe-begone.  is fulfilled  in  As myth, the poem  through i t s melancholy beauty, g i v e s  a  80  value to the experience o f the s u f f e r i n g i n d i v i d u a l ; however, it  suggests n e i t h e r r e a s o n nor recompense f o r that experience.  A f t e r soul-making, when Keats' mythic v i s i o n i s complete, h i s poems w i l l he ahle t o j u s t i f y , sense, the mystery  i n a profound  theological  of s u f f e r i n g .  In the A p r i l 21 v a l e o f soul-making  l e t t e r , the  t o p i c s Keats d i s c u s s e s are f u r t h e r e x p l o r a t i o n s o f those i n t r o d u c e d i n March: importance  the c h a r a c t e r o f circumstances, the  o f S o c r a t e s , the c o n d i t i o n o f m o r t a l natures  human and animal, and the p o s s i b i l i t y o f the e x i s t e n c e o f mediators.  But the way i n which Keats d e a l s with them  reaches a h e i g h t of c o n v i c t i o n , of j o y and i n t e n s i t y , as the nature o f the world and the r e a s o n f o r i t s e v i l s become c l e a r to him.  I t has taken the poet a l l t h i s time, over a  year, to i n t e g r a t e the P l a t o n i s m o f the Timaeus i n t o h i s own p e r c e p t i o n s concerning l i f e .  That he i s going back to  Greek r o o t s i n the f a b r i c a t i o n o f h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l  system  he h i m s e l f t e l l s us when commenting on the nature o f mediat o r s and t h e i r o r i g i n .  What sparks the breakthrough i n  thought, however, i s the r e a d i n g o f V o l t a i r e and o f Robertson's H i s t o r y o f America. The h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e which the two authors present s t i m u l a t e s Keats to a re-examination o f the presence of  evil: I have been r e a d i n g l a t e l y two very d i f f e r e n t books Robertson's America and V o l t a i r e ' s S i e c l e De L o u i s x i v I t i s  81  ; -  l i k e walking arm and arm between P i z a r r o and the g r e a t - l i t t l e Monarch. I n How lementabl/e/ a case do we see the great body of the people i n both i n s t a n c e s : i n the f i r s t , where Man might seem to i n h e r i t q u i e t of Mind from u n s o p h i s t i c a t e d senses; from uncontamination of c i v i l i z a t i o n ; and e s p e c i a l l y from t h e i r b e i n g as i t were estranged from the mutual helps of S o c i e t y and i t s mutual i n j u r i e s -- and thereby more immediately under the P r o t e c t i o n of P r o v i dence -- even there they had m o r t a l p a i n s to bear as bad; or even worse than B a l i f f s , Debts and P o v e r t i e s of c i v i l i s e d L i f e -(II,  100)  A " c i v i l i z e d " France or a "nobly savage" America^bring with them p a i n s and h a r d s h i p s , perhaps equally b i t t e r .  d i f f e r e n t i n k i n d , but  With the r e c o g n i t i o n that e v i l e x i s t s  and  f l o u r i s h e s under a l l c o n d i t i o n s , t h a t i t r a t h e r than the might  of beauty  seems to " r e i g n i n r i g h t t h e r e o f " w i t h a  power that does not d i m i n i s h from age to age or to  civilization  c i v i l i z a t i o n , Keats e s s e n t i a l l y t u r n s h i s back on endea-  v o u r i n g to c l a r i f y  i t s p l a c e i n the make-up of the world.  He begins to examine i n s t e a d the presence of e v i l , as he had begun to do with the T i t a n s , as a problem  f o r the  indi-  v i d u a l r a t h e r than f o r the world, and what he d i s c o v e r s i s t h a t the standard law he has been s e a r c h i n g f o r i s notodf cosmic, s o c i a l or p h y s i c a l dimensions, but i s the law of personal salvation. his  Once one understands  needs, the r o l e of the world's e v i l s The f i r s t h i n t t h a t t h i s l e t t e r  —  and  becomes e v i d e n t . w i l l be one  c o n c l u s i o n s f o r the poet i s the statement appears to r e s o l v e i n t o t h i s "  the i n d i v i d u a l  that  of  "the whole  here we have a c o n c e p t i o n  82 I  of the "whole q u e s t i o n " o f the problem o f e v i l ,  and here  we have i t s r e s o l u t i o n , not a s t a r t l i n g or o r i g i n a l one, but a q u i e t l y a c c e p t i n g one, t h a t "man i s m o r t a l and there i s ever a heaven with i t s S t a r s abov/e/ h i s head" ( I I , 1 0 1 ) : we i n h a b i t the mutable world which w i l l always d i f f e r from the s t e a d f a s t and e t e r n a l l y b e a u t i f u l heavens.  Keats goes  on to c o n s i d e r the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s t r u t h .  He asks "the  most i n t e r e s t i n g q u e s t i o n t h a t can come before us": How f a r by the p e r s e v e r i n g endeavours of a seldom appearing S o c r a t e s Mankind may be made happy — /he/ can imagine such happiness c a r r i e d t o an extreme -(II,  101)  But he i s sagacious enough to e v a l u a t e the s t a t e o f m o r t a l man i n t h i s imagined  extremity o f happiness  and to gauge  the l i m i t a t i o n s o f p h i l o s o p h y : -- but what must i t end i n ? -- Death -and who c o u l d i n such a case bear with death — the whole t r o u b l e s o f l i f e which are now f r i t t e r e d away i n a s e r i e s of y e a r s , would t h e / n / be accumulated f o r the l a s t days o f a being who i n s t e a d o f h a i l i n g i t s approach, would leave t h i s world as Eve l e f t P a r a d i s e -(II, 101) Here we have Keats g l o r i f y i n g the powers o f p h i l o s o p h y to make the nature  o f the world understood  and thus t o render  man happy i n the p o s s e s s i o n o f knowledge, and simultas. neously effect.  denying the u l t i m a t e d e s i r a b l e n e s s o f such an I s s u i n g out o f t h i s r a t h e r c u r s o r y  of the c a p a c i t y o f p h i l o s o p h y to soothe  investigation  the cares o f man  83  are:  the h e g i n n i n g o f the argument that e v i l i s necessary  to m o r t a l man -- were one never to s u f f e r i n t h i s 1  life,  death would be unbearable; the renewed c o n f i r m a t i o n o f the supremacy o f the heart -- f o r a l l h i s r e s p e c t f o r the r e a s o n i n g mind, i t i s the f e e l i n g s that remain paramount,; — the r e a c t i o n o f man to h i s circumstances i s o f more consequence than the circumstances themselves; and, f i n a l l y , the complete  r e j e c t i o n o f the g e n e r a t i o n argument which l a y at  the f o u n d a t i o n o f Hyperion: But i n t r u t h I do not b e l i e v e i n t h i s s o r t o f p e r f e c t a b i l i t y -- the nature o f the world w i l l not admit o f i t -- the i n h a b i t a n t s o f the world w i l l correspond to i t s e l f -- ... The p o i n t a t which Man may a r r i v e i s as f a r as the p a r a l e l s t a t e i n inanimate nature and no f u r t h e r . (II, 101) Whether " t h i s s o r t o f p e r f e c t a b i l i t y " i n c l u d e s the March o f I n t e l l e c t i s i m p o s s i b l e to decide. the knowledge which the i n t e l l e c t i n a seldom-appearing  Keats i s t a l k i n g  about  i s capable o f a c h i e v i n g  S o c r a t e s , but since the main t h r u s t  of h i s argument at t h i s stage i s c e n t r e d upon man's  'bodily  accommodations,' we cannot know whether he i s r e f e r r i n g t o the a l l e g o r y .  Keats seems a t t h i s j u n c t u r e t o be r e v o l v i n g  around and around met,  i n h i s mind the P l a t o n i c d o c t r i n e s he has  weighing t h e i r p o s s i b i l i t i e s ,  their significance.  The  experiences he has read o f France and America have e f f e c t i v e l y done away w i t h the concept o f g e n e r a t i o n towards p e r f e c t i o n where man's s u f f e r i n g s are somehow t i e d t o the world's good:  I  84  K e a t s r e l i n q u i s h e s the a b s t r a c t  i d e a , and a d d r e s s e s  himself  t o the w o r l d he sees around h i m . To i l l u s t r a t e the a b s o l u t e  i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p o f man  w i t h n a t u r e , the poet i n t r o d u c e s the analogy o f the r o s e  in  its^habitation: F o r i n s t a n c e suppose a r o s e t o have s e n s a t i o n , i t blooms on a b e a u t i f u l morning i t enjoys i t s e l f - - but t h e r e comes a c o l d w i n d , a hot sun - - i t cannot escape i t , i t cannot d e s t r o y . i t s annoyances - - they a r e as n a t i v e t o the w o r l d as i t s e l f : no more can man be happy i n s p i t e , the w o r l d / l y / elements w i l l p r e y upon h i s n a t u r e .  I  (II,  101)  Is; K e a t s here r e c a l l i n g the "sense o f p l a n t s " which T a y l o r describes  !  i n h i s notes on the Timaeus?  --  The l a s t sense i s t h a t w i t h which a most obscure knowledge i s p r e s e n t , which i s f u l l o f p a s s i o n , and i s p r o x i m a t e t o p h y s i c a l sympathy, as not knowing the forms o f s e n s i b l e s ; a s , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h a t what o p e r a t e s i s hot or c o l d , but t h a t what f a l l s upon i t i s alone p l e a s a n t or p a i n f u l ; f o r such i s the sense o f p l a n t s . (482)  !  The q u e s t i o n i s not g r o u n d l e s s - - t h i s v a l e o f s o u l - m a k i n g l e t t e r has much i n common w i t h the c h a r a c t e r o f the and w i t h i n d i v i d u a l i d e a s i t i n t r o d u c e s : the  dialogue  Keats i s e x p l o r i n g  " c o n n e c t i o n of t h i n g s " which Timaeus a g a i n and a g a i n  i n s i s t s upon, and i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t o n o t e , he i s e x a m i n i n g the p h y s i c a l w o r l d t h e o l o g i c a l l y .  The c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f man  i n h i s n a t u r a l environment and, the consequent  i l l s he  is  p r e y t o b r i n g s K e a t s f i n a l l y t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g and j u s t i -  85  f i c a t i o n of the presence of e v i l . I t i s a change i n p e r s p e c t i v e which y i e l d s success for  Keats:  r a t h e r than endeavouring any l o n g e r to f i n d a  law, n a t u r a l or d i v i n e , to account f o r the e x i s t e n c e o f e v i l , Keats f o c u s s e s upon the i n d i v i d u a l ' s seemingly i n e x t r i c a b l e l i n k with m i s f o r t u n e . dependent  Mankind appears somehow  upon the presence of p a i n , not only to make death  t o l e r a b l e , but to make l i f e meaningful i n a profound, gious sense.  reli-  Keats s h i f t s h i s o u t l o o k from s e e i n g t h a t  p a i n i s o f n e c e s s i t y i n the world to r e c o g n i z i n g that i t i s necessary to, the world.  The v a l e of soul-making, while i t s  r e f e r e n c e p o i n t s are c l e a r l y P l a t o n i c , moves f a r beyond the Timaeus i n j u s t i f y i n g the e x i s t e n c e of e v i l . not of  By c o n c e n t r a t i n g ,  on the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the world, but on the composition the human being, by r e l y i n g on the Heart as a knowing  e n t i t y and emphasizing t h a t knowledge i s more than reasoned c o n c l u s i o n s , Keats i s a b l e to capture what he b e l i e v e s to be the essence o f human e x i s t e n c e . conceptions o f universe .and man, :  Timaeus balanced h i s  making the former the  macrocosm of the l a t t e r , but i n h i s s y s t e m a t i z i n g , the r o l e of  e v i l was  inexplicable.  Hyperion was  an attempt to d e a l  with the u n i v e r s a l p a t t e r n ; now Keats examines the  microcosm  to  e x p l a i n the "use of the world."  His e x p r e s s i o n "the use  of  the world" i s s i n g u l a r and i s the key to the v a l e of s o u l -  making:  Keats regards the world as though  for  and not v i c e - v e r s a as P l a t o would have i t .  man,  i t were c o n s t r u c t e d But  how-  86  ever much Keats circumnavigates  c e r t a i n P l a t o n i c conceptions,  h i s system i s e r e c t e d upon the Greek theology as expounded hy the Timaeus; i t owes i t s e x i s t e n c e t o the cosmography o f the d i a l o g u e , and to i t s p a r t i c u l a r way of f o c u s s i n g and i n t e r p r e t i n g phenomena -- m a t e r i a l l y v e r i f i a b l e and conjectural. In order to d i s m i s s the misguided  notion of C h r i s t i a n  redemption as an argument f o r the e x i s t e n c e o f e v i l ,  Keats  transforms the C h r i s t i a n "vale o f t e a r s " i n t o the more creative  "vale o f soul-making,"  He then proceeds t o sketch  h i s theory o f s a l v a t i o n -- the making o f t h e s o u l immortal -i n terms which adhere c l o s e l y to Timaeus' d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Anima Mundi and i t s c o u n t e r p a r t , the human s o u l .  The e n t i r e  theology o f the P l a t o n i c dialogue i s based on the c o n c e p t i o n ofi s o u l and i t s embodiment i n p a r t i a l s o u l s , and f o r i t s d e l i n e a t i o n Timaeus depends upon t h e P y t h a g o r i c mode o f i n q u i r y which maintains  t h a t t h i n g s are g i v e n a t r i p l e  divi-  s i o n , t h a t i s , any two l e v e l s o f being, any two substances, to i n t e r a c t , must be s u s t a i n e d by a t h i r d , f o r as Timaeus says,  " I t i s i m p o s s i b l e f o r two t h i n g s alone t o cohere  t o g e t h e r without  the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f a t h i r d "  u n i v e r s e , w o r l d - s o u l , the human s o u l , Nature,  (479)•  The  the i n h a b i t a n t s  of the u n i v e r s e , a l l have t h r e e f o l d c h a r a c t e r s .  So, f o r  i n s t a n c e , the demiurgus " p l a c i n g i n t e l l e c t i n s o u l and s o u l i n i b o d y , he f a b r i c a t e d the u n i v e r s e " (Timaeus, 4 7 8 ) , and the s o u l o f man except  i n i t s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n matter i s  87  the exact c o u n t e r p a r t of the w o r l d - s o u l which c o n s i s t s of e t e r n a l essence, energy  i n time, and body (or essence,  sameness and d i f f e r e n c e ) .  In both cases, the s o u l r e p r e s e n t s  the medium between the i n t e l l e c t u a l and the m a t e r i a l realms. Keats i s s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d by the P l a t o n i c i d e a of s o u l as i t i s r e p r e s e n t e d i n the d i a l o g u e :  he employs the con-  cept of t r i - p a r t i t e d i v i s i o n , e s p e c i a l l y as i t i s r e l e v a n t to  the composition of s o u l , and he echoes Timaeus' e x t e n s i v e  use of "mediums" i n h i s scheme of s o u l - c r e a t i o n . Keats' t h r e e f o l d d i v i s i o n c o n s i s t s of I n t e l l i g e n c e , World and Heart, which, working t o g e t h e r , c r e a t e the His  system of s a l v a t i o n or  soul.  "spirit-creation"  i s e f f e c t e d by three grand m a t e r i a l s a c t i n g the one upon the other f o r a s e r i e s of y e a r s -- These t h r e e M a t e r i a l s are the I n t e l l i g e n c e -- the human h e a r t (as d i s t i n g u i s h e d from i n t e l l i g e n c e or Mind) and the World or E l e m e n t a l space s u i t e d f o r the proper a c t i o n of Mind and Heart on each other f o r the purpose of forming the S o u l or I n t e l l i g e n c e d e s t i n e d to possess the sense of I d e n t i t y . Cll»  102)  The d e f i n i t i o n s g i v e n to each of the components d e r i v e from the d e f i n i t i o n s accorded them by Timaeus and T a y l o r .  Keats  says of I n t e l l i g e n c e s t h a t they are not s o u l s <the> t i l l they a c q u i r e i d e n t i t i e s , t i l l each one i s p e r s o n a l l y i t s e l f . I/n/tell i g e n c e s are atoms of p e r c e p t i o n — they know and they see and they are pure, i n s h o r t they are God -( I I , 102) Or, as T a y l o r says, "Every pure i n t e l l e c t  i s , a c c o r d i n g to  88  the P l a t o n i c p h i l o s o p h y , a God a c c o r d i n g to union" The World of Circumstances of  g e n e r a t i o n which never  becoming. his  And  (418).  i s of course the world of change, is., but i s always i n a s t a t e of  the Heart, Keats' i n t e r p r e t e r of experience,  "seat of the human P a s s i o n s " i s Timaeus' home of the  m o r t a l genus of the s o u l where the n o b l e r p a s s i o n s mediate between the b r a i n and b o d i l y a p p e t i t e s  (544).  Keats i n  d e f i n i n g the Soul as d i f f e r e n t from I n t e l l e c t , as an  entity  t h a t has to be matured, sees as T a y l o r t e l l s us P l a t o does, t h a t the r e a s o n of the s o u l i s "becoming to be t r u e , " thus indicating and  "the d i f f e r e n c e between the knowledge of s o u l  intellect"  (489).  And Keats' i d e a of the "three  grand  m a t e r i a l s " might have been i n s p i r e d by Timaeus' i n q u i r y i n t e l l e c t and t r u e o p i n i o n : ... these ought to be denominated two d i s t i n c t t h i n g s , because they are gene r a t e d separate from each other, and are d i s s i m i l a r . ... And the one i s indeed always attended with t r u e reason, but the other i s i r r a t i o n a l . The one i s not t o be moved by p e r s u a s i o n ; the other, on the c o n t r a r y , i s s u b j e c t to t h i s mutation. ... We must confess t h a t the form which s u b s i s t s a c c o r d i n g to same, i s unbegotten and without decay; neither r e c e i v i n g anything into i t s e l f e x t e r n a l l y , nor i t s e l f p r o c e e d i n g i n t o any other nature. That i t i s i n v i s i b l e , and i m p e r c e p t i b l e by sense; and t h a t t h i s i s the proper o b j e c t of i n t e l l e c t u a l speculation. But the form which i s synonymous and s i m i l a r to t h i s , must be cons i d e r e d as s e n s i b l e , generated, always i n a g i t a t i o n , and generated i n a c e r t a i n p l a c e , from which i t a g a i n recedes, h a s t e n i n g t o d i s s o l u t i o n ; and which i s apprehended by o p i n i o n i n c o n j u n c t i o n  into  89  w i t h sense. of p l a c e .  But the t h i r d n a t u r e i s  (524-25)  The t h r e e n a t u r e s e x i s t i n g i n the the u n i v e r s e are i n t e l l e c t , place.  that  "receptacle"  of t h i n g s i n  o p i n i o n governed by s e n s e , and  Or, as K e a t s would say,  Intellect,  H e a r t and W o r l d .  To e x p l a i n the s p e c i f i c r e l a t i o n s among the  materials  o f s o u l - m a k i n g , K e a t s i n t r o d u c e s the i d e a o f mediums.  He  r e v e r s e s T a y l o r ' s q u e s t i o n " F o r how, w i t h o u t a medium, c o u l d }  they / s o u l s / proceed i n t o t h i s body-..from i m m a t e r i a l s p i r i t s ? " (511)  t o r e a d 'How w i t h o u t the medium of t h i s w o r l d c o u l d  s o u l s proceed from t h i s body t o p o s s e s s a s p i r i t of t h e i r own?'  I  "How t h e n are s o u l s t o be made?" K e a t s  asks,  How, but by the medium o f a w o r l d l i k e t h i s ? . . . Do you not see how n e c e s s a r y a World of P a i n s and t r o u b l e s i s t o s c h o o l an I n t e l l i g e n c e and make i t a s o u l ? A P l a c e where the h e a r t must f e e l and s u f f e r i n a thousand d i v e r s e ways! (II,  102)  And l a t e r on, i n r e i t e r a t i n g h i s d o c t r i n e , i t i s the H e a r t as m e d i a t o r i n the w o r l d o f c i r c u m s t a n c e s w h i c h becomes the medium between the I n t e l l i g e n c e w i t h o u t i d e n t i t y and the Soul with i t s a l t e r i n g nature.  There can be l i t t l e  I t h i n k , t h a t Keats i s i n t h i s l e t t e r  doubt,  of A p r i l 21 v e r y  con-  s c i o u s l y a l l o w i n g h i m s e l f t o be i n f l u e n c e d by the k i n d o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n q u i r y and the t h e o l o g i c a l d o c t r i n e s c e r n i n g the s o u l t h a t he f i n d s i n the T a y l o r ' s comments  Timaeus.  that  P l a t o c a l l s the g n o s t i c motions o f  the  con-  90  s o u l touchings i n d i c a t i n g by t h i s the immediate apprehension of the o b j e c t s of knowledge,  (489)  the happiness of any b e i n g i s the proper p e r f e c t i o n of t h a t being  (484)  and  seem t o have sparked i n Keats not only the i d e a s t h a t the s o u l becomes the r e c e p t a c l e of knowledge and t h a t as i t i s p e r f e c t e d i t develops a happiness, a " b l i s s p e c u l i a r , " but as w e l l they seem to have a f f e c t e d even the poet's v o c a b u l a r y . I t i s not d i f f i c u l t to imagine, e s p e c i a l l y g i v e n Keats' a t t r a c t i o n to gerunds, how  easily Taylor's i t a l i c i z e d  evolved i n t o the 'touchstones' and  'touchings'  'provings' Keats uses to  d e s c r i b e the a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge that g i v e s the s o u l its  ''perfectionings' : I began by s e e i n g how man was formed by circumstances -- and what are circumstances? -but touchstones of h i s h e a r t --? and what are touch stones? -- but proovings of h i s h e a r t ? — and what are proovings of h i s heart but f o r t i f i e r s or a l t e r e r s of h i s nature? and what i s h i s a l t e r e d nature but h i s soul? -- and what was h i s s o u l before i t came i n t o the world and had These p r o v i n g s and a l t e r a t i o n s and p e r f e c t i o n i n g s ? -- An i n t e l l i g e n c e < s > -- without I d e n t i t y -- and how i s t h i s I d e n t i t y t o be made? Through the medium of the Heart? And how i s the heart to become t h i s Medium but i n a world of Circumstances? ( I I , 103-104)  In the P l a t o n i c p h i l o s o p h y the human s o u l a c t s as the medium between the I n t e l l i g i b l e and the m a t e r i a l , and the f u r t h e r she approaches  the former, the more knowledge she  91  is  s a i d to possess and happier i s the i n d i v i d u a l whose  tenement she i n h a b i t s .  I r o n i c a l l y , however, i t i s only  through p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n m a t e r i a l e x i s t e n c e and the c i r c u l a t i o n s of time that the f l i g h t essence takes p l a c e .  undergoing  of the s o u l towards  Keats launches on to the t r u t h of t h i s  i r o n y , and i n so doing c l a r i f i e s f o r h i m s e l f the "use" of the world, g i v i n g i t much more importance c r e a t i o n than Timaeus was in  i n the scheme of  w i l l i n g to concede i t .  Yet even  t h i s seeming d i s p a r i t y between Keats' system and the  d i a l o g u e , the commentary of T a y l o r can be seen to be  perhaps  i n f l u e n c i n g Keats' v i s i o n : Should i t be a g a i n asked, Why, t h e r e f o r e , are p a r t i a l s o u l s descending i n t o generat i o n f i l l e d w i t h such m a t e r i a l p e r t u r b a t i o n , and such numerous e v i l s ? we r e p l y , t h a t t h i s takes p l a c e through the i n c l i n a t i o n a r i s i n g from t h e i r f r e e w i l l . ... And the s o u l , indeed, by v e r g i n g to a m a t e r i a l l i f e , k i n d l e s a l i g h t i n her dark tenement the body, but she h e r s e l f becomes s i t u a t e d i n o b s c u r i t y ; and by g i v i n g l i f e to the body, she d e s t r o y s h e r s e l f and her own i n t e l l e c t , i n as great a degree as these are capable of r e c e i v i n g d e s t r u c t i o n . For thus the m o r t a l nature p a r t i c i p a t e s of i n t e l l e c t , but the i n t e l l e c t u a l p a r t of death, and the whole becomes a p r o d i g y ... composed of the m o r t a l and immortal, of the i n t e l l e c t u a l , and t h a t which i s d e p r i v e d of i n t e l l e c t . For t h i s p h y s i c a l law, which binds the s o u l to the body, i s the death of the immortal l i f e , but i s the cause o f v i v i f i c a t i o n to the m o r t a l body. (513) The  s o u l on e n t e r i n g the m o r t a l body i s s i t u a t e d i n o b s c u r i t y  and must begin a s e r i e s of p r o g r e s s i o n s towards knowledge  an  and happiness.  For the poet, the p r o g r e s s i s e f f e c t e d by  92  l i v i n g i n the world i n one's m o r t a l i t y and the p e r t u r b a t i o n s  and  numerous e v i l s one  l e a r n i n g from  encounters.  S a l v a t i o n , the making of the s o u l i n t o a which i s f o r ever one's own, immortality,  which f o r Keats c o n s t i t u t e s  i s the v i v i d and v i t a l experience of our  nature i n i t s c o n f r o n t a t i o n with m u t a b i l i t y and underscoring  character  o f the Heart's r o l e i n human l i f e  material  death.  The  i s inevitable:  f o r Keats i t i s the i n t e r p r e t e r of sense experience, i t i s a p l a c e of h o l i n e s s -- i n i t s emotions and the seeds of p e r s o n a l  affections l i e  i d e n t i t y , which, communicated over a  s e r i e s of y e a r s to the mind, c r e a t e the s o u l . are God,  our Hearts our  Our I n t e l l e c t s  own:  The Heart ... i s the Minds B i b l e , i t s i s the Minds experience, i t i s the t e a t from which the Mind or i n t e l l i g e n c e sucks i t s i d e n t i t y -- As v a r i o u s as the L i v e s of Men are -- so v a r i o u s become t h e i r s o u l s , and thus does God make i n d i v i d u a l beings, Souls. (II, But  as much as the v a l e of soul-making can be  Keats' nineteenth-century  humanism and  s a i d to r e f l e c t : 1  natural r e l i g i o n i n  the prominence which i t g i v e s to the heart, i t s r o o t s embedded i n P l a t o ' s Timaeus, and more p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s c u s s i o n of the the  103)  are  i n the  s o u l which comprises such a l a r g e p a r t  of  dialogue. That Keats i s s e r i o u s l y c o n s i d e r i n g the P l a t o n i c ,  t h a t i s , Greek, theology i n i t s many m a n i f e s t a t i o n s evidenced i n h i s s p e c u l a t i o n s , now  r e i t e r a t e d , concerning  first  daemons:  is  broached i n March  and  93  I t i s p r e t t y g e n e r a l l y suspected t h a t the c h r / i / s t i a n scheme has "been coppied from the a n c i e n t p e r s i a n and greek P h i l o s o p h e r s . Why may they not have made t h i s simple t h i n g even more simple f o r common apprehension hy i n t r o d u c i n g Mediators and Personages i n the same manner as i n the hethan mythology a b s t r a c t i o n s a r e personi f i e d -- S e r i o u s l y I t h i n k i t probable t h a t t h i s System of Soul-making -- may have been the Parent o f a l l the more p a l p a b l e and' p e r s o n a l Schemes o f Redemption. ( I I , 103) The  i n t r o d u c t i o n o f mediators serves  no r e a l purpose i n Keats'  system, y e t i t does demonstrate t h a t the poet i s s t r u g g l i n g with the P l a t o n i c conception  o f p a r t i a l s o u l s , s u p e r i o r to  our own, as they move through the u n i v e r s e t i o n s o f time.  and the c i r c u l a -  H i s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t the s o u l i s not a t h i n g -  i h - i t s e l f but has to be made i s o f courseea wide divergence from P l a t o ' s concept o f s o u l .  But with P l a t o , Keats b e l i e v e s  t h a t the s o u l e x i s t s as p a r t o f the I n t e l l e c t but u n l i k e the I n t e l l e c t i s i n a s t a t e o f "becoming to be t r u e " ; w i t h P l a t o he  sees that the s o u l must be schooled,  must p e r f e c t  through knowledge; with P l a t o he l a b e l s the reward  itself  given  to him who succeeds i n the p e r f e c t i n g o f h i s s o u l , happiness. I t i s the k i n d o f knowledge necessary to mature the s o u l and  b r i n g i t i n t o being t h a t marks the e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e  between the t h e o l o g i e s  o f poet and p h i l o s o p h e r .  l i m i t i n g his speculations  t o the human c o n d i t i o n , i s able to  grasp a t r u t h t h a t eludes Timaeus i n h i s g r e a t e r t r u t h t h a t e v i l i s present  Keats,  scheme: the  i n the world f o r the good o f man-  k i n d as i n d i v i d u a l beings, as p o s s e s s o r s o f s o u l s .  For  Timaeus, i t i s the contemplation o f good and o f beauty that  94  l e a d s to g n o s i s ; f o r Keats, who  l i v e s and w r i t e s hy  this  P l a t o n i c p r i n c i p l e i t i s t r u e , there i s e q u a l l y the  recog-  n i t i o n t h a t what i s the very opposite of beauty f u r n i s h e s one with a k i n d of knowledge t h a t the l o o k i n g o n l y upon the sun the moon the s t a r s cannot p r o v i d e , a knowledge which leads to I d e n t i t y , a wholeness of being which i s p e r s o n a l l y one's  own. Keats'  first  attempt to employ the philosophy-myth-  ology of the Timaeus f a i l e d :  i t was  i m p o s s i b l e to work out  a p h i l o s o p h y w i t h i n the poem Hyperion, aid  of the P l a t o n i c cosmogony.  e p i c simply  d i d not e x i s t .  The  even w i t h the enormous  v i s i o n r e q u i r e d f o r the  When the poet  comes the f o l l o w i n g  s p r i n g to see the dialogue i n terms more approximate to h i s concern f o r the i n d i v i d u a l , however, he i s able to use i t ( o f t e n t a k i n g i t s d o c t r i n e s widely suggestions to  i t makes to him without  out of context, u s i n g the a t t e n d i n g very  closely  t h e i r P l a t o n i c a p p l i c a t i o n ) to comprehend f i n a l l y  the  reason f o r the e x i s t e n c e of e v i l , to answer the problem which has f o r so l o n g tormented him.  Keats d i s t i l l s  P l a t o n i c v i s i o n of the composition  from the  of the human s o u l and i t s  s t r u g g l e w i t h i n the m a t e r i a l world a t h e o l o g i c a l system of s a l v a t i o n which he b e l i e v e s to be reasonable  and at the same  time c r e a t i v e , and which responds more than adequately  to  the' c i r c u m s c r i b e d , s t r a i g h t e n e d n o t i o n s of C h r i s t i a n i t y . The v a l e of soul-making i s much what the Mansion of Many Apartments and the grand March of I n t e l l e c t were: a l l e g o r i z i n g of human l i f e i n human terms -  the  a b s t r a c t thought  95  made t a n g i b l e : I w i l l c a l l the world a School i n s t i t u t e d f o r the purpose o f t e a c h i n g l i t t l e c h i l d r e n to r e a d — I w i l l c a l l the human heart the horn Book used i n t h a t School -- and I w i l l c a l l the C h i l d a b l e to r e a d , the Soul made from t h a t s c h o o l and i t s hornbook. Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and t r o u b l e s i s t o school/an I n t e l l i g e n c e and make i t a s o u l ? A P l a c e where the heart must f e e l and s u f f e r i n a thousand d i v e r s e ways! ( I I , 102) The aching j o y o f the l a s t two sentences  o f t h i s passage  betrays the r e l i e f Keats f e e l s i n a t l a s t r e c o n c i l i n g the e x i s t e n c e o f e v i l to h i s a b s t r a c t P r i n c i p l e o f Beauty i n a l l t h i n g s , i n a t l a s t w i t n e s s i n g the good t h a t i s i n h e r e n t i n such a p l a n t h a t can produce autonomous, i n d i v i d u a l , beings.  immortal  What he sees so c l e a r l y and so c o n f i d e n t l y i s t r u l y  a v i c t o r y f o r him: understanding  he has fought f o r months to come to an  o f the r o l e of p a i n and s u f f e r i n g , and the  answer he f i n d s to the m e t a p h y s i c a l q u e s t i o n i s grounded i n the r e a l i t y o f the everyday one  world;  i t i s not a c l o s e d system,  t h a t w i l l l i m i t h i s p e r c e p t i o n s , but one which a l l o w s  open-endedly f o r experience and i n c r e a s e i n knowledge. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t Keats of soul-making  with the words:  Poetry and Theology  concludes h i s d i s c u s s i o n  "There now I t h i n k what with  ...," g i v e n t h a t he has not once i n the  l e t t e r r e f e r r e d to p o e t r y .  I t i s not so c u r i o u s , however,  when one r e a l i z e s t h a t i t i s t h i s system which he has worked out t h a t i s the b a s i s o f the odes t h a t f o l l o w .  The system  of s a l v a t i o n , necessary t o him as a t h i n k i n g , q u e s t i o n i n g man, i s no l e s s v i t a l f o r h i s p o e t r y , f o r were he to l o s e  96  f a i t h i n the e s s e n t i a l goodness o f the world,hhe would assurance as a poet. of  lose  The t h e o l o g i c a l c e r t a i n t y o f the v a l e  soul-making does not l a s t the poet's l i f e t i m e , hut f o r  a few months at l e a s t i t p r o v i d e s him w i t h a v i s i o n o f the world, a v i s i o n complete enough to e r e c t a mythology, t o c r e a t e a body of myths which supports and e x p l o r e s the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the t r u t h he now p o s s e s s e s . The s e c u r i t y Keats f e e l s , the peaceable and h e a l t h y s p i r i t as he terms i t , i s p r o j e c t e d soon afterwards i n t o the  "Ode  to Psyche," a poem the poet w r i t e s i n honour o f the  sdul-made.  The d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e o f the Timaeus e f f e c t i v e l y  comes to an end at t h i s time:  i t has served i t s purpose i n  h e l p i n g Keats to e s t a b l i s h a framework of h i s own thought with which he i s s a t i s f i e d .  He takes h i s leave o f P l a t o n i s m  i n the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l "Psyche."  '.  1  Of i t he says:  The f o l l o w i n g Poem -- the l a s t I have w r i t t e n i s the f i r s t and only one w i t h which I have taken even moderate p a i n s -I have f o r the most p a r t dash'd o f my l i n e s i n a h u r r y -- T h i s I have done l e i s u r e l y -- I t h i n k i t reads the more r i c h l y f o r i t and w i l l I hope encourage me to w r i t e other t h i n g / s / i n even a more peacable and h e a l t h y spirit. You must r e c o l l e c t t h a t Psyche was not embodied as a goddess before the time o f A p u l i e u s the P l a t o n i s t who l i v e d a f t e i r the Agustan age, and consequently the Goddess was never worshipped or s a c r i f i c e d to w i t h any o f the a n c i e n t f e r v o u r -- and perhaps never thought o f i n the o l d r e l i g i o n -- I am more orthodox that to l e t a hethen Goddess be so n e g l e c t e d -(II, 1 0 5 - 1 0 6 )  "Psyche" i s Keats' p o e t i c a l statement t h a t he now possesses a mythopoeia, a comprehension of the world t h a t i s p e c u l i a r ,  97  a p p r o p r i a t e and n a t i v e to h i m s e l f .  In the poem he d e f i n e s  where he stands i n r e l a t i o n to the o l d mythology and how i n t e n d s to take up the c h a l l e n g e of c r e a t i n g new new  he  poetry,  myth, t h a t w i l l a r t i c u l a t e the present world's  cares,  i t s burdens and i t s m y s t e r i e s . Keats does not choose at random the goddess to whom he w i l l d e d i c a t e h i m s e l f .  Psyche i s the i n c a r n a t i o n of the  human s o u l which, having s u f f e r e d through a s e r i e s of t r i a l s , a t t a i n s i t s i d e n t i t y and i m m o r t a l i t y .  Keats, r e c o g n i z i n g  Psyche's value as the s o u l i n triumph,  asks to be her p r i e s t ,  to  s i n g her s e c r e t s to the world,  c o n t r a s t i n g ages i n the ode: rites,  In s e t t i n g up the  the Olympian w i t h i t s antique  i t s immediacy of f e e l i n g ,  i t s h o l i n e s s , i t s fond  b e l i e v i n g Innocence; and h i s own, happy p i e t i e s ,  f a r r e t i r e d from the  i n t e n s e l y aware of the presence  poetry must take.  As much as the beauty  r e l i g i o n appeals to him,  other's  o f p a i n , of  the need f o r knowledge, Keats i s determining the his  two  direction  of the Greek  he i s only too aware of i t s inade-  q u a c i e s , only too aware t h a t the theology which he must and w r i t e by i s - t h e f a r more complex one of  live  soul-making.  Thus, the fane which he b u i l d s to the goddess w i l l c o n t a i n not only g e n t l e zephyrs,  streams,  b i r d s and bees, but too,  dark, w i l d - r i d g e d mountains f u l l of t e r r o r and danger to be reminders  of the hardship and  s u f f e r i n g t h a t the s o u l must  meet t o achieve i t s i d e n t i t y . !  The temple i s not one, however, of mere p a s s i v e  reminders  of Psyche's m o r t a l days.  I t s sanctuary where  98  she i s t o r e s i d e i s K e a t s ' mind, the "breeding-ground f o r a l l t h a t Fancy can c r e a t e .  The f i n a l f o u r l i n e s o f the poem  foreshadow the theme o f the odes t o f o l l o w , i n which K e a t s w i l l s t r e s s the r i c h n e s s o f e x p e r i e n c e and the need t o a c c e p t the p h y s i c a l w o r l d , i m p e r f e c t as i t i s , s i n c e i t our p a t h t o - t h e d i v i n e .  is  K e a t s p r o m i s e s Psyche  a l l soft delight That shadowy thought can w i n , A b r i g h t t o r c h , and a casement ope a t n i g h t , To l e t the warm Love i n ! The poet admits h i s l i m i t a t i o n s , and appears t o be c a p i t u l a t i n g to t r a d i t i o n a l P l a t o n i s m i n confessing that h i s thought i s "shadowy," t h a t he i n h a b i t s an i m p e r f e c t w o r l d . But t h e r e n e v e r t h e l e s s  e x i s t s i n him t h a t i d e a l , d i v i n e  knowledge t h a t i s h i s as P s y c h e ' s p r i e s t , and t h i s he would wed t o the w o r l d o f e x p e r i e n c e .  F o r K e a t s now, d i v i n e k n o w l -  edge and human a r e one, and what t h e s e f i n a l l i n e s i n s i s t upon i s t h a t t h e r e must be a f u s i o n o f the i d e a l (the t r u t h and beauty o f P s y c h e , the s o u l made) w i t h the p h y s i c a l or human w o r l d (here t y p i f i e d by s e x u a l l o v e ) . I n m a i n t a i n i n g t h a t the a l r e a d y - c r e a t e d s o u l o f Psyche i s t o c o n t i n u e t o meet w i t h e r o t i c l o v e , K e a t s a f f i r m s  that  the i d e a l i s i n the mutable w o r l d , and can be e x p e r i e n c e d there:  i f t h i s be P l a t o n i s m , i t i s so o n l y by the  broadest  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the mythology o f the Timaeus which endorses the v a l u e o f the c r e a t e d w o r l d , w h i c h speaks o f l o v e as the I!  " g e n e r a l i n v a d e r o f a l l t h i n g s " (Timaeus, 544).  K e a t s has  99  by t h i s time developed the P l a t o n i c system o f c r e a t i o n with its intelligible  and mutable  i n t o such an unorthodox  realms and i t s concept o f s o u l  credo t h a t i t becomes i m p o s s i b l e to  speak o f P l a t o n i s m i n h i s poems.  "Psyche" i s I t h i n k Keats'  p o e t i c a l statement o f h i s p o s i t i o n w i t h r e g a r d t o p h i l o s o p h y and p o e t r y , and h i s acknowledgement o f h i s unorthodoxy: the  poem he r e c o g n i z e s the i n a b i l i t y  in  o f the Greek r e l i g i o n  arid o f P l a t o n i s m , b e a u t i f u l as they are, to address the needs of the modern world; i n the f i n a l stanza, w h i l e he pays t r i b u t e t o t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n to h i s thought, the poet r e s o l v e s toi r e p l a c e the a n c i e n t theology and mythology  with h i s own.  The odes which f o l l o w "Psyche" are a s e r i e s o f myths 29  which  support Keats'' c e n t r a l t h e o l o g i c a l v i s i o n .  Murry  says o f them, t h a t they are "poems t h a t haunt men's  7  Middleton  minds and a c q u i r e a dominion over t h e i r s o u l s , o f which they 30  can render no account t o themselves."^  The statement I  t h i n k evokes t h e i r mythic q u a l i t y , t h e i r c h a r a c t e r as r e l i gious symbolism, of  t h e i r a u t h o r i t y which r e s t s i n the beauty  t h e i r thought and l y r i c i s m as i t works upon us, almost  unaccountably as Murry  suggests.  Keats c o u l d not but have  been cognizant o f t h e i r value as myth:  i n each poem h e i i s  at p a i n s to d i s p l a c e former myths or reshape them i n t o a modern context.  The procedure i s begun w i t h  "Psyche,"  although Keats i s not attempting i n the poem t o mythologize, and continues through the "Ode to a N i g h t i n g a l e " to "To Autumn."  I t i s almost axiomatic t h a t a new stanza form come  100  i n t o being a t t h i s time -- the i n n o v a t i o n expresses the r i c h n e s s and newness of Keats' mythopoeic  vision.  The problem of e v i l i s not f o r g o t t e n , but i t i s a s s i m i l a t e d i n t o the t h e o l o g i c a l system of soul-making: odes are r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of how  the  the i n d i v i d u a l a d j u s t s to  and p r o f i t s from the world around him; how  pain, loss,  the  l i m i t a t i o n s of the human c o n d i t i o n are to be d e a l t with; how  i t i s necessary not only to accept the e v i l s of e x i s t e n c e ,  but t o s e i z e and e x p l o i t them f o r the knowledge they l e a d t o . As myths, they do not d e f i n e a moral a t t i t u d e or e t h i c of conduct, although i n the t r u t h they present they imply a standard of conduct; r a t h e r they v a l i d a t e the experience of l i v i n g the world to i t s f u l l e s t .  In the symbolism  of the  odes there i s a p r o g r e s s i v e movement towards a f u s i o n o f cont r a r i e s whereby an e q u i p o i s e between good and e v i l i s achieved, whereby the v a l u e of one the other.  i s no g r e a t e r , no l e s s than t h a t of  In h i s myth-making Keats i s anxious to detach  h i m s e l f from the mythology of the p a s t .  His modern mythology  w i l l make use of the normal P l a t o n i c d i v i s i o n between the p h y s i c a l w o r l d with i t s apportionment  of e v i l and the world  of essence, of beauty and t r u t h , but only to i l l u s t r a t e  that  the i d e a l dwells w i t h i n the p h y s i c a l and i s dependent upon i t and i t s accompanying e v i l s f o r i t s v a l u e . I s h a l l not attempt  a d e t a i l e d i n t e r p r e t a i o n of the  odes, but I t h i n k i t necessary to look b r i e f l y a t how  they  f u n c t i o n as modern myths which support Keats' t h e o l o g y . "Ode  to a N i g h t i n g a l e " i s perhaps the l e a s t mythic  of the  The  101  odes __ the poet i s too much i n i t .  Yet the poem i s never-  t h e l e s s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e i n a u n i v e r s a l way;  i t s immediacy  absorbs the reader u n t i l he f o r g e t s that i t i s e s s e n t i a l l y a testament of another's p e r s o n a l emotions. the  Keats symbolizes  i d e a l world i n the feeauty o f the n i g h t i n g a l e ' s song:  the  world of essence i s made manifest i n the natural,' mutable world.  However, the gap between the "happiness" of the  n i g h t i n g a l e and the misery o f the human world where men s i t and hear each other groan; Where p a l s y shakes a few, sad, l a s t gray h a i r s , Where youth grows p a l e , and s p e c t r e - t h i n , and d i e s ; Where but to t h i n k i s to be f u l l of sorrow And leaden-eyed d e s p a i r s , Where Beauty cannot keep her l u s t r o u s eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond tomorrow i s an enormous one.  The speaker -- whom we can f a i r l y reason-  ably i d e n t i f y as Keats -- i n h e a r i n g the song, i n d e s i r i n g to  merge with i t s beauty, b e l i e v e s t h a t he must i n some  manner q u i t the m o r t a l world; to b r i n g about t h i s end he c o n s i d e r s t h r e e p o s s i b l e methods. By p r o p o s i n g and r e j e c t i n g each measure, Keats  dis-  tances h i m s e l f from the a n c i e n t r i t e s which were b e l i e v e d t o l e a d to the d i v i n e :  he r e f u s e s f i r s t  Bacchus and h i s pards,  he- w i l l not d r i n k of the Hippocrene; poetry he  understands  cannot reach Phoebe, the Queen-Moon; and death at midnight in  the h e i g h t of e c s t a s y i s f u t i l e .  For. the ',beauty w i t h  which he would a t t a c h h i m s e l f i s not of another world, but r e s i d e s i n the n a t u r a l world.  To know i t , he too must abide  102  i n t h a t world.  The speaker concludes, and i t i s the only  t h i n g he can conclude, t h a t our knowledge o f heauty i s dependent  upon our c o n d i t i o n o f s u f f e r i n g on e a r t h .  The more we  know o f p a i n , the more r e a l f o r us i s immortal beauty  and  the  g r e a t e r i t s c a p a c i t y t o speak to us:  sad  h e a r t s as i t once d i d f o r Ruth, to charm the i m a g i n a t i o n ,  to the  t o soothe our  t o l l us back to our s o l e s e l v e s , where the s o u l l e a r n s value of m o r t a l e x i s t e n c e . The ode f i n i s h e s w i t h a -question, the poet b e i n g  unable to r e s o l v e whether h i s experience has been a v i s i o n or  an i l l u s i o n .  Keats c o u l d not have ended on a b e t t e r note:  d e c l i n i n g to i n t e r p r e t , he throws the weight o f the poem's meaning onto the encounter i t s e l f and what i s l e a r n e d t h e r e , and thus demonstrates the  the value of w r e s t l i n g w i t h the  mutable,  a b s u r d i t y o f l o n g i n g f o r assumption i n t o the e t e r n a l . The  same c o n f l i c t between the e t e r n a l realm o f beauty  and the world of change and decay i s i n t r o d u c e d i n t o  "Ode  on  a G r e c i a n Urn," but i t s r e s o l u t i o n i s of a much more complex nature.  While the u r n serves to r e i n f o r c e the same t r u t h  as does t h e ' n i g h t i n g a l e ' s song, t h a t i s , t h a t t h i s world in its  s p i t e of i t s e v i l s i s good and e x i s t s to be experienced, l e s s o n hinges upon i t s essence as a r t . The u r n i s a permanent symbol,  not o f e t e r n a l beauty,  but o f t r a n s i e n t beauty e t e r n a l i z e d , and thus the poet with his  knowledge of the mutable  i s a b l e to e n t e r to some extent  i n t o the beauty i t possesses, to i d e n t i f y w i t h i t as he unable to i d e n t i f y w i t h the n i g h t i n g a l e ' s song.  At f i r s t  was he  103  views  i t as s u p e r i o r to human l i f e :  i t expresses i t s t a l e  more sweetly than p o e t r y , i t s unheard melodies are sweeter than music,  i t s S p r i n g can never f a d e , i t s l o v e i s  For ever warm and s t i l l to he enjoy'd, For ever p a n t i n g , and f o r ever young; A l l b r e a t h i n g human p a s s i o n f a r above, That leaves a heart h i g h - s o r r o w f u l and c l o y ' d , A burning forehead, and a p a r c h i n g tongue. But g r a d u a l l y he becomes convinced t h a t i t i s l a c k i n g : i t s town i s d e s o l a t e without a s o u l to t e l l why, i t s love t h a t i s f o r ever s t i l l to be enjoyed w i l l never know b l i s s , i t i s a Cold Pastoral.  I n the l o v e l i n e s s o f a s i n g l e moment  t h a t i t c a p t u r e s , the u r n r e v e a l s the beauty i n l i f e t h a t i s a v a i l a b l e t o man.  But the beauty  can be a p p r e c i a t e d only  when one knows t h a t i t i s a f l e e t i n g one, can be l i v e d only when one undergoes b r e a t h i n g human p a s s i o n and the aftermath of  love.  The urn's message i s : 'Beauty i s t r u t h , t r u t h beauty -- t h a t i s a l l Ye know on e a r t h , and a l l ye need to know.'  The u r n e x i s t s as a f r i e n d to man i n two ways, i n what i t can show and i n what i t cannot:  i t s f r i e z e i s a reminder o f  the beauty t h a t e x i s t s i n the world, i n experience, and o b v i o u s l y i n a r t -- i t s beauty i s t r u t h ; and i n i t s c o l d s i l e n c e i t teaches t h a t f o r the beauty which i s t r u t h t o be experienced, one must be a s e n t i e n t being, t h a t one's m o r t a l ! i s an entrance i n t o the world o f the u r n as w e l l as i n t o the world o f p a i n and death.  T h i s second t r u t h i s o f another  104  k i n d of beauty, the beauty t h a t comes i n a c c e p t i n g  and  l i v i n g i n the world  of a c t i o n , the P r i n c i p l e o f Beauty t h a t  recognizes  Thus i s a r t a b l e , i n what i t can p o r t r a y  and  sorrow.  i n what i t cannot, to teach us a l l we need to know on  earth. As i n "Psyche" Keats exposes i n "Ode Urn"  on a  Grecian  the l i m i t a t i o n s of the Greek p e r c e p t i o n of l i f e  p a s t o r a l s e t t i n g s and- s a c r i f i c i a l r i t e s .  in its  I t s happy innocence,  while a t t r a c t i v e , does not address the e s s e n t i a l problems of man;  i t n e i t h e r e n v i s i o n s wasted generations  nor  offers  s o l a c e or a i d to the i n d i v i d u a l whose heart i s h i g h - s o r r o w f u l and  cloyed.  By i m p l y i n g the c o n t r a s t between the l i f e  the u r n and h i s own  age,  while  of  i n s i s t i n g upon the value  of  the u r n as a r t o b j e c t ( i t i s f o r ever a f r i e n d to man), is art  i n d i c a t i n g to h i s readers t h e i r need to r e c o g n i z e can teach and to grasp what knowledge they  involvement with m o r t a l i t y . on a G r e c i a n Urn" its  "Ode  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of what nature one  to a N i g h t i n g a l e " and  a r t ; the n e c e s s i t y of a  and  a r t teach  1  "Ode  mythical  us.  to a N i g h t i n g a l e " and  a'Grecian Urn" would q u a l i f y as p h y s i c a l — "use  "Ode  were to c a t e g o r i z e Keats' myths a c c o r d i n g to  Sallust's subdivisions,^  the  can i n t h e i r  of pains and t r o u b l e s i s embodied i n the  If  what  are e x p l o r a t i o n s of the human psyche i n  a s s o c i a t i o n s with nature and  world  Keats  of the world."  they  There i s a concreteness  a n t i t h e s e s which the poet i n t r o d u c e s :  "Ode  on  justify to the  the e t e r n a l i s sym-  b o l i z e d i n the song of the n i g h t i n g a l e and  i n the urn,  both  105  p h y s i c a l , both apprehended hy s p e c i f i c senses; the mutable world with i t s attendant e v i l s i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n both poems by r e f e r e n c e s to p h y s i c a l p a i n and s u f f e r i n g and death.  The  c o n t r a r i e s , both of which e x i s t i n the world, are brought i n t o a harmony because  of t h e i r combined a b i l i t y to a l t e r  and f o r t i f y the s o u l .  The  s p i r i t u a l element  of the myths i s  to be found i n t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n and endorsement of the c o r p o r e a l world as i t i s .  In the two myths t h a t f o l l o w ,  moves away from the p h y s i c a l towards the more a b s t r a c t  Keats and  t h e o l o g i c a l s p e c i e s o f myth. P r o p e r l y speaking, the t h i r d stanza only of "Ode Melancholy" q u a l i f i e s as myth.  on  P r e c e d i n g i t i s the p r e p a r a -  t i o n f o r the a p o t h e o s i s of the poet's own  goddess,  Melancholy:  Keats begins by u n s e a t i n g the Greek d e i t y Persephone,  her  c o n n e c t i o n with death r e n d e r i n g her u n s u i t a b l e f o r the "wakef u l anguish of the s o u l , " the supreme r e l i g i o u s experience. The  second s t a n z a p r e s c r i b e s c e r t a i n r i t e s to be observed i n  a n t i c i p a t i o n o f the new  goddess'  entry.  And then i n s t a n z a  I I I Keats i n t r o d u c e s the myth: She dwells w i t h Beauty -- Beauty t h a t must d i e ; And Joy, whose hand i s ever at h i s l i p s B i d d i n g adieu; and a c h i n g P l e a s u r e nigh, T u r n i n g to P o i s o n while the bee-mouth s i p s : Ay, i n the very temple of d e l i g h t V e i l ' d Melancholy has her sovran s h r i n e , Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can b u r s t Joy's grape a g a i n s t h i s p a l a t e f i n e ; His s o u l s h a l l t a s t e the sadness of her might, And be among her cloudy t r o p h i e s hung.  io6  The mythic f i g u r e the poet c r e a t e s r u l e s over the v a l e of soul-making; i t i s she who  embodies the knowledge which the  s o u l must t a s t e . The r e l i g i o u s import o f the myth i s c l e a r . j e c t i s the a c t i v i t y the  I t s sub;-  of the s o u l i n the temple o f d e l i g h t , a t  s h r i n e o f the goddess V e i l e d Melancholy.  The  contraries  which dwell w i t h i n the imagined temple no l o n g e r have the separate i d e n t i t i e s which they possessed i n the more p h y s i c a l myths " N i g h t i n g a l e " and  "Grecian Urn," but beauty and death,  p l e a s u r e and p a i n , joy and sorrow, good and e v i l are merged to the p o i n t t h a t one element does not e x i s t but that i t p a r t i c i p a t e s equally i n i t s a n t i t h e s i s :  Beauty means death,  P l e a s u r e ' s n e c t a r t u r n s to Poison, d e l i c i o u s Joy i s the savour of sadness.  The a b s t r a c t i o n s Keats uses (note the  upper case f o r Beauty, Joy, P l e a s u r e , P o i s o n and o f course Melancholy) emphasize spiritually  the omnipresence  o f Melancholy i n her  symbolic r o l e , but the images w i t h which he  p r e s e n t s them are human:  Melancholy and Beauty  "dwell"  together, Joy's hand i s a t h i s l i p s b i d d i n g a d i e u , P l e a s u r e s i p s a draught, Joy i s the t a s t i n g of a grape's flavour.  intoxicating  The myth i s the i l l u s t r a t i o n o f the t r u t h t h a t to  a t t a i n knowledge of the gods, the human world of the senses must be v i t a l l y , f e r v e n t l y r e a l i z e d .  I t w i l l come only to  him  whose strenuous tongue Can: b u r s t j o y ' s grape a g a i n s t h i s p a l a t e  fine.  107  That i s , only hy s e i z i n g experience and l i v i n g i t i n a l l its  joy and sorrow w i l l our s o u l s know wholeness,  achieve i d e n t i t y and h l i s s .  w i l l they  That the s o u l ' s happiness i s  hard-won i s r e c o g n i z e d by Keats i n the f i n a l two l i n e s of the  poem.  I n the s p e c t r a l image of c r e a t e d s o u l s hung as  Melancholy's cloudy t r o p h i e s , t h e r e i s a q u i e t pathos, as the poet takes account o f the f a c t t h a t , while l i f e mu'st be i n t e n s e l y , i t s burdens are o f t e n heavy and seemingly  lived  intoler-  a b l e to bear, and that the s o u l ' s e t e r n a l b l i s s i s the knowledge of the might o f p a i n and misery and heartbreak. Keats' displacement of the "ruby grape of P r o s e r p i n e " which symbolizes death by Joy's grape which b r i n g s w i t h i t the  knowledge o f sadness i s a mythic a f f i r m a t i o n of the good-  ness and v a l u e o f l i f e  i n i t s entirety.  g i o u s , a l l e g o r i c a l symbolism, the in  I n h i s use of r e l i -  and of a b s t r a c t i o n s which  unite  world o f Beauty and the world o f change, Keats c r e a t e s "Melancholy" a completely modern p s y c h i c myth which  r e p r e s e n t s the s o u l ' s way  t o s a l v a t i o n , not through r e s i g -  n a t i o n to the world's e v i l s , but through t a s t i n g of t h e i r b i t t e r s w e e t n e s s to the f i n a l drop. .. "Melancholy" i s the most o v e r t l y r e l i g i o u s o f Keats' odes, and i t comes c l o s e s t to d e f i n i n g the system o f soul-making.  Keats' myths have  now  moved from the very p h y s i c a l " N i g h t i n g a l e " to the more comp l e x "Grecian Urn," to the r e l i g i o u s , p s y c h i c "Melancholy." The l a s t o f the myths i s t h e o l o g i c a l , of the h i g h e s t order. "To Autumn" d e a l s with essences.  Even on i t s most p r a c -  t i c a l l e v e l as p o e t r y , Keats i s concerned w i t h p u r i t y , with the  108  e s s e n t i a l E n g l i s h language that i s r e q u i s i t e f o r h i s modern E n g l i s h myth.  To Reynolds he w r i t e s  j u s t before copying out  the poem f o r him: How b e a u t i f u l the season i s now -- How f i n e the a i r . A temperate sharpness about it-. R e a l l y , without j o k i n g , chaste weather -- D i a n s k i e s — I never l i k ' d stubble f i e l d s so much as now -- Aye b e t t e r than the c h i l l y green o f s p r i n g . Somehow a stubble p l a i n looks warm -- i n the same way that some p i c t u r e s look warm -- ... I always somehow a s s o c i a t e C h a t t e r t o n with autumn. He i s the purest w r i t e r i n the E n g l i s h Language. He has no French idiom, or p a r t i c l e s l i k e Chaucer — ' t i s genuine E n g l i s h Idiom i n E n g l i s h Words. ... E n g l i s h ought to be kept.:up. (II, 167) The  s e r e n i t y o f a r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n which i s warm but  unmarred by excess, the gently  i n t r u d i n g pathos o f the f u l -  f i l l e d but dying year, the d e l i c a t e p o i s e and  o f a i r , sky, f i e l d ,  the p u r i t y o f E n g l i s h idiom are here i n the l e t t e r as  they are i n the ode.  But the ode does not e x p l a i n or judge,  it  And i n the d e s c r i p t i o n i s Keats' most  simply d e s c r i b e s .  p o w e r f u l a s s e r t i o n o f the goodness and beauty of t h i s world i n which change and death p l a y so great a p a r t . "To Autumn" absorbs i n one i n f o r m i n g c o n t r a r i e s , a l l the b e a u t i e s  v i s i o n a l l the  and sorrows, the longings and  r e g r e t s , the s a t i s f a c t i o n s and the p a i n s t h a t are f e l t by the heart  i n i t s abiding  i n the world.  of pause and o f o p p o s i t e s ^ : 2  I t s imagery i s one  Autumn's c o n t i n u i n g  l a s t warm  days which the poem catches i n s t a s i s , r e p l e t e to overabundance with f r u i t and f l o w e r s ,  imply the coming o f the end,  109  of  coldness and "barrenness and death.  complete, f u l f i l l e d ,  But the season i s  and thus she "with p a t i e n t  looks"  watches the l a s t moments wrung out hours hy hours.  There  i s no hurry, no q u e s t i o n i n g , no p h y s i c a l p a i n i n the s o f t dying day; the n a t u r a l c y c l e o f l i f e it  i s c r e a t i v e , and when  i s r i c h l y b l e s s e d , almost burdened  (loaded with f r u i t ,  bent with a p p l e s ) i n i t s m a t u r i t y , there i s a w i l l i n g n e s s to change p e r s p e c t i v e , to move from the t r a n s i e n t , r i p e n i n g and yet  dying e a r t h to the e t e r n i t y o f the sky, t o leave the  mournful w a i l i n g o f the i n s e c t s a l o n g the r i v e r , to j o i n the tremulous, almost f e a r f u l excitement o f the swallows as they gather i n the s k i e s .  And y e t , because  life  i s so b l e s s e d  with warm days and twined f l o w e r s , there i s a r e g r e t f o r what w i l l be l o s t .  The poet must console the season:  Where are the songs o f Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not o f them, thou hast thy music too. -Innocence, to  greeness, youth g i v e way to m a t u r i t y , to knowledge,  a new, i f saddened  music.  The essence o f the world, i t s  p a i n s and t r o u b l e s and j o y s and p l e a s u r e s which f e l t by the h e a r t s c h o o l and create a s o u l , the essence o f the meaning of  l i f e and the meaning o f death a r e a l l comprehended i n  K e a t s ' apostrophe to the season. The poem i s e n t i r e l y s y m b o l i c a l . i n i t s e x p r e s s i o n of  these essences.  sense-imagery,  For they are conveyed  s o l e l y by means o f  t a c t i l e , visual,and aural.  (The poem a f f e c t s  us a u r a l l y , not only i n the sound-imagery  o f the t h i r d stanza,  1 1 0  but i n the l e n g t h e n i n g of the h o l d i n g back the  ode-stanza  completion of therrhyme,  of prolonged f u l f i l l m e n t inherent i n the manifests  so c l e a r l y  concrete,  what i s r e a l i n t h e  he d e m o n s t r a t e s  that the  sensual properties.  experience  beauty  season.)  asserts Sallust,  s p i r i t u a l knowledge.  generally  sense the mystery  statement  of Keats'  its  for  and i n t h i s myth w h i c h  justifies  of  change  complete  philo-  the  Even without the A p r i l  o r i g i n of  2 1 record  of  o f t h e g o o d n e s s o f t h e w o r l d , a n d how  goodness i n c o n t i n g e n t upon i t s Keats transforms  into a figure sentative  merely  we w o u l d know f r o m t h i s m y t h o f Autumn K e a t s '  theological certainty its  completely  of the r e a l i t y i s not  sophy t h a t t h e p h y s i c a l w o r l d i s t h e b a s i s ,  soul-making,  Keats  o f t h e w o r l d , and  T h e o l o g i c a l myths a r e  we h a v e t h e  sense  b u t t o be p a r t a k e n o f i n a l l  i n such a profound t h e o l o g i c a l and d e a t h ,  adds t o the  i n t h i s nature-myth which i s  s o m e t h i n g t o be a c c e p t e d ,  philosophers,  f o r m w h i c h , by-  evils.  t h e Greek m y t h i c a l f i g u r e Autumn  o f t h e E n g l i s h c o u n t r y s i d e andmmakes h e r  of every  i n d i v i d u a l who must w i t n e s s  movement f r o m l i f e t o d e a t h . goddess M e l a n c h o l y ; r a t h e r ,  the  sorrowful  She h a s n o t t h e p o w e r s she i s a p r i e s t e s s  repre-  of  the  learned i n the  doctrine that Melancholy dwells w i t h dying Beauty.  The  purity  o f t h e myth embodying t h e p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f Autumn  issues  from t h e poem's  teaches.  c o m p l e t e r e l i a n c e u p o n what  T h e r e i s no a s s e r t i o n o r i n s i s t e n c e  choly" that  joy  i s t o be v i g o r o u s l y  seized,  as i n  nature "Melan-  no s p o k e n c o n -  Ill  s o l a t i o n as i n " N i g h t i n g a l e " and accompanying e x i s t e n c e .  "Grecian Urn" f o r the pains  There i s only the v i s i o n of a  c e r t a i n phase caught a t a p r e c i s e moment i n the process nature.  The  of  s p i r i t u a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the myth are l e f t f o r  the reader to d i s c o v e r -- what i s t o he found are the a s s e r t i o n s and c o n s o l a t i o n s of the other myths w i t h a l l the added c o n v i c t i o n and assurance  t h a t the supreme beauty of the poem  accords. With the consummate e x p r e s s i o n of h i s theology i n "To Autumn" comes the end o f Keats' m y t h o l o g i z i n g . now  rendered  He  has  i n t o p h y s i c a l , p s y c h i c and t h e o l o g i c a l myth h i s  v i s i o n of the world and man's p l a c e i n i t ;  he has  succeeded  i n r e v i t a l i z i n g myth i n the E n g l i s h language f o r the b e n e f i t of h i s countrymen.  The measure of h i s accomplishment may  estimated i n the c o n t i n u i n g a b i l i t y and  j u s t i f y the world,  thoughts.  be  of the l y r i c s to e x p l a i n  to seem a wording of man's h i g h e s t  As Murry says, they h o l d sway over our s o u l s .  v i s i o n o f r e a l i t y i s educated which, i n the magnificence  Our  and r e f i n e d by these myths  of t h e i r poetry, r e p r e s e n t f o r us  the goodness o f the world i n a l l i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s . The achievement of the odes i s the end of the l o n g and arduous journey which the problem of e v i l s e t s Keats on i n March 1818.  I t l e a d s him i n t o the realm of p h i l o s o p h i c a l  enquiry, a dimension  he would have been content to leave  u n v i s i t e d , but which h i s ambition to help the world by means of p o e t r y and h i s p e r s o n a l need to r e c o n c i l e the problem of p a i n to the P r i n c i p l e of Beauty d i c t a t e he must enter.  He  112  enters as a poet and not a p h i l o s o p h e r — c o n t r i b u t e t o Keats' metaphysics,  w h i l e many sources  i t i s the mythology o f  P l a t o ' s d i a l o g u e the Timaeus which Keats depends upon t o help him w r e s t l e with the problem  of e v i l .  R e l y i n g on i t s  m y t h o l o g i c a l , p o e t i c a l c o n c e p t i o n o f c r e a t i o n to e x p l a i n the world, Keats begins Hyperion; when the poem f a i l s , the poet r e t u r n s to the d i a l o g u e , but r a t h e r than attempting to a s s i m i l a t e i t s mythology i n t o p o e t r y , he c o n c e n t r a t e s on the concept o f s o u l as d e l i n e a t e d by Timaeus and develops i t i n t o h i s own theology. The v a l e o f soul-making,  evolved from the P l a t o n i c  p h i l o s o p h y o f the Timaeus, i s Keats' system o f s a l v a t i o n which d e f i n e s the e s s e n t i a l goodness o f a world o f p a i n and t r o u b l e s . His of  m y t h o l o g i c a l v i s i o n which has as i t s base t h i s s p i r i t - c r e a t i o n i s far"removed  gave r i s e t o i t .  system  from the i n f l u e n c e which  The P l a t o n i s m which i n s i s t s on the d i v i s i o n  between c o r p o r e a l and s p i r i t u a l realms i s r e j e c t e d :  Keats  l o c a t e s i n the p h y s i c a l world the mundane and the d i v i n e , and the path between them which i s e x p e r i e n c e . his  He r e c o g n i z e s  change o f p e r s p e c t i v e i n a l e t t e r to Reynolds  i n July:  I have o f l a t e been m o u l t i n g : not f o r f r e s h f e a t h e r s & wings: they are gone, and i n t h e i r stead I hope I have a pair. of p a t i e n t sublunary l e g s . I have a l t e r e d , not from a C h r y s a l i s i n t o a b u t t e r f l y , but the C o n t r a r y . ( I I , 128) Gone i s the d e s i r e to c r e a t e e t h e r e a l t h i n g s :  h i s sublunary  l e g s r o o t him and h i s p o e t r y i n the p h y s i c a l world.  113  Keats' independent myth-making hegins with "La B e l l e Dame sans M e r c i " which, w h i l e i t has not the t h e o l o g i c a l assurance of the odes, n e v e r t h e l e s s v a l i d a t e s i n i t s heauty the world of s u f f e r i n g .  But i t i s the odes "To a  N i g h t i n g a l e , " "Grecian Urn," "Melancholy," and "To Autumn" which hecome f o r Keats the myths which support h i s v i s i o n of  soul-creation.  Other poems w r i t t e n a t t h i s time such as  Lamia and The F a l l of Hyperion are e x p l o r a t i o n s of d i f f e r e n t i d e a s , not attempts a t myth-making.  Keats r e s e r v e s the ode,  form to p r e s e n t d i s i n t e r e s t e d m y t h i c a l accounts of the t r u t h t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l "becomes knowledgeable  of divine  truth  i n the experience of the world as i t i s . Keats' journey which begins i n March 1818 i n the M i s t of Maiden-Thought where he sees not the balance of good and e v i l ends i n A p r i l 1819•  What he has l e a r n e d can be seen i n the c l e a r  v i s i o n of "To Autumn" where the answer to the problem of e v i l i s g i v e n i t s p u r e s t e x p r e s s i o n , where the poet balances good and e v i l t o such a r e f i n e d p o i n t t h a t the d i s t i n c t i o n between them i s almost  imperceptible.  114  Notes  The C r a t y l u s , Phaedo, Parmenides and Timaeus of P l a t o , t r a n s . Thomas T a y l o r (London: n.p., 1793)• A l l f u t u r e references, to the Timaeus appear i n the t e x t and are taken from The Works of P l a t o , v i z . His F i f t y 9 f i v e Dialogues, and Twelve E p i s t l e s , t r a n s . Thomas T a y l o r , 5 v o l s . (London: n.p., 1 8 0 4 ) . T h i s e d i t i o n c o n t a i n s extensive notes hy T a y l o r ; except f o r minor v a r i a n t s , mostly i n p u n c t u a t i o n , the I n t r o d u c t i o n and Text of the dialogue are the same i n hoth e d i t i o n s . For i n s t a n c e , i n h i s l e t t e r of 24 March 1818, Keats appears to he r e c a l l i n g the I n t r o d u c t i o n to the Parmenides where T a y l o r w r i t e s : I t was the custom of Pythagoras ... to c o n c e a l d i v i n e m y s t e r i e s under the v e i l of symhols and f i g u r e s , ... t o joke s e r i o u s l y , and s p o r t i n earnest. Hence, i n the f o l l o w i n g most import a n t dialogue, under the appearance of a c e r t a i n d i a l e c t i c s p o r t , and as i t were l o g i c a l d i s c u s s i o n , P l a t o has d e l i v e r e d a complete system of the profound and b e a u t i f u l theology of the Greeks. ( 2 4 7 , 1793 ed.) Keats, a f t e r s e r i o u s l y d i s c u s s i n g the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of r e s t i n g secure i n any o f our thoughts without e x p e r i e n c i n g the need to explore f u r t h e r and l e a r n more, j e s t i n g l y i n t r o duces h i s "theory of N e t t l e s . " He then"goes on, the D e v i l put h i s whim i n t o my head i n the l i k e n e s s of one of Pythagora's q u e s t i o n i n g s , Did M i l t o n do more good or har/m/ to the world? (I, 254-55) The q u e s t i o n i s one which was to tax him f o r some time -i t i s not a joke but an earnest query. I t i s d o u b t f u l t h a t Keats would have met w i t h the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Pythagoras' d i a l e c t i c from any source but T a y l o r . T h e L e t t e r s of John Keats 1 8 1 4 - 1 8 2 1 , ed. Hyder Edward R o l l i n s , 2 v o l s . (Cambridge: Univ. Press, 1 9 $ 8 ) , J v v r ^ i i ^ , - „ A 1 1 f u t u r e r e f e r e n c e s to the l e t t e r s of Keats appear i n the t e x t . 3  115  ""For background to Keats and h i s contemporaries' t h e o l o g i c a l stances, see e s p e c i a l l y C L . Finney, "Keats's Philosophy of Negative C a p a b i l i t y i n i t s P h i l o s o p h i c a l Background," V a n d e r b i l t S t u d i e s i n the Humanities, I ( 1 9 5 1 ) , 1 7 4 . 9 6 ; Robert M.. Ryan, Keats: The R e l i g i o u s Sense ( P r i n c e t o n : Univ. P r e s s , 1976)5 S t u a r t M. Sperry, J r . , "Keats' S k e p t i c i s m and V o l t a i r e , " KSJ, 1 2 ( 1 9 6 3 ) , 7 5 - 9 3 -^The "moral sense p h i l o s o p h e r s , " most n o t a b l y the E a r l of Shaftesbury, Dr. Hutcheson and Bishop B u t l e r , were C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g i a n s who b e l i e v e d t h a t the moral sense o r i g i n a t e s i n i n t u i t i o n , and that i t i s the i n t u i t i o n and not the i n t e l l e c t which r e c o g n i z e s the b e a u t i f u l and the good. The i n t e l l e c t u a l and emotional contempt which Keats e n t e r t a i n e d f o r the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n i s understandable g i v e n the s t a t e of the E n g l i s h Church i n h i s time: i n an e f f o r t not t o l o s e any t h i n g i n the t i d e of burgeoning r a t i o n a l i s m , the Church had underplayed, f o r g o t t e n or denied the m y s t i c a l b a s i s of i t s t e n e t s and become a c o r r u p t , spinel e s s , power-hungry i n s t i t u t i o n which c r e a t e d i t s own opponents such as the D e i s t s , the Methodists and the E v a n g e l i s t s . ^The Poems of John Keats, ed. Miriam A l l o t t (London: Longman, 1 9 7 0 ) . A l l f u t u r e r e f e r e n c e s to Keats' poems appear i n the t e x t .  Q  C r i t i c s s i n c e Keats' time have been f i r m i n t h e i r i n s i s t e n c e that Keats d i d not know P l a t o . The reasons f o r t h i s i n s i s t e n c e are m a n i f o l d , the two most p r e v a l e n t b e i n g t h a t as a poet of the ^sensuous," Keats c o u l d not and would not have t a i n t e d h i s e x q u i s i t e p e r c e p t i o n s w i t h p h i l o s o p h y , and t h a t as a man l a c k i n g a proper c l a s s i c a l education, he c o u l d not have read or understood the p h i l o s o p h e r . W i t h i n the l a s t twenty y e a r s or so, p r i n c i p a l l y s i n c e the p u b l i c a t i o n of Bernard Blackstone's The Consecrated Urn (London - Longman, Green, 1959) , i n which odd book the author argues f o r Keats' knowledge of the t r a n s l a t e d P l a t o , c r i t i c s have f e l t i t necessary t o i n t r o d u c e the s u b j e c t a g a i n and to i n s i s t anew t h a t Keats c o u l d not p o s s i b l y have known P l a t o . These arguments o f t e n seem to be a t the expense of the c r i t i c s ' b e t t e r judgements, and t o speak a g a i n s t evidence which undermines them. For i n s t a n c e , i n Walter E. E v e r t ' s A e s t h e t i c and Myth i n the Poetry of Keats ( P r i n c e t o n : Univ. P r e s s , 1965) we f i n d , p. 77, the f o l l o w i n g : -  While I am by no means persuaded t h a t Keats had a n y t h i n g l i k e the knowledge or i n t e r e s t i n those Hermetic systems d e r i v e d from the Timaeus which are a t t r i b u t e d to him by Bernard  116  B l a c k s t o n e . . . , he d o e s seem t o he h i n t i n g a t t h e m i n / E n d y m i o n , I I I , 30-40/. And i n S p e r r y ' s " K e a t s ' s S k e p t i c i s m , " p . 89, the a u t h o r a r g u e s , once a g a i n a g a i n s t B l a c k s t o n e , hut acknowledges t h a t .."there i s - more t h a n , a " h i n t o f t h i s k i n d - o f P l a t o n i s m / t h a t which i s found i n the Timaeus/ i n K e a t s ' s theory of how God makes ' i n d i v i d u a l b e i n g s , S o u l s , I d e n t i c a l S o u l s o f t h e s p a r k s o f h i s own e s s e n c e , ' e a c h t o p o s s e s s a n i d e n t i t y of i t s own." ^ N o t e d by A l l o t t  i n The  Poems:  Woodhouse's note i n h i s copy o f Endymion r u n s : 'The poem, i f c o m p l e t e d , w o u l d have t r e a t e d of the detachment of H y p e r i o n , the former God o f the. S u n , by A p o l l o , — a n d i n c i d e n t a l l y o f t h o s e o f Oceanus by N e p t u n e , o f S a t u r n by J u p i t e r e t c . , and o f t h e war o f t h e G i a n t s for Saturn's reestablishment -- with other e v e n t s , o f w h i c h we h a v e b u t v e r y d a r k h i n t s i n t h e m y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t s o f G r e e c e a n d Rome. I n f a c t the i n c i d e n t s w o u l d have been pure c r e a t i o n s of the P o e t ' s b r a i n . ' (44l) E n g l a n d a t t h e t i m e was t e e m i n g w i t h m y t h o l o g i c a l investigations, mythological theories, mythological lore. T h e o l o g i c a l and e u h e m e u r i s t i c c o n t r o v e r s i e s o f t e n found t h e i r o r i g i n s not only i n the Greek myths, but i n the mythol o g i e s of scores of c u l t u r e s and s e c t s . S p e c u l a t i v e mythology and i l l u m i n i s t i c or t h e o s o p h i c a l mythography, whose approaches to the s u b j e c t o f myth were b a s i c a l l y r a t i o n a l i s t i c or s c i e n t i f i c , had l i t t l e immediate b e a r i n g on the mainstream of E n g l i s h mythological poetry. Yet they infused a s p i r i t i n t o the whole w o r l d of myth w i t h the r e s u l t t h a t c l a s s i c a l m y t h u n d e r w e n t a d y n a m i c r e v i t a l i z a t i o n a s i t w a s made i n i t s v a r i o u s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s to support modern h i s t o r i c a l , s c i e n t i f i c and r e l i g i o u s thought. The a s s u m p t i o n u n d e r l y i n g t h e m y t h i c a l s p e c u l a t i o n s o f t h i s t i m e was t h a t m y t h h a d a v a l u e and power t h a t c o u l d a d d r e s s t h e m s e l v e s t o the modern m i n d , a n d I t w a s t h i s a s s u m p t i o n t h a t came t o a f f e c t t h e u s e of mythology i n poetry. M y t h was s e e n a s m o r e t h a n m e r e e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y o r n a m e n t ; i t was o r c o u l d be t h e e x p r e s s i o n of profound s o c i a l , p h i l o s o p h i c a l , r e l i g i o u s t r u t h s . The most s p e c t a c u l a r example o f m y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t r y t o i s s u e o u t o f t h e new c o n c e r n w i t h m y t h i s B l a k e ' s , b u t Wordsworth, K e a t s , a n d S h e l l e y too were a f f e c t e d . Behind a l l t h e new i n t e r e s t i n m y t h - - w h e t h e r o r i g i n a t i n g i n a n e c c e n t r i c m y t h o g r a p h e r o r a g r e a t p o e t - - was i t s c a p a c i t y t o d e l i v e r up m e t a p h y s i c a l , r e l i g i o u s t r u t h s . Whether a mythographer i s researching Druid stones (Charles V a l l a n c e y ) , studying the e v o l u t i o n of p l a n t s (Erasmus Darwin) or even denying the 1 0  117  v e r a c i t y o f Greek mythology ( C h a r l e s F r a n c o i s D u p u i s ) , h i s i n c e n t i v e i s i n essence a r e l i g i o u s one. B l a k e comes t o use myth almost p u r e l y as a r e l i g i o u s or p r o p h e t i c agency; and w h i l e o t h e r Romantic p o e t s c o n t i n u e t o use myth as an a e s t h e t i c mode i n the t r a d i t i o n o f c l a s s i c a l and R e n a i s s a n c e p o e t s , they use i t t o e x p l o r e and d e l i n e a t e t h e i r t h e o l o g i c a l concerns. I t i s d e l i g h t f u l t o w i t n e s s Thomas T a y l o r ' s p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the mythographic. movement. I n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n to the Timaeus, a f t e r o u t l i n i n g the "system o f the w o r l d , " he writes: There i s n o t h i n g i n the a n c i e n t t h e o l o g y t h a t w i l l not appear a d m i r a b l y s u b l i m e and b e a u t i f u l l y connected, accurate i n a l l i t s p a r t s , s c i e n t i f i c and d i v i n e . Such t h e n b e i n g the t r u e account o f the G r e c i a n t h e o l o g y , what o p i n i o n must we form o f the wretched systems o f modern m y t h o l o g i s t s ; and which most deserves our a d m i r a t i o n , the impudence or i g n o r a n c e o f the a u t h o r s o f such systems? The systems i n d e e d o f these men are so m o n s t r o u s l y a b s u r d , t h a t we may c o n s i d e r them as i n s t a n c e s o f the g r e a t e s t d i s t o r t i o n o f the r a t i o n a l f a c u l t y which can p o s s i b l y b e f a l l human n a t u r e , w h i l e connected w i t h such a body as the p r e s e n t . For one o f t h e s e c o n s i d e r s the Gods as merely 'symbols o f a g r i c u l t u r e , a n o t h e r as men who once l i v e d on the e a r t h , and a t h i r d as the p a t r i a r c h s and p r o p h e t s o f the Jews. S u r e l y s h o u l d t h e s e systems be t r a n s m i t t e d t o p o s t e r i t y , the h i s t o r i a n by whom they a r e r e l a t e d must e i t h e r be c o n s i d e r e d by f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s as an i m p o s t e r , or h i s n a r r a t i o n must be viewed i n the l i g h t o f an e x t r a v a g a n t romance. (430) O f b o u r s e ? w h i l e K e a t s c o u l d be s t i m u l a t e d , provoked or amused by s p e c u l a t i v e mythology, i t was t o the s u b s t a n t i a l P l a t o he t u r n e d f o r a i d i n h i s t h e o l o g i c a l q u e s t i o n i n g s . F o r background t o s p e c u l a t i v e mythology and mytho-g r a p h y , see: Edward B. H u n g e r f o r d , Shores o f Darkness (Cleveland: W o r l d , 1 9 6 3 ) ; A l b e r t J . Kuhn, " E n g l i s h Deism and the Development o f Romantic M y t h o l o g i c a l S y n c r e t i s m , " PMLA, 7 1 ( 1 9 5 6 ) , 1 0 9 4 - 1 1 6 ; A l e x Z w e r d l i n g , "The Mythographers and the Romantic R e v i v a l o f Greek M y t h , " PMLA, 7 9 ( 1 9 6 4 ) , 447-56.  H u n g e r f o r d i n Shores o f Darkness i n v e s t i g a t e s many o f K e a t s ' mythographic s o u r c e s and argues p e r s u a s i v e l y t h a t K e a t s had t h i s p l o t i n mind. There seems t o be some c o n f u s i o n  118  i n h i s e n l i s t i n g the f i g u r e of Moneta to support h i s theory (pp. 148-49), s i n c e Moneta (who assumes the r o l e of Mnemosyne) appears only i n The F a l l of Hyperion, but otherwise the r e a s o n i n g i s sound and c o n v i n c i n g . The i d e a gathers f o r c e , too, when c o n s i d e r e d i n l i g h t of the i n f l u e n c e of the Timaeus and the emphasis the d i a l o g u e p l a c e s on the r o l e of g e n e r a t i o n , the c o n t i n u a l movement of the world towards perfection. 12 T h i s i s most p a r t i c u l a r l y to be remarked m h i s d i s c o u r s e on v i c e . On the one hand, he wishes to a t t r i b u t e i t not to the v o l i t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l : "For no one i s v o l u n t a r i l y bad: but he who i s depraved becomes so through a c e r t a i n i l l h a b i t of the body, and an u n s k i l f u l e d u c a t i o n " ( 5 6 3 ) ; on the other hand, he cannot but admit an " i n c l i n a t i o n to e v i l " to e x i s t i n some men f o r which they w i l l s u f f e r punishment i n l a t e r l i v e s by p a s s i n g i n t o the nature of a woman or the l i f e of a brute ( 5 1 0 ) . The presence of e v i l p r e s e n t s another problem f o r t h i s p h i l o s o p h e r , as w i l l be noted l a t e r i n the t e x t . 13 ^ S e n s i b l e t h a t the s p e c u l a t i o n i s i m p o s s i b l e to prove one way or the other, I n e v e r t h e l e s s f i n d myself wondering whether the March of I n t e l l e c t d i d not come from the P l a t o n i c c o n c e p t i o n of progress d e l i v e r e d i n the Timaeus; i t c e r t a i n l y i s not l i n k e d to Godwinian p e r f e c t i b i l i t y which Keats abhorred. Keats says i n the 3 May 1818 l e t t e r , " I t proves there i s r e a l l y a grand march of i n t e l l e c t , " as though he i s f i n a l l y a d m i t t i n g to an i d e a t e n t a t i v e l y r a i s e d beforehand but not y e t acquiesced i n by him. He confesses t h a t he may have r e a d somewhere the ideas he has been d i s c u s s i n g , but he "never had even a dim p e r c e p t i o n of them" at the time of reading. As w e l l , the example he i n t r o d u c e s , t h a t "no man can set down Venery as a b e s t i a l or j o y l e s s t h i n g - u n t i l he i s s i c k of i t and t h e r e f o r e a l l p h i l o s o p h i z i n g on i t would be mere wording. U n t i l we are s i c k , we understand not" to support h i s statement t h a t "axioms i n p h i l o s o p h y are not axioms u n t i l they are proved upon our p u l s e s " could perhaps have been suggested by Timaeus p h i l o s o p h i z i n g t h a t " i n r e a l i t y v e n e r e a l intemperance f o r the most p a r t becomes a disease of the s o u l , through a h a b i t of /body with which i t i s connected/." (Keats would be very l i k e l y , a f t e r h i s m e d i c a l t r a i n i n g , to remember the d i s c u s s i o n of d i s e a s e s . ) The c o n j e c t u r e t h a t Keats had the Timaeus i n mind on May 3rd i s pure c o n j e c t u r e ; i f i t has any b a s i s , i t would make the already- n o t i c e a b l e l i n k between — the r e a d i n g of the d i a l o g u e — the f o r m u l a t i o n s of the Mansion and March of I n t e l l e c t -- the w r i t i n g of Hyperion -- t h a t much s t r o n g e r . 1  Keats makes h i s T i t a n s an improvement upon t h e i r  119  p a r e n t s Heaven and E a r t h to s t r e s s the g r e a t e r good which comes i n the process of g e n e r a t i o n . ^ I t was Blackstone i n The Consecrated p o i n t e d out t h i s h i e r a r c h y , pp. 2 3 1 - 3 2 . 1  Urn who  first  "^"The composing a r t i f i c e r c o n s t i t u t e d g e n e r a t i o n and the u n i v e r s e ... r e c e i v i n g every t h i n g v i s i b l e , and which was not i n a s t a t e of r e s t , but moving with c o n f u s i o n and d i s o r d e r , he reduced i t from t h i s w i l d i n o r d i n a t i o n i n t o o r d e r " (Timaeus, 4 7 7 - 7 8 ) . l.VAt the same time he who o r d e r l y disposed a l l these p a r t i c u l a r s remained i n h i s ©wn accustomed a b i d i n g h a b i t " (Timaeus, 5 1 2 ) . "He months and universe, (Timaeus,  f a b r i c a t e d the g e n e r a t i o n of days and n i g h t s and y e a r s , which had no s u b s i s t e n c e p r i o r to the but which together with i t rose i n t o e x i s t e n c e " 493)•  Walter Jackson Bate and Douglas Bush, two of the most i n f l u e n t i a l c r i t i c s o f Keats, l e a d the way i n e s t a b l i s h i n t h i s e r r o r . Bate, i n John Keats (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1 9 6 3 ) , says, "the 'sky-engendered' but 'earthborn' T i t a n s are l o s i n g t h e i r godhead p a r t l y by t h e i r own surrender to f e a r , wrath and f r u s t r a t i o n , " p. 397* Bush, i n Mythology and the Romantic T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h Poetry (Camb r i d g e , Mass: Harvard Univ. Press, 1 9 3 7 ) , w r i t e s , "The T i t a n s however benign and b e n e f i c e n t , had i n a c r i s i s behaved not l i k e d e i t i e s but l i k e f r a i l mortals; they had l o s t s o v e r e i g n t y over themselves," p. 1 2 4 . -| Q  The h i e r a r c h y of the many forms of the elements i s most s u c c i n c t l y g i v e n i n the I n t r o d u c t i o n where T a y l o r trans?-, lates Proclus: I f , t h e r e f o r e , you take away from hence t h a t which i s immaterial and immutable, you w i l l produce t h a t which i s mutable and m a t e r i a l . ... I f , t h e r e f o r e , you take away t h i s order, you w i l l behold the g r e a t conf u s i o n and inconstancy of the elements; and t h i s w i l l be the l a s t p r o g r e s s i o n , and the very dregs and sediment of a l l the p r i o r g r a d a t i o n s of the elements. Of the elements, t h e r e f o r e , some are immovable, i m p a r t i c i p a b l e , i n t e l l e c t u a l and demiurgic; but the others are i n t e l l e c t u a l and immovable a c c o r d i n g to essence, but  120  p a r t i c i p a t e d by mundane n a t u r e s . Others a g a i n are s e l f - m o t i v e , and e s s e n t i a l l y l i v e s ; but o t h e r s a r e s e l f - m o t i v e and v i t a l , but are not l i v e s . Some a g a i n a r e a l t e r - m o t i v e , o r moved by a n o t h e r , b u t a r e moved i n a n o r d e r l y m a n n e r ; a n d , l a s t l y , o t h e r s have a d i s o r d e r e d , t u m u l t u o u s , and confused e x i s t e n c e . (424)  19  T h e Timaeus o f course p r e s e n t s an e x t r e m e l y l o n g and d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s o f the a c t i v i t y o f t h e elements as t h e y i n t e r m i n g l e , p a s s i n and out o f each o t h e r , c r e a t e v a r i o u s substances, e t c . (520-42 e s p e c i a l l y ) . Saturn's w o r d s b e a r some r e s e m b l a n c e t o t h e f o l l o w i n g two e x t r a c t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the sense o f the elements " i n t e r - q u a r r e l i n g " and " l o u d w a r r i n g ; " b o t h S a t u r n and Timaeus a r e c l o s e t o p e r s o n i f y i n g i n t h e same way t h e e l e m e n t s by a t t r i b u t i n g v o l i t i o n to them: 7  When t h e l e s s e r a r e c o m p r e h e n d e d i n t h e g r e a t e r many, a n d t h e f e w b e i n g l a c e r a t e d are e x t i n g u i s h e d , — i f they are w i l l i n g to pass i n t o the idea of the conquering n a t u r e , t h e y c e a s e t o be e x t i n g u i s h e d , a n d a i r becomes g e n e r a t e d f r o m f i r e , a n d w a t e r from a i r . B u t i f , when t h i s t r a n s i t i o n i s a c c o m p l i s h e d , t h e c o m p o s i t e o p p o s e s any o f the other s p e c i e s , the a g i t a t e d p a r t s w i l l n o t c e a s e t o be d i s s o l v e d , t i l l , o n a c c o u n t of t h e i r d i s s o l u b l e subsistence b e i n g every way i m p e l l e d , t h e y f l y t o t h e i r k i n d r e d n a t u r e ; or b e i n g v a n q u i s h e d , and becoming one f r o m many, s i m i l a r t o t h e i r v a n q u i s h e r , they abide w i t h the v i c t o r i n amicable c o n j u n c t i o n (Timaeus, 5 3 0 ) . B u t e a r t h , when i n d i s s o l u b l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h w a t e r , t h r o u g h t h e m i n i s t r y o f a i r composes stones: t h e more b e a u t i f u l s o r t i n d e e d b e i n g such as a r e r e s p l e n d e n t from e q u a l and p l a n e p a r t s , but the deformed b e i n g of a contrary composition. B u t when t h e m o i s t u r e i s h u r r i e d away by t h e v i o l e n c e o f f i r e , a n d t h e body by t h i s means becomes more d r y , t h e n a s p e c i e s of e a r t h which i s denominated f i c t i l e i s produced. Sometimes, l i k e w i s e , when t h e m o i s t u r e i s l e f t b e h i n d , a n d t h e e a r t h becomes f u s i l e t h r o u g h f i r e , t h e n through r e f r i g e r a t i o n a stone w i t h a black colour i s generated. B u t when t h i s s p e c i e s o f s t r a i n e d e a r t h i n a s i m i l a r manner t h r o u g h m i x t u r e i s d e p r i v e d o f much m o i s t u r e , b u t i s  121  composed from more a t t e n u a t e d p a r t s o f e a r t h , i s s a l t and semiconcrete, and a g a i n emerges through water; then i t i s p a r t l y c a l l e d n i t r e , a c a t h a r t i c k i n d o f o i l ... (Timaeus, 53*0 20 B. Jowett, t r a n s . , The Dialogues of P l a t o , w i t h Analyses and I n t r o d u c t i o n s , 4 t h ed. (Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1 9 5 3 ) . PP- 147-48. 21 I n f a c t , as has been f r e q u e n t l y noted, the presence of Wordsworth seems to overshadow t h a t of Keats here. Keats e a r l i e r saw Wordsworth's genius as e x p l o r a t i v e o f the dark passages beyond Maiden Thought, and Hyperion, as a quest i t s e l f , seems a t l e a s t i n p a r t to be f o l l o w i n g the o l d e r poet's lead. How happy would Keats have been had t h a t l e a d taken him to a p h i l o s o p h i c a l stance he c o u l d " f e e l on the pulses." Wordsworth perceives- i n the f i x e d forms of nature ethical guidelines. From the laws he sees working i n the u n i v e r s e he forms, much as Oceanus does, an i d e a of duty, of standards o f conduct: a n a t u r a l i s t i c dogma. Keats admired Wordsworth's c o n c e r n f o r humanity, the f a c t t h a t he made the human h e a r t the main r e g i o n of h i s song. He i s a t t r a c t e d to the Wordsworth of " T i n t e r n Abbey," the poet who understands the Second Chamber where the Burden o f the Mystery hangs upon the b e a t i n g s of" the h e a r t , where the t r u t h o f sorrow i s f e l t i n the b l o o d . I t i s Wordsworth's acute comprehension o f the human h e a r t perhaps t h a t encourages Keats at l e a s t momentarily to adopt h i s e t h i c a l standards. They are s h o r t - l i v e d . 22 (London:  E. de S e l i n c o u r t , ed., The Poems o f John Keats Methuen, 1 9 0 5 ; r p t . 1 9 5 4 ) , p. l x v i i .  2  Kent  3 . -'In L e i g h Hunt as Poet and E s s a y i s t , ed. C h a r l e s (London! F r e d e r i c k Warne, I 8 9 I ) , p. 149. 24  The i m i t a t i o n o f M i l t o n ' s P a r a d i s e L o s t would seem to have more s i g n i f i c a n c e than merely the s t y l i s t i c ones of rhythm, r h e t o r i c and p l o t . Keats was too s o l i d a poet by t h i s time to be weakly depending upon another poet, even M i l t o n , to such a degree: by c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l i n g the events, c h a r a c t e r s , speeches and book d i v i s i o n s o f Hyperion to those o f the e a r l i e r e p i c , Keats knew the comparison between the poems would be i m p e r a t i v e , and would c l e a r l y p o i n t out and c o n t r a s t the C h r i s t i a n s t r u c t u r e of M i l t o n ' s thought w i t h the Greek, P l a t o n i c s t r u c t u r e of h i s own. In "improving" upon M i l t o n , Keats would not only be s e c u r i n g h i s own p l a c e i n the march of p o e t s , but would be r i g h t i n g the wrongs o f h i s p r e d e c e s s o r . The P l a t o n i c theology as l a i d out i n the Timaeus  122  and embodied i n Greek myth, with i t s n a t u r a l i s t i c b i a s and i t s mysticism, c o u l d g i v e a s p i r i t u a l r e l e v a n c e to the t r u t h s of d a i l y e x i s t e n c e , a r e l e v a n c e which C h r i s t i a n i t y , Keats thought, s i n g u l a r l y f a i l e d to f u r n i s h . The v a l u e of c l o s e l y s t u d y i n g the craftsmanship of the seventeenth-century poet i s not to be underrated, however: Keats p r o f i t e d immensely from i t , as n o t h i n g can be more e x q u i s i t e than those passages of Hyperion t h a t capture the grandeur of M i l t p n i c cadence and idiom. OK  ^As Douglas Bush comments m Mythology and the Romant i c T r a d i t i o n , "Keats' p o e t r y does not p r e c i s e l y d i v i d e sensuous and s p i r i t u a l e x p e r i e n c e , " p. 8 5 . While i t i s not w i t h i n the scope o f t h i s paper to c o n s i d e r the f o r m a l elements of Keats' p o e t r y , i t i s nevert h e l e s s necessary at l e a s t to mention how Keats' use of symbol, image and analogy u n d e r l i e the myth t h a t he i s p r e s e n t i n g . His use of the elements to p a r a l l e l the a c t i o n of the poem has been noted; i t i s an i n s t a n c e of a f a i r l y standard use of imagery to r e f l e c t the p s y c h o l o g i c a l , s p i r i t u a l s t a t e of the c h a r a c t e r s . The more complex success of image and symbol i s more d i f f i c u l t to c h a r a c t e r i z e because i t s e x p r e s s i o n is^ the p o e t r y , and l i k e the " i n t e l l e c t u a l countenance" of nature a t i t s most b e a u t i f u l , i t absorbs us u n t i l we are beings 'almost suspended' i n the contemplation of i t . I f the deep t r u t h i s imageless, Keats shows us that i t can at l e a s t be c l o s e l y approximated through image. Keats i s a t h i s best when he achieves a "hushing awe," what one might l a b e l a " f e l t r e a l i t y , " where m a t e r i a l and s p i r i t u a l , emotional and i n t e l l e c t u a l are gathered i n t o one image, and t h a t image becomes symbolic of a l l the v a r i o u s l e v e l s of meaning i t c o n t r o l s as w e l l as of the t r u t h of the particular physical representation. For i n s t a n c e , i n the opening verse paragraph of the poem, the solemn r e a c t i o n of nature to the d e s o l a t i o n of Saturn i s caught i n the images of darkness, s i l e n c e and death as w e l l as i n the cadence and melody of the v e r s e , but i t i s then c o n c e n t r a t e d to a p o i n t so r e f i n e d t h a t i t l e a v e s us almost b r e a t h l e s s : the Naiad 'mid her reeds P r e s s ' d her c o l d f i n g e r c l o s e r to her l i p s . In the simple a c t i o n p o r t r a y e d i n the image of the Naiad, Keats not only shows us another l e v e l of the e a r t h ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the d e j e c t i o n of the k i n g (that i s , not only inanimate nature but l i v i n g c r e a t u r e s too respond to i t ) , but he captures i n i t the q u i n t e s s e n t i a l d e l i c a c y , the p u r i t y and the reverence of sympathy t h a t must be f e l t f o r and by the f a l l e n Titans. No i n t e r p r e t a t i o n c o u l d p o s s i b l y say more than i s expressed i n the e x q u i s i t e l o v e l i n e s s of the waternymph's s l i g h t e s t of movements. The q u i e t n e s s , depth o f emotion and power of i m p l i c a t i o n of such an image are a l l p a r t  123  of the sense o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , o f analogy, o f s p i r i t u a l awareness t h a t poetry can communicate. Keats i s a master at evoking p o s s i b l e meanings o f a s i n g l e word or image. Saturn's " r e a l m l e s s eyes," the " t a l l oaks branch-charm'd," Clymene sobbing among her t a n g l e d h a i r , Hyperion's p a l a c e f l u s h i n g a n g e r l y , the "savour o f poisonous brass and metal s i c k " which Hyperion t a s t e s -- a l l share i n the a b i l i t y to suggest the p h y s i c a l f a c t , the p s y c h o l o g i c a l import, the spiritual significance. Another example o f the c a p a c i t y o f q u i e t beauty t o suggest so much i s i n the v e r s e s which f o l l o w the speech o f Coelus near the end o f Book I : Ere h a l f t h i s region-whisper had come down, Hyperion arose, and on the s t a r s L i f t e d h i s curved l i d s , and kept them wide U n t i l i t ceas'd; and s t i l l he kept them wide: And s t i l l they were the same b r i g h t , p a t i e n t s t a r s . The passage r e a f f i r m s Hyperion's h e l p l e s s n e s s ; h i s i n a b i l i t y to make the day begin i s another i n s t a n c e o f the powerlessness he has i n the f a c e o f the s t a r s . But the q u a l i t y o f the recorded moment i s i n the a b s o l u t e beauty of s i l e n t p a i n : whether addressed or not, Hyperion keeps h i s eyes upon the s t a r s (and the p r o l o n g a t i o n o f the time i s enforced by the r e p e t i t i o n ) , and the s t a r s remain the same: however b r i g h t and p a t i e n t , however sympathetic, they are e t e r n a l and h i s l o o k i n g at them as a god i s temporal; and i n the q u i e t recogn i t i o n o f the d i f f e r e n c e between them i s the s u f f e r i n g . One c o u l d go on a t great l e n g t h e x t r a c t i n g passages from the poem which r e v e a l Keats' keen awareness o f and a b i l i t y to e x p l o i t the powereof symbolic language to show t r u t h i n a l l i t s c o r r e s p o n d i n g l e v e l s o f thought and f e e l i n g . The symbolism o f Hyperion p o i n t s forward to h i s l a t e r mythol o g i z i n g where one image not only c a l l s up l e v e l s o f r e a l i t y which correspond to each other, but where two a p p a r e n t l y c o n f l i c t i n g t r u t h s or r e a l i t i e s are c o a l e s c e d through the harmony o f e x p r e s s i o n to present a t r u t h f a r g r e a t e r than e i t h e r o f i t s component p a r t s . 26  The v i s i o n o f ' t h i s i s l i f e and i s a l s o c o r p o r e a l ' and the p l e a s u r e and p a i n o f love i n "La B e l l e Dame sans M e r c i " i s supported by T a y l o r ' s commentary: A f t e r sense, P l a t o arranges d e s i r e . And t h i s indeed i s l i f e , and i s a l s o c o r p o r e a l ; but i t i s a l i f e which p e r p e t u a l l y unweaves the body, and a f f o r d s a s o l a c e to i t s wants. ... He a l s o denominates l o v e a mixture o f p l e a s u r e and p a i n . F o r , so f a r as i t i s conversant w i t h the l o v e l y , i t i s present w i t h p l e a s u r e , but, so f a r as i t i s not y e t p r e s e n t with i t i n energy, i t i s mingled w i t h pain. (509)  124  ^As, f o r i n s t a n c e , do E a r l R. Wasserman and C h a r l e s I. P a t t e r s o n , J r . r e s p e c i v e l y i n The F i n e r Tone ( B a l t i m o r e : Johns Hopkins Press., 1953) and The Daemonic i n the Poetry o f John Keats (Chicago: Univ. of I l l i n o i s P r e s s , 1 9 7 0 ) . OQ  Keats' system, as he would he the f i r s t to admit, i s not so very o r i g i n a l (although the a l l e g o r i z i n g of i t i s ) , nor so s t r i k i n g l y d i f f e r e n t from C h r i s t i a n i t y . The Roman C a t h o l i c Church and the Church of England, f o r example, r e c o g n i z e the e x i s t e n c e of s a i n t s and angels which correspond q u i t e r e a d i l y to h e r o i c and m e d i a t i n g personages. As w e l l , C a t h o l i c i s m , as much as i t s t r e s s e s the importance of redempt i o n , a l s o emphasizes the need to s u f f e r i n order to g a i n aho l i f e of the s p i r i t and the kingdom of God..— i t i s t h i s aspect of the D i v i n e Comedy of the Roman C a t h o l i c Dante perhaps t h a t a t t r a c t s Keats and induces him to c a s t h i s F a l l of Hyperion as a Dantean dream a l l e g o r y . ^ I do not i n c l u d e the "Ode on Indolence" which was conceived before the v a l e of soul-making ( L e t t e r s , I I , 7 9 ) . which i s almost p u r e l y a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l , and which, as Bate says, " i s f a r below the standard o f the other odes." 2  1929),  •^°Keats and Shakespeare (London: p. 9 2 .  Oxford Univ.  Press,  31  ist  ^ As K a t h l e e n Rame notes i n Thomas T a y l o r the P l a t o n ( P r i n c e t o n : Univ. Press, 1969) '• / T a y l o r / t r a n s l a t e d S a l l u s f s On the Gods and the World, and i n c l u d e d a passage from t h a t work i n h i s D i s s e r t a t i o n t h a t may, f o r those " m y t h o l o g i c a l p o e t s , " Keats, S h e l l e y , Blake, and C o l e r i d g e , have been a Key p l a c e d i n t h e i r hands to the whole body of European m y t h o l o g i c a l poetry; nor was i t only c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e upon which t h i s i l l u m i n a t i o n must have f a l l e n , but a l s o upon Spenser and M i l t o n , the two poets to whom the Romantics c h i e f l y turned. S a l l u s f s d i s t i n c t i o n o f the f o u r k i n d s of myth, the t h e o l o g i c a l , the animast i c (which would now be c a l l e d the p s y c h o l o g i c a l , a p p l y i n g to the s o u l or anima), the n a t u r a l , and the "mixed" i s the key to the c o r r e c t r e a d i n g not only of Greek mythology but of a l l m y t h o l o g i c a l poets s i n c e . (p. 43)  .Whether, Keats was a c q u a i n t e d w i t h the D i s s e r t a t i o n or not, i s myths c e r t a i n l y can be read i n terms of S a l l u s f s distinctions. For a t r a n s l a t i o n of S a l l u s f s "species of  125  myths" more r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e than T a y l o r ' s , see John MacQueen, A l l e g o r y (London: Methuen, 1 9 7 0 ) , pp. 1 4 - 1 7 . 32  I n a very f i n e a r t i c l e , "A Note on 'To Autumn,'" i n John Keats: A Reassessment, ed. Kenneth Muir ( L i v e r p o o l : Univ"! Press, 1969) , PP • 9 6 - 1 0 2 , A r n o l d Davenport deals m e t i c u l o u s l y and i m a g i n a t i v e l y w i t h the imagery of the poem t o show t h a t i t s " c e n t r a l element i s a boundary, a space between two opposite c o n d i t i o n s , a moment o f p o i s e . " J  126  Bibliography  Primary  Sources  Keats, John. The L e t t e r s of John Keats 1814-1821. Hyder Edward R o l l i n s . 2 vols. Cambridge: Press, 1958. The Poems of John Keats. London: Longman, 1 9 7 0 . —  Ed. Univ.  Ed. Miriam A l l o t t .  . The Poems of John Keats. Ed. E. de S e l i n c o u r t . London: Methuen, 1 9 0 5 ; r p t . 1 9 5 4 . The P o e t i c a l Works of John Keats. Ed. Garrod. Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1 9 5 8 .  H.W.  T a y l o r , Thomas, t r a n s . The C r a t y l u s , Phaedo, Parmenides and Timaeus of P l a t o . With Notes on the C r a t y l u s , and an E x p l a n a t o r y I n t r o d u c t i o n to Each Dialogue. 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