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Narcissus Englished : a study of the Book of Thel, Alastor, and Endymion Harder, Bernhard David 1966

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NARCISSUS ENGLISHED: A STUDY OP THE BOOK OP THEL, ALASTOR, AND ENDYMION.  by BERNHARD D. HARDER B.A., U n i v e r s i t y  of British  C o l u m b i a , 1964  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master o f A r t s in  t h e Department of English  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e required standard  THE  UNIVERSITY OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA J u n e , 1966  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s requirements Columbia, for  thesis  in p a r t i a l  f u l f i l m e n t of  f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of  I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t  r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y .  t e n s i v e copying of t h i s  freely  British available  I f u r t h e r agree that p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x thesis for  s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d  by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s  representatives.  understood t h a t copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r cial  the  It  is finan-  g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n .  Department  of  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada  ABSTRACT The  o r i g i n o f t h e s t o r y o f N a r c i s s u s i s unknown, and  the c i r c u m s t a n c e s  o f h i s death a r e u n c e r t a i n , but t h e most  p o p u l a r v e r s i o n o f t h e t a l e as t o l d by Ovid has been r e a d , '<.•:• t r a n s l a t e d , e x p l a i n e d , m o r a l i z e d and d i s p u t e d by innumerable w r i t e r s and a l l u d e d t o by many more.  Renaissance w r i t e r s i n  E n g l a n d , such as G o l d i n g , Edwards and Sandys, were i n t e r e s t e d i n f i r s t i n t r o d u c i n g t h e myth I n t o t h e i r own language and then, i n e x p l a i n i n g i t s meanings, l e s s o n s and m o r a l i z a t i o n s . poets paraphrased  Later  t h e i r t r a n s l a t i o n s , o f t e n a d d i n g t h e i r own  p o i n t o f view o r e l s e u s i n g o n l y t h e s k e l e t o n s t r u c t u r e o f t h e myth f o r t h e i r own p o e t i c purposes.  The s i m p l e s t o r y o f a  youth who d i e d by a pool a f t e r f a l l i n g h o p e l e s s l y i n l o v e w i t h h i s own r e f l e c t i o n a c q u i r e d a s i g n i f i c a n c e and immortal i t y worthy o f a Greek god. The E i g h t e e n t h C e n t u r y who were l e s s i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e gods than t h e i r had been, a l m o s t c o m p l e t e l y  writers,  predecessors  ignored Narcissus i n t h e i r  poetry,  but l a t e r poets such as B l a k e , S h e l l e y and Keats r e v i v e d him once a g a i n and t r a n s f o r m e d  t h e faded youth  i n t o a Romantic.  In The Book o f T h e l B l a k e e x p l o r e s t h e consequences o f s e l f - l o v e , and a n t i c i p a t e s t h e f u l l e r development o f t h i s theme i n The Four Zoas.  He uses t h e a r c h e t y p a l p a t t e r n o f t h e Nar-  c i s s u s myth f o r p o r t r a y i n g t h e f a d i n g T h e l , who r e f u s e s t o enter  the s t a t e of Generation  because she i s a f r a i d o f t h e v o i c e  o f e x p e r i e n c e t h a t she meets i n her own grave when she descends i n t o the u n d e r w o r l d .  Her s t e r i l e s e p a r a t i o n from her  S p e c t r e i s s i m i l a r t o the unconsummated r e l a t i o n s h i p between N a r c i s s u s and Echo.  T h e l f l e e i n g from her grave escapes  back t o n o n - e x i s t e n c e , f a d i n g by the r i v e r l i k e N a r c i s s u s and  Echo. An u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the f u n c t i o n o f the N a r c i s s u s s t o r y  i n S h e l l e y ' s poem, A l a s t o r , i s i n d i s p e n s a b l e t o an t i o n of t h i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l poem.  interpreta-  S h e l l e y ' s a l l u s i o n s t o the  myth a r e f a i t h f u l t o the O v i d i a n v e r s i o n of N a r c i s s u s as a y o u t h who s i g h s away h i s l i f e a f t e r s e e i n g h i s own shadow i n a well.  S h e l l e y a s s o c i a t e s the P o e t ' s quest w i t h the N a r c i s -  sus myth by g e n e r a l l y p a r a l l e l i n g the n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e of Ovid's s t o r y , and by employing much o f i t s imagery.  Chapter  I I argues t h a t S h e l l e y ' s poem i s both u n i f i e d and c o n s i s t e n t when i t i s i n t e r p r e t e d i n terms of the N a r c i s s u s theme. K e a t s p r i m a r i l y uses the p o p u l a r myth of Endymion and C y n t h i a i n h i s poem, Endymion,.; but a l s o i n c l u d e s o t h e r myths i n the manner of the R e n a i s s a n c e e p y l l i o n .  The most s i g n i f i -  cant a d d i t i o n t o the main myth i s the s t o r y of N a r c i s s u s as a comment on the n a t u r e o f Endymion's q u e s t .  K e a t s p i c t u r e s the  hero a t the w e l l , v i e w i n g the r e f l e c t i o n of the v i s i o n , i n o r d e r t o e s t a b l i s h the s p e c i f i c p a r a l l e l t o Ovid's s t o r y . Endymion, however, u n l i k e N a r c i s s u s or the Poet i n A l a s t o r , r e c o g n i z e s h i s i l l u s i o n and proceeds towards a c c e p t i n g h i s  iii  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o h i s kingdom and t o t h e Echo f i g u r e s i n the  poem. The a n a l y s i s c o n c l u d e s  fic  handling  with a comparison of the s p e c i -  o f t h e N a r c i s s u s myth i n t h e t h r e e poems i n  terms o f t h e v a r i o u s v e r s i o n s o f t h e myth, t h e treatment the metamorphosis o f N a r c i s s u s ment o f t h e theme significance  of self-love.  of  I n t o a f l o w e r , and t h e d e v e l o p The t h e s i s e s t a b l i s h e s t h e  o f t h e N a r c i s s u s myth i n The Book o f T h e l ,  A l a s t o r and Endymion, and e v a l u a t e s B l a k e ' s , S h e l l e y ' s and Keats's  c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the attempts  of the Renaissance  ters t o introduce the Ovidian s t o r y into E n g l i s h  wri-  literature.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would l i k e t o thank Dr. Warren Stevenson f o r h i s academic and p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t the f o r m u l a t i o n and c o m p l e t i o n  in  of this the-  V  To Helga f o r the many hours  and....  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Chapter  Page  THE FABLE OF QUID TRETING OF NARCISSUS; THE ARGUMENT  Frontespiece  INTRODUCTION  1  I.  BLAKE'S BOOK OF THEL: THE SHADOW OF NARCISSUS  18  II.  SHELLEY'S ALASTOR: THE CONTROVERSIAL NARCISSUS  4l  I I I . KEATS•S ENDYMION: NARCISSUS METAMORPHOSIZED  60  CONCLUSION  82  BIBLIOGRAPHY  93  THE ARGUMENT OP THE FABLE L i r e o p e had a Sonne by C e p h i c i o u s named N a r c i s s u s , whose contynuaunce  o f l i f e T y r i c i a s a p r o p h e t e , a f f y r m y d t o be l o n g ,  y f t h e knowledge o f hym s e l f e , p r o c u r y d n o t t h e c o n t r a r y , whose sentence here now Ecco t h e c a l l y n g e Impe, from whome Iuno  had  b e r e f t e t h e r y g h t v s e o f speche, so loued t h i s N a r c y s s u s , t h a t throughe t h e thought and c a r e t h a t she s u s t a y n e d , f o r t h e g e t t y n g e hys good w y l t h a t euer despysed h e r , she consumed t h e r e l y k e s , o f which consumed Carcas were t o r n e d i n t o s t o n e s . The g r e a t e dysdayne o f N a r c y s sus , h e r e i n Ramusia S t r a u n g e l y reuenged, f o r he heated through h u t i nge by the drynkynge  o f a w e l l , supposynge t o quence hys t h u r s t e  espyed t h e r e i n t h e shadowe, of hys f a c e , wherewyth he was so rauyshed t h a t hauynge no  power  t o leue  hys  blynde desyre f o r t h e a t t a y n y n g o f an imposebelyte,  t h e r e he s t a r u e d .  p a r a t i o n , whose b u r y a l l phes,  had ordyned  n i t u e r as t h e r teyned to  & had. the  Por the prethe  Nim-  souch  fur-  vnto  apper-  Retornyed  solemne  Erthynge and b u r y a l l o f such a c a r c a s e , t h e y found i n s t e d o f t h e ded C o r p i s a yelow f l o u r e  which w i t h  vs b e a r e t h t h e name of  daffadylly  INTRODUCTION The  m i r r o r of poetry has r e f l e c t e d N a r c i s s u s  shades and s i o n was  s u b t l e t i e s than most myths.  introduced  Fable o f 1560  Gower.  rede."  The  first  of these  v e r s i o n of The  was  t r a n s l a t i o n s , The p r i n t e d anonymously i n  with a long m o r a l i z a t i o n "very pleasante  A r t h u r Golding  1  ver-  a l r e a d y been a l l u d e d t o by both  Quid T r e t i n g N a r c i s s u s ,  together  Ovid's popular  i n t o E n g l i s h by three Renaissance t r a n s -  l a t i o n s , but the s t o r y had Chaucer and  i n more  to  completed the,most important  Metamorphoses i n 1567  with an  English  apologetic i n -  t r o d u c t i o n o u t l i n i n g some of the lessons to be learned book, and  e x p l a i n i n g Ovid's use  of the pagan gods.  Sandys! t r a n s l a t i o n appeared i n 1632 e x p l a n a t i o n of each book. explain  the  tales  the t r a n s l a t i o n s ,  The  naturally and  The  Latin  only " e n g l i s h e d , "  but  also  2  need  to  the Ovid,  the  George  detailed  justify  influences  influences  myths c o n s i d e r a b l y .  with h i s own  i n each  Ovid details  Interpretations as a r e s u l t ,  humanized  in  and  the  of of the  was  not  Christian  tradition.  The Fable Of Quid T r e t i n g N a r c i s s u s , T r a s l a t e d Out Of L a t i n Into Englush Mytre, With A Moral Ther Vnto, Very P l e a - •sante To Redel (Thomas Edwards, Cephalus and P r o c r i s . N a r c i s sus ), ed. W.E. Buckley, London, 1882. p  George Sandys, t r a n s . , Ovid's Metamorphosis E n g l i s h e d , Mythologiz'd And Re present e d ~ i n F i g u r e s , Oxford, 1632. "~  - 2 -  The include  most  I n d i s p e n s a b l e e l e m e n t s o f t h e N a r c i s s u s myth  the hero  voice after  the hero  the  shadow, and  two  of these  lusion lated  N a r c i s s u s , E c h o , who  is usually  t o t h i s myth.  scorns  beauty.  love  by  detaining  what he Jove  what he  assents  While  and  of these  her  talk.  hides h e r s e l f  t h a t the  know."  The  3  maids who admirers,  hunts.  their also  love.  feel  d e s i r e s , and the  boy  youth,  Nar-  a d m i r e him tries  She  will  can  t o win only  punished  caves  and  of these  suitors  o f l o v e , but not  his curse  i s heard  for his  reply her f o r Echo's  fades  Narcissus continues to  fire  any  an a l -  After Narcissus rejects  One  the  of  v e r s i o n , as t r a n s -  i n woods and  voice remains.  to punish  original  not  w h i l e he  combination  s p e a k s b e c a u s e Juno has  with  only her  Narcissus w i l l  doe  A  for identifying  prophesies  t h e y o u n g men  s u i t o r s and  enjoy  he  E c h o , one  a d v a n c e s , she  all  selfe  f o l l o w i n g him  by e c h o i n g  until  In Ovid's  a  the w e l l , m i r r o r or p o o l ,  sufficient  by G o l d i n g , T I r e s i a s  cissus,  her,  the n a r c i s s u s f l o w e r .  grow o l d i f "him  his  rejects  remains o n l y as  away  reject  hopes t h a t be a b l e  by Ramnuse,  to who  hero.  h u n t i n g , N a r c i s s u s goes t o d r i n k a t a c l e a r s p r i n g , Which n e y t h e r Nor  other c a t t e l l  s h e e p e h e i r d s , nor the Goates t h a t f e d upon t h e h i l l , t r o u b l e d had, n o r s a v a g e b e a s t had styrd,  Shakespeare's Ovid Being A r t h u r Golding's T r a n s l a t i o n of The M e t a m o r p h o s e s , e d . W.H.D. R o u s e , L o n d o n , 1 9 b l , I I I . 133. H e r e a f t e r c i t e d I n t e r n a l l y as S h a k e s p e a r e ' s O v i d .  - 3 -  Nor  braunch, nor s t i e k e , n o r l e a f e o f t r e e , nor any f o u l e n o r b y r d .  ( S h a k e s p e a r e ' s O v i d , I I I . 510-512)  The  isolation  of this  well  Romantics.  Narcissus  thinks  i ti sa "lively  that  522) a n d f a l l s  III.  sees h i s r e f l e c t i o n  he  boddie,"  i n love with  dow a n d c o m p l a i n s a b o u t tion  i s r e p e a t e d l y emphasized  Golding's  i n d e s p e r a t i o n , and m e l t s  thing  o f him r e m a i n s .  cissus  i s received  into Hell,  himself with h i s  away w i t h  Echo sighs a f t e r  d e s i r e u n t i l no-  him a s he d i e s .  a n d goes t o " t h e W e l l  where he " S t a n d e s t o o t i n g on h i s shadow s t i l l before."  (III.  but  only  find  633-634)  "A y e l l o w  transla-  h i s recognition that  flagellates  fists  Ovid,  i t . He g a z e s a t h i s s h a -  i t s elusiveness.  Narcissus  i n t h e p o o l , but  (Shakespeare's  emphasizes h i s d e l u s i o n r a t h e r than  loves himself.  by t h e  of Styx"  as f o n d e l y as  The Nymphes come t o mourn h i s floure  with  milke  Nar-  white  death,  l e a v e s new  s p r o n g upon t h e g r o u n d . " ( I I I . 642) I n t h e anonymous t r a n s l a t i o n s i v e a n d more p l a y f u l whether t h e r e "I."  i n Golding.  i s anyone h e r e ,  When N a r c i s s u s  she answers  of just  approaching  eluasks  "none"'* r a t h e r  She a c t u a l l y embraces him " a b o u t e t h e n e c k e "  instead "her  than  o f 1 5 6 0 , E c h o i s more  him, and i s r e j e c t e d  than  ( p . 134)  physically:  f o u l d e d armes t h a t s p r e d e / a b o u t h y s n e c k e he c a s t e  awaye." ( p . 134)  The  Fable  T h i s t r a n s l a t i o n a l s o emphasizes t h e v i o l e n c e  Of Q u i d  Treting Narcissus,  p. 134.  - 4 -  t h a t N a r c i s s u s does t o h i m s e l f In h i s sorrow:  he r e l e a s e s  h i s "wretched r a g e " by b e a t i n g h i m s e l f w i t h "stonye f y s t e s . ( p . 137)  n  The use o f a d j e c t i v e s i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s  f a t e i n H e l l seems t o make t h e punishment even more than In G o l d i n g .  severe  Narcissus i s received " i n t o that h y l l y e  p l a c e / be yeke w y t h i n t h e o g l y s t y p e , beheld hys wretched f a c e . " ( p . I38) Sandys seems t o s u b o r d i n a t e N a r c i s s u s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e poet.. N a r c i s s u s wooers i s immediately sins.  1  own lament t o the  1  rejection of h i s  i d e n t i f i e d as p r i d e , one o f t h e seven  As i n t h e o t h e r t r a n s l a t i o n s , he f i n a l l y  recognizes  h i s shadow, but t h e s t r e s s i s on h i s l o v e f o r h i m s e l f i n s t e a d of f o r h i s shadow.  The poet a l s o scorns him f o r t r y i n g t o a t -  t a i n an i m p o s s i b i l i t y :  "0 P o o l e ! t h a t s t r i u ' s t t o c a t c h a f l y  i n g shade!/ Thou s e e k ' s t what's no-where."5  This  translation  i n n o v a t e s t h e s u g g e s t i o n t h a t N a r c i s s u s i s "Deceiued by t h e Image o f h i s words," ( p . 89) as w e l l as by h i s v o i c e , thus making i t p o s s i b l e t o i n t e r p r e t Echo as r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e same p r i n c i p l e o f s e l f - i l l u s i o n as the shadow. interchanges  B l a k e , f o r example,  h i s a l l u s i o n s t o t h e shadow and t o Echo i n a way  t h a t suggests the same r o l e .  a combination Although  o f t h e two f i g u r e s t o r e p r e s e n t  Sandys c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l s t h e o t h e r  two t r a n s l a t i o n s , he a l l o w s h i m s e l f more freedom i n emphasi-  Sandys, t r a n s . , Ovid's Metamorphosis, p.  90.  -  zing Narcissus  1  5 -  s e l f - d e c e p t i o n and p r i d e .  G o l d i n g , who i s more i n t e r e s t e d  i n i n t r o d u c i n g the O v i -  d i a n t a l e s than i n t e a c h i n g t h e i r supposed l e s s o n s , nevert h e l e s s c r y p t i c a l l y summarizes the moral o f the N a r c i s s u s t a l e with a p p a r e n t l y l i t t l e  sympathy f o r e i t h e r N a r c i s s u s or  Echo: N a r c i s s u s i s o f s c o r n f u l n e s s e and pryde a myrror cleere, Where beawties f a d i n g v a n i t i e most p l a y n l y may appeere. And Echo i n the selfsame t a l e dooth kyndly r e p r e sent The lewd behaviour o f a bawd, and h i s due punishment . ("The E p i s t l e , " Shakespeare's Ovid, The  105-108)  t r a n s l a t o r o f The Fable Of Quid T r e t i n g N a r c i s s u s , on the  other hand, i s more concerned  with p r e s e n t i n g h i s m o r a l i z a t i o n  than with t r a n s l a t i n g the t e x t .  In h i s M o r a l i z a t i o n o f The  Fable In Quid Of N a r c i s s u s t h a t f o l l o w s the t r a n s l a t i o n , he lists  the views o f s e v e r a l other authors and then adds h i s  own.  The f i r s t  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , which i s s i m i l a r t o Bacon's,  d e s c r i b e s N a r c i s s u s as a very g i f t e d and b e a u t i f u l young c o u r t i e r who d i s d a i n s s o c i e t y and secludes h i m s e l f with a few flatterers. soon punished  H i s p r i d e i n h i s s u p e r i o r i t y and f o r t u n e s i s f o r the same reason t h a t L u c i f e r was c a s t  heaven (p. 146)  from  because " r i c h e s strenghte and power, confesse  we muste/ Wyth bewtie eke, t o s l y p p e r be t o t r u s t e . " Echo, i n t h i s c o n t e x t , i s the f l a t t e r e r who agrees  ( p . 148)  with the  young l o r d ' s o p i n i o n o f h i m s e l f , (p. 149) A c c o r d i n g t o the author, B o c c a c c i o understands  Echo as a  - 6 -  symbol goal,  f o r those but  who  people  are  who  forsaken  strive  ( p . 150)  The  w e l l i s the  people  see  own  g l o r y and  glory. on  The  flower resembles  them w h i c h f a d e s  p e r i s h , captured  the  bounty nature  q u i c k l y without  t o p l e a s e a s many r e a d e r s  The  reflection  the  rainde."  jected with  similarly the  life  isolated formed  d e l y g h t i s as  was  so  Italian  proud  himself until  The  paste."  (p.  him  and  wise,  the  good  loses every  of sub-  Is  "drowned  bodye l o n g e . " i s someone  (p.  i s puffed  up  only describes Narcissus  as  b e a u t y t h a t he woods.  t h a t "youth  and  completely  He  wa,s  trans-  bewghte, come  translator also portrays who  is extraordinarily  council virtue  of those  who  166)  who  169)  c i s s u s as a b e a u t i f u l y o u t h rejects  of being  b e c a u s e he  s t a r v e d i n the  m o r a l i z a t i o n of the  Narcissus  shadowe  or  into a flower to confirm  soone be  under-  b e a u t y , knowledge  o f h i s own  he  also  Mnd."  f u n c t i o n , and  t o the  shadow o f h i s own The  i s the  m i n d , as a r e s u l t  o f h i s s o u l ( p . 169)  ( p . 168)  s o n e o n e who  body "Which o n l y e The  cannot  i s s e n t e / Unto the  explains that Narcissus  p r i d e f o r the  wealth,  which  are  as p o s s i b l e .  someone who  body, l o s e s i t s p r o p e r  d e s y r e / Of s u c h  loses  and  i s the  ( p . 165)  t o the  Walles  with  "office  an  own  bestowed  Italian  i n order  proper  has  and  Included  the  by t h e i r  ( p . 150-151)  of P i c i u s , Walles  stand  foolish  fruit,  opinions  n e o p l a t o n i z e s N a r c i s s u s as  worthy  pleasures  p l a c e wheee t h e s e  The  Picius  after a  by some " f o r f o l y s h e  sake."  their  silently  Nar-  gifted.  would make  as a c o n s e q u e n c e  of h i s  - 7 -  p r i d e and  s e l f - l o v e , (p.154)  Echo, "By whome...good a d u i c e  i s mente," (p.153) f o l l o w s N a r c i s s u s to teach  him  f a i t h f u l l y in  the "endinge sense" of "speche," (p.153)  he r e f u s e s t o a c c e p t her "good a d u i c e " The  order but  of r e a s o n , (p.154)  s p r i n g i n which he sees h i s r e f l e c t i o n i s the " w e l l of  prayse" ( p . l 6 o )  where he sees the i l l u s i o n of h i s  self-  love : W i t h i n t h i s w e l l no f a u t e s he euer s p i e s Whereby him s e l f e he anye waye might s p i t e But as eche f a c e a p p e a r i t h e , f a y r e & quyte Though i t be f o u l e w i t h i n the f l a t r i n g e g l a s T h i s l y i n g e l a k e , shewes euerye g y f t e t o passe. (P.158) Narcissus t o the  degenerates from " d i s d a y n "  "poyson p r i d e , " ( p p . l 6 0 - l 6 l )  and  t o "contempte" l o s e s a l l the  gifts  t h a t he d e s i r e s most because, and  • • •  t h i s aboundaunce who s h a l l e u e l l abuse q u i t e f b r g e t from whence these v e r t u e s f l o w e  Mysuse of good thus them s h a l l . o u e r throuwe.(p.162) The  myth t e a c h e s t h a t beauty and  i f he i s guided by p r i d e and and  good a d v i c e  of  w i t w i l l d e s t r o y the owner  s e l f - l o v e i n s t e a d of by r e a s o n  others.  In h i s e x p l i c a t i o n "Vpon The  T h i r d Booke Of Ovid's Meta-  m o r p h o s i s , " Sandys c l o s e l y f o l l o w s Bacon's and P i c i u s p r e t a t i o n s as g i v e n i n the 1560 a y o u t h who  inter-  1  t r a n s l a t i o n . Narcissus  p e r i s h e s when the s o u l i s a l i e n a t e d from  is  the  body because he admires the shadow of the s o u l , and a l s o endowed person who  s e q u e s t e r s h i m s e l f from o t h e r s and  from the madness of s e l f - l o v e . (p.106)  The  an  dies  concentration  - 8 -  of  the  interpretation,  E c h o , but  however, i s n o t  on N e m e s i s o r Ramnuse, who  venge s u c h  p r i d e and  i n s o l e n c y ; and  owne d e s t r u c t i o n . " ( p . 106) graphic to  her  founds not, fidiousnesse fortunes, midst  b l a c k and  of f r i e n d s ,  of t h e i r  terrifies  which  to t h i s  t o o , who  knew S a n d y s ' t r a n s l a t i o n ,  being  visited  midst  of  is  ...  certainly  Thel  ' with  cissus  b l a c k and  felicities.* significant  by B l a k e .  Ovidian  d i e d a t the  shadow.  was  the  The  with  them i n  fountain after  d e s c r i b e s Eridymlon  fearful  figure  poems and  which argues a g a i n s t  is  not  emphasized  her  per-  the  have been  ominous v i s i o n s . . .  Pausanlas explains  the  the  of enemies, mis-  S h e l l e y may  f o u n t a i n b e c a u s e he  to  visions  as  con-  named h i s poem A l a s t o r .  i n these  image o f N a r c i s s u s '  swift-  whom she  of  i n The  the  d i d not  death,  (pp.  twin  the  Book  of  view t h a t recognize  sister,  105-106)  as  Pausanlas'  i n s t e a d , t h a t the  idential  in  Keats,  vengeance  Sandys' e x p l i c a t i o n a l s o i n s e r t s  interpretation  own  when he  icono-  power, h e r  incounter  ( p . 104)  alluding  re-  inexorable  those,  circumventions  death,  felicities." figure  and  ominous v i s i o n s ;  the  s i c k n e s s e , and  to  t o make h i s v i c e s h i s  emphasizing her  v e n g e a n c e : "she with  " i s introduced  "Deity severe  proud,and a r r o g a n t , "  n e s s and  nor  Sandys g i v e s a d e t a i l e d  d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s  the  on N a r c i s s u s  Keats's poems a r e  Narhis  shadow who  This  repaired suggestion  i n T h e l , A l a s t o r or Endymlon, a l t h o u g h  i n r b o t h S h e l l e y ' s and  non-  portrayed  the as  nymphs. Two  other Renaissance  poems, f r e e r  than  t h e more  literal  shadowy  - 9  -  O v i d i a n t r a n s l a t i o n s , t e l l the s t o r y of N a r c i s s u s . f i r s t , s i m p l y c a l l e d N a r c i s s u s , was wards and  i m p r i n t e d i n 1595.  The  w r i t t e n by Thomas Ed-  o t h e r poem by James S h i r -  l e y , c a l l e d N a r c i s s u s or S e l f - L o v e r , was t i o n e r ' s R e g i s t e r i n 1618.^  The  entered  These poems can be  i n the S t a classified  w i t h the minor e p i c s of the R e n a i s s a n c e , or the more cont r o v e r s i a l genre of the " e p y l l i o n . "  7  The  e p y l l i o n , which  i n c l u d e s Marlowe's Hero and Leander and Shakespeare's Venus and A d o n i s ,  i s a poem of medium l e n g t h t r e a t i n g  subject matter,  o f t e n from O v i d , and  mythological  "employs the f o r m a l d i g -  r e s s i o n , a secondary s t o r y c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the f i r s t and f r e o  q u e n t l y q u i t e unconnected w i t h i t i n s u b j e c t . "  The  digres-  s i o n s , o f t e n reduced t o s h o r t a l l u s i o n s i n the E l i z a b e t h a n poems, may  be connected w i t h the main s t o r y by  e i t h e r i t s theme or p l o t .  9  These poems, as p e r f e c t e d by Mar-  lowe, can be c h a r a c t e r i z e d o b y complaints and  paralleling  t h e i r personal note,  their  o f l o v e , a l l u s i o n s t o c l a s s i c a l or o t h e r myths,  their delight in a r t i f i c e .  1 0  The  d e l i g h t i n the  artifice  E l i z a b e t h S t o r y Donno, ed., " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " E l i z a b e t h a n M i n o r E p i c s , London, 1963, p.l8. H e r e a f t e r a b b r e v i a t e d as EME. 7  3  P. 9  1 0  Donno, ed., P a u l W. 32.  "Introduction,"  M i l l e r , "The  M i l l e r , "The  p.l8.  E l i z a b e t h a n Minor E p i c , " SP,LV ( 1 9 5 8 ) , /  E l i z a b e t h a n Minor E p i c , "  Donno, ed., " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " p p . 6 - 8 .  p.37.  - 10 -  and love complaints  " e x p l a i n s why the w r i t e r s o f e p y l l i a  f r e q u e n t l y use o n l y the core o f a myth f o r t h e i r line."*"'  -  The secondary  story  s t o r y may even be o f equal impor-  tance with the f i r s t , as i n Shakespeare's  Venus and A d o n i s ,  where the shy Adonis and dominating Venus a r e probably mod e l l e d a f t e r Salmacis and Hermaphroditus,  or even "the some-  12 what s i m i l a r s t o r y o f N a r c i s s u s and Echo."  Both Edwards'  and S h i r l e y ' s poems on N a r c i s s u s employ Ovid's myth f o r t h e i r b a s i c n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e , but l i k e the e p y l l i o n , they  intro-  duce numerous c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s , an a p p a r e n t l y p e r s o n a l note, and a g r e a t d e a l o f a r t i f i c e . Edwards' o f t e n humorous poem, i s a l o n g complaint  that  the poet overhears N a r c i s s u s u t t e r a t the w e l l j u s t before f a d i n g away. almost  N a r c i s s u s Is portrayed as'the youth who  i n n o c e n t l y scorns the love o f a l l h i s female admirers: I knew not I what ioyes they gaue t o men, But as the banquet past, they as the shot, P l e a s i n g e u i l s a c t i n g or a c t i n g n o t , Gods know I knew not, nor accounted euer Of f a i r e s t woemen but as f o w l e s t weather. ^  N a r c i s s u s complains most b i t t e r l y about liction  that he must now experience as a punishment f o r  s c o r n i n g the d a l l i a n c e o f l o v e .  1 1  the sorrow and a f f -  He l i e s  In " v g l y dungeon  Donno, " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " 'p. 9.  12 Douglas Bush, Mythology and the Renaissance T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h Poetry, New York, I 9 b 3 , p. 1 3 9 .  13  Thomas Edwards, N a r c i s s u s , ed. Buckley, p. 3 8 .  "11  where t h e  serpents  lie,"  -  because  " T h e i r musicke  consort m e l o d i o u s l i e " with  h i s s i g h s , (p. 45)  does n o t  shadow i n t h e  instead  recognize  h i s own  t h a t what he  sees  i s the  S h i r l e y n e a t l y compromises t h e Narcissus  sees  his reflection  deck h i m s e l f with looks  i n t o the  does l o o k  like  the  jewels  w e l l the  o r a nymph by  The  reflection,  ( p . 6 0 ) and  Echo the  illustrate  c i s s u s appeals ly  scorned  h e l p him also  expose  to Adonis  "beauties  l i k e Narcissus  like  ( p . 52)  although follows  the  than  i n any  him  tried  tradition  of the  hero  of t h i s  but  decides  t h a t has  in  genre, i n -  similar-  o n l y one  ( p . 42)  able  Tantalus  "touch  t o go  and  Nar-  because Adonis  to  he  mistres,"  complaints.  those  to  is  see-  reflection.  "to hel  againe"  affection. original  a number o f h i s own  Ovidian  innovations  been a s c r i b e d t o t h e  p e r s o n a l i t y are  other  the  59)  comparable t o the  poem i s c l o s e r t o t h e  E c h o ' s c h a r a c t e r and  "shaddowed  herote  blindnes."  that are  Introduces  having  i s t h e r e f o r e the  t o pursue h i s o b j e c t of  he  whether  t h e r e f o r e , as  tradition  to j o i n  Orpheus, N a r c i s s u s  50)  t o o t h e r myths t o d e c o r a t e  b e c a u s e he  (p. 52)  Shirley's  the  o f the  V e n u s ' l o v e , and  ming a p p l e s " And  i n the  various aspects  (p.  reflection,  r e j e c t e d wooer, ( p .  numerous a l l u s i o n s  to  thinks  o f h i s w o o e r s , so t h a t when  Endymion, r e p r e s e n t s  troduces  "fairest faire."  o l d argument as  A l a s t o r and  Edwards' N a r c i s s u s ,  Narcissus  w e l l , but  shadow i s h i s own  a woman.  shall  versions  developed  o f t h e myth.  more The  story, and  epyllion. fully poet's  -  12  -  sympathy i s d i r e c t e d p r i m a r i l y towards h e r t as the muse and Echo does not  he i n v o k e s  her  t e l l s the s t o r y from her p o i n t o f v i e w .  j u s t t r y t o k i s s him  but f i n d s N a r c i s s u s  once, as i n Ovid's s t o r y ,  w h i l e he i s s l e e p i n g , and 14  with k i s s e s u n t i l they bleed.  The  p l i e s his  lips  a l l u s i o n t o Endymion  I d e n t i f i e s the s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two myths. (Stanza 31)  S h i r l e y has,  the N a r c i s s u s  i n f a c t , digressed  myth and  from the n a r r a t i v e  i n s e r t e d an element e s s e n t i a l l y b o r -  rowed from the s t o r y of Endymion, but d i s g u i s e d r e n t mask. reverse  Keats may  of  in a  diffe-  have been f o l l o w i n g t h i s precedent i n  o r d e r when he i n t r o d u c e d  the N a r c i s s u s  myth i n t o h i s  poem on Endymion. I n S h i r l e y ' s poem Echo, r a t h e r than one  o f the  other  s u i t o r s , a s k s Ramnusia t o p u n i s h her "contemners p r i d e . " (Stanza 84)  The  shadow I s unambiguously N a r c i s s u s '  own  re-  f l e c t i o n meant as a punishment f o r h i s r e j e c t i o n of Echo: But whether i s my w i s e r r e a s o n f l e d ? I t i s the shadow of my s e l f e , I see, And I am c u r s t t o be enamoured. Where d i d I l o s e my s o u l e ? or where am I ? What god s h a l l pardon me t h i s s i n , i f h e r e . I must become my owne I d o l a t e r ? ( S t a n z a 98) S h i r l e y i n c l u d e s the m o r a l i z a t i o n found i n the 156O  transla-  t i o n of O v i d , but a l s o i n c l u d e s o t h e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . idea that Narcissus  Narcissus,  0  The  l o s e s h i s s o u l when he sees h i s shadow i n  or S e l f - l o v e r , EME,  S t a n z a s 27-44.  - 13  -  the water i s a p p a r e n t l y an o l d Greek s u p e r s t i t i o n connected w i t h t h i s myth.  Fva&ev t h i n k s t h a t the N a r c i s s u s myth p r o -  bably originated  i n the Greeks' f e a r " t h a t the  would drag the l e a v i n g him  water-spirits  person's r e f l e c t i o n or s o u l under w a t e r ,  s o u l l e s s t o p e r i s h " I f a man  i n the water.*5  The  saw  his r e f l e c t i o n  concept t h a t N a r c i s s u s i s h i s  ' I d o l a t e r ' i s S h i r l e y ' s v a r i a t i o n of P i c i u s '  own  moralization.  M i l t o n adapts t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n P a r a d i s e L o s t , Book  IV,  16 where Eve  admires the beauty o f her own  a l s o d e s c r i b e s the f a l l e n Man a s i m i l a r a l l u s i o n i n The as  w o r s h i p p i n g h i s own  Four Zoas.  i t b e g i n s , w i t h Echo, d e s c r i b i n g  dow  shadow i n  how  she  too sees her  i n the water w h i l e s e a r c h i n g f o r N a r c i s s u s and  Is now  no l o n g e r s a c r e d t o Ovid and  as l o n g as he  throws  her g r i e f .  and  somewhere i n h i s  Narcissus,  The  myth has  v a r i a t i o n s that  a l m o s t complete freedom i n h i s own  includes  sha-  the t r a n s l a t o r s , but  been r e t o l d w i t h so many m o r a l i z a t i o n s poet can e x e r c i s e  Blake  S h i r l e y ' s poem ends,  h e r s e l f i n t o the stream i n o r d e r t o end  dow  reflection.  Echo, the w e l l and  the  retelling the  sha-  narrative.  A l l u s i o n s t o N a r c i s s u s a l s o appear i n a number of  the  o t h e r E n g l i s h e p y l l i a , thus d e m o n s t r a t i n g the widespread knowl e d g e and X 7  and  p o p u l a r i t y of the myth.  James George F r a i z e r , The R e l i g i o n , London, 1933,  P.  I n Lodge's S c l l l a e s  Golden Bough:  A S t u d y i n Magic  192.  Jay Macpherson, " N a r c i s s u s : Some U n c e r t a i n A l p h a b e t , Number 1 (September i 9 6 0 ) , pp. 4 1 - 4 2 .  Reflections,"  - 14 -  Metamorphosis Echo r e p l i e s "With p i t e o u s v o i c e from out h e r h o l l o w d e n " ^ t o the moans o f S e i l l a , who 1  i s b e i n g punished  with unrequited love a f t e r having r e j e c t e d Glaucus.  This  a l l u s i o n d e c o r a t e s the n a r r a t i v e , but a l s o comments i n d i r e c t l y on the s i m i l a r i t i e s between S c i l l a ' s and N a r c i s s u s .situation.  1  Both Marlowe and Shakespeare a l l u d e t o N a r c i s s u s  as an example o f unsurpassed beauty.  Marlowe summarizes  the  - myth f o r i t s own beauty when Hero f a v o r a b l y compares Leander's eyes t o N a r c i s s u s ' : Leander's e i e s , Those o r i e n t cheekes and l i p p e s , e x c e e d i n g h i s That l e a p t i n t o the water f o r a k i s Of h i s owne shadow, and d e s p s i n g many, „ Died ere he c o u l d e n j o y the l o v e o f a n y . y  Shakespeare a l s o r e f e r s t o N a r c i s s u s ' beauty i n two s i o n s d e s c r i b i n g A d o n i s and L u c r e c e .  allu-  He adapts the myth t o  h i s own whim w i t h o u t t r y i n g t o f o l l o w the o r i g i n a l  details:  when he sees " h i s shadow i n the b r o o k , / The f i s h e s spread on i t t h e i r g o l d e n g i l l s , "  (Venus and A d o n i s , 1099-1100)  and i f N a r c i s s u s had seen L u c r e c e "as she s t o o d / S e l f - l o v e had n e v e r drowned him i n the f l o o d . "  (The Rape o f L u c r e c e ,  265-266) Shakespeare a l s o uses the myth i n a t r a d i t i o n a l s i o n i n Venus and A d o n i s .  Venus s c o l d s A d o n i s f o r r e j e c t i n g  S c l l l a e s Metamorphosis, EME, Hero and Leander, EME,  allu-  Stanza  I . 72-76.  117.  - 15  -  her by u t t e r i n g the c u r s e o f the young men  who  ask Ramnuse  t o punish N a r c i s s u s : Then woo t h y s e l f , be of t h y s e l f r e j e c t e d , S t e a l t h i n e own freedom and complain o f t h e f t . N a r c i s s u s so h i m s e l f h i m s e l f f o r s o o k , And d i e d t o k i s s h i s shadow In the brook. (Venus and A d o n i s , 159-162) M a r s t o n employs t h i s same meaning when r e f e r r i n g t o P i g m a l i o n , who  a f t e r d i s d a i n i n g "to yeeld s e r v i l e  i s punished  by Love who  And  affection,"  f i n a l l y f o r c e s "him t o know h i s f a t e , /  l o v e the shade, whose substance Narcissus disappeared  he d i d  hate." ^ 1  from -the p a s t o r a l w o r l d o f p o e t r y  i n the E i g h t e e n t h Century and passed i n t o the r e l a t i v e l y s c u r e w r i t i n g s o f a few l e x i c o g r a p h e r s and  ob-  philosophers.  L e m p r i e r e summarizes the myth w i t h o n l y a b r i e f r e f e r e n c e t o the O v i d i a n v e r s i o n .  A c c o r d i n g t o him, N a r c i s s u s sees h i s  image r e f l e c t e d i n the f o u n t a i n , but k i l l s h i m s e l f because he t h i n k s I t i s a nymph o f the p l a c e and, a c c o r d i n g t o O v i d , i s changed i n t o a f l o w e r .  Lempriere a l s o adds  slightly different version.  Pausanlas"  2 0  T a y l o r a g a i n r e v i v e d the N e o p l a t o n l c o f P i c i u s i n h i s comments on N a r c i s s u s .  interpretation The  " v a i n shadows"  t h a t N a r c i s s u s t r i e s i n v a i n t o grasp a r e " c o r p o r e a l b e a u t i e s " which "*are o n l y images, t r a c e s and adumbrations o f a s u p e r i o r  The Metamorphosis of P i g m a l i o n s Lempriere's  396-397.  Stanza  1.  C l a s s i c a l D i c t i o n a r y of P r o p e r Names men-  t i o n e d i n A n c i e n t A u t h o r s , ed. P.A. pp.  Image, EME,  W r i g h t , London, 1958,  - 16  principle."  -  Whoever l e t s h i m s e l f be. m i s l e d by the p u r s u i t  o f these shadows "would resemble t h a t s e n s e l e s s who,  w i s h i n g t o g r a s p t h a t image h i m s e l f , a c c o r d i n g t o the  f a b l e , disappeared, dow  (Narcissus)  c a r r i e d away by the c u r r e n t . "  i s o n l y an i l l u s i o n t h a t cannot be a t t a i n e d .  m a n t i c poems, The  or any  sha  In the  Ro-  Book o f T h e l , A l a s t o r and Endymion, the  ' c o r p o r e a l b e a u t i e s ' are no l o n g e r i l l u s i o n , but w i t h beauty and  The  2 1  essence.  The  shadow i s now  indivisible  beauty or l o v e  o t h e r i d e a l t h a t i s I s o l a t e d from n a t u r e , mind  and  corporeality. When the Romantics came t o pay t h e i r t r i b u t e t o the f a ded N a r c i s s u s  o f the E i g h t e e n t h  f l o w e r b e s i d e the brook.  C e n t u r y , t h e y found o n l y  the  Keat's s p o e t , wandering, r  on the bank a l o n e l y f l o w e r ... s p i e d , A meek and f o r l o r n f l o w e r , w i t h naught o f p r i d e , D r o o p i n g i t s beauty o'er the watery c l e a r n e s s , To woo I t s own sad image i n t o n e a r n e s s . 2  From t h i s f l o w e r the poet r e c o n s t r u c t s the " t a l e / Of young N a r c i s s u s , and  sad Echo's b a l e . " (179-180)  f i n d s the " n a r c i s s i " among the Who  2 1  don,  Shelley, too,  flowers:  the f a i r e s t among them a l l , gaze on t h e i r eyes i n the stream's r e c e s s ,  Thomas T a y l o r , t r a n s . , P l o t i n o s : 1918, I . 6.8. ^  Complete Works, Lon-  " I Stood T i p - T o e ; " The P o e t i c a l Works of John K e a t s , e d . H.W. G a r r o d , London, 1961* 171-174. H e r e a f t e r K e a t s ' s poems w i l l be c i t e d i n t e r n a l l y from t h i s volume. 2 2  T i l l t h e y d i e o f t h e i r own dear l o v e l i n e s s . B l a k e , S h e l l e y and Keats a l l t r a n s f o r m i n The Book of T h e l ,  Alastor  and  J  t h i s myth i n t o p o e t r y  Endymion.  Their  interpre-  t a t i o n s bear o n l y o c c a s i o n a l resemblances t o those o f e a r l i e r p o e t s , but t h e y keep t h e e s s e n t i a l s o f t h e myth which has comp l e t e d t h e mythic c y c l e o f l i f e , death and metamorphosis, becoming t h e r i g h t f u l p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e E n g l i s h  poets.  "The S e n s i t i v e P l a n t , " The Complete Works o f P e r c y Bysshe S h e l l e y , ed. Thomas H u t c h i n s o n , London, 1961, 18-20. H e r e a f t e r S h e l l e y ' s poems w i l l be c i t e d I n t e r n a l l y from t h i s volume. 0  CHAPTER I BLAKE'S BOOK OP THELr  THE  SHADOW OP NARCISSUS  T h e l i s the c r e a t i o n o f B l a k e ' s own s p e c i f i c r o l e i n h i s mythology.  She  imagination f o r a  has no s p e c i f i c coun-  t e r p a r t i n c l a s s i c a l myths, but l i k e U r i z e n , Ore and mas  Thar-  of the l a t e r p r o p h e c i e s , T h e l , t o o , echoes some of the  w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d archetypes dition.  She  o f the e x i s t i n g l i t e r a r y  tra-  combines the r o l e s of the p a s t o r a l shepher-  d e s s , t r a d i t i o n a l l y p e r s o n i f i e d by Persephone, E u r i d i c e , o r even Venus, and the e p i c h e r o , U l y s s e s , Dante, and Aeneas i n her descent  t o the " l a n d unknown."  1  Like Per-  sephone and E u r i d i c e , T h e l descends i n t o the realm d e a t h , but l i k e the j o u r n e y o f the hero t o the  of  underworld,  her j o u r n e y i s a movement towards g r e a t e r v i s i o n and knowledge. The Book o f T h e l  d e a l s w i t h the problem of T h e l ' s  f a i l u r e t o complete her d e s c e n t , and t r i e s t o i n t e r p r e t her a c t i o n i n terms of B l a k e ' s comprehensive p o e t i c v i s i o n . The  poem  explores  the  effects  of  self-love,  or  W i l l i a m B l a k e , The Book-of T h e l , The P r o p h e t i c W r i t i n g s o f W i l l i a m B l a k e , Volumes I - I I , ed. D.J. S l o s s and J.P.R. W a l l i s , London, 1957, I I * IV. 2. Hereafter cited i n t e r n a l l y as P r o p h e t i c W r i t i n g s . A l l q u o t a t i o n s from The Book o f T h e l , The Four Zoas and T i r i e l a r e from t h i s e d i t i o n , and w i l l be cited internally. 1  - 19 -  s e l f i s h n e s s , as opposed to. s e l f - s a c r i f i c e i n t h e n a t u r a l cycle.  T h i s theme o f s e l f h o o d i s one o f B l a k e ' s most domi-  nant and most u n i f y i n g themes. mony Combine}"  I n t h e song "Love and Har-  of the P o e t i c a l Sketches,  l o v e and harmony  entwine t h e two s o u l s whose branches and r o o t s a r e mixed and  joined together.  "On A n o t h e r ' s Sorrow"  the n e c e s s i t y of i d e n t i f y i n g w i t h a n o t h e r ' s  emphasizes g r i e f i n order  t o share h i s woe: Can I see a n o t h e r ' s woe, And n o t be i n sorrow t o o ? S i m i l a r l y , i n "Night I X , "  2  one o f t h e E t e r n a l Men summari-  zes t h i s theme as t h e key o f t h e l a t e r prophecy, The Four Zoas,  i n his proclamation t h a t , Man l i v e t h n o t by S e l f a l o n e ;  but i n h i s b r o t h e r ' s face Each s h a l l behold t h e E t e r n a l F a t h e r , & love~& j o y abound. ( 6 3 9 - 6 4 0 ) The  C l o d o f C l a y r e i t e r a t e s t h i s p r i n c i p l e i n The Book o f  > T h e l i n t h e l a s t attempt t o make T h e l understand  t h a t "we l i v e  not f o r o u r s e l v e s . " ( I I I . 10) T h i s l e s s o n on t h e dangers o f s e l f l o v e has been commonl y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e myth o f N a r c i s s u s  by  and m o r a l i z e r s o f O v i d .  never  mentions t h i s myth  Narcissus as  a  Although Blake  i n The Book o f T h e l ,  basic  concept  the  translators  specifically  he must  have used  f o r t h e development o f t h e  W i l l i a m . B l a k e , The P o e t i c a l Works o f W i l l i a m B l a k e , e d . John Sampson, London, 1949, p . 7 8 . H e r e a f t e r c i t e d i n t e r n a l l y as Works. d  - 20  theme o f h i s poem.  -  B l a k e r e j e c t e d . o l d e r mythology because  "the l i t e r a l n e s s and the e x t e r n a l i t y t o which o l d e r myths had been s u b j e c t e d . . . had rendered them unadaptable historical situations," h i s predecessors  3  to fresh  but he, n e v e r t h e l e s s , agreed  with  t h a t " 'the Greek F a b l e s O r i g i n a t e d i n  S p i r i t u a l Mystery & Real Visions'." * Blake, according t o h i s 1  f r i e n d Tatham, "was  v e r y i f o n d of O v i d , " and knew both  the  Metamorphoses and Thomas T a y l o r ' s t r a n s l a t i o n s o f the platonists.  B l a k e , however, was  Neo-  less interested i n r e i n -  t e r p r e t i n g these myths than i n c r e a t i n g h i s own  organic  m y t h o l o g i c a l framework from whatever source he found  appli-  cable. The number o f phrases e c h o i n g the s t o r y o f N a r c i s s u s , as w e l l as the theme i t s e l f , i n d i c a t e s t h a t B l a k e was s c i o u s l y employing  t h i s myth i n The Book o f T h e l .  con-  Thel,  l i k e N a r c i s s u s , " i s a r e f l e c t i o n i n a g l a s s , l i k e shadows i n the water."  ( I . 9)  seeks "the s e c r e t a i r , "  She abandons the o t h e r daughters  j u s t as N a r c i s s u s l e a v e s h i s f r i e n d s  and f i n a l l y a r r i v e s a t the w e l l t o which no one had come.  and  T h e l fades away by the r i v e r , ( I . 3-4)  ever  as N a r c i s s u s  - Mark S h o r e r , W i l l i a m B l a k e : The P o l i t i c s o f V i s i o n , New 1946, p. 35. ~~~ ~ 4 George M i l l s H a r p e r , " T a y l o r and B l a k e ' s Drama o f P e r sephone," P£, 34 ( 1 9 5 5 ) , P. 378.'• Quoted from P o e t r y and P r o s e o f W i l l i a m B l a k e , ed. G e o f f r e y Keynes, 3rd ed., New York and London, 1932, p. 830. >  5 Northrop Frye, " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " Selected Poetry Prose o f W i l l i a m B l a k e , New Y o r k , 1953, p. xx.  and  York  - 21  -  d i s a p p e a r s by the p o o l a f t e r r e j e c t i n g a l l h i s l o v e r s . She even descends i n t o the u n d e r w o r l d , and meets her  own  v o i c e almost  own  i n the same way  t h a t N a r c i s s u s sees h i s  shadow as he c r o s s e s the S t y x : And a f t e r w a r d when i n t o H e l l receyved was b i s spright, He goes me t o the W e l l o f S t y x , and t h e r e both day and n i g h t Standes t o o t i n g on h i s shadow s t i l l as f o n d e l y as b e f o r e . (Shakespeare's O v i d , I I . 632-634) The Book o f T h e l opens w i t h T h e l ' s lament by the river.  She  has l e f t the o t h e r daughters  o f Mne  o r d e r t o seek a q u i e t spot f o r her g r i e f .  The  v a l l e y i n t r o d u c e s h e r s e l f , and a s k s her why ning.  L i l l y o f the  she i s c o m p l a i -  A f t e r T h e l compares h e r s e l f t o the L i l l y , and  c l u d e s t h a t she i s more l i k e a c l o u d , the L i l l y by a s k i n g the Cloud t o descend and meet T h e l . now  Seraphim i n  con-  responds  The  Cloud  e x p l a i n s i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the f l o w e r s and the  dew,  but t e l l s T h e l t h a t she i s not l i k e the c l o u d e i t h e r , but o n l y the food f o r worms. Cloud's  The  iworm, i n t u r n , answers the  summons, but cannot speak t o T h e l .  silently  The Worm s i t s  on a L i l l y l e a f w h i l e T h e l speaks, but the C l o d o f  C l a y answers f o r them b o t h , e x p l a i n i n g t h a t God them.  is  l o v e s even  The matron C l a y i n v i t e s h e l I n t o her house, and T  t e l l s T h e l t h a t she has the s p e c i a l p r i v i l e g e o f both  en-  t e r i n g and r e t u r n i n g . T h e l goes i n t o the unknown l a n d through the e t e r n a l g a t e s , and sees the l a n d o f the dead, and hears  their  - 22 -  lamentations.  When she comes to her own  grave plot, a  sorrowful voice asks her a number of questions.  Thel i s  frightened by what she sees and hears, and f l e e s back to the vales of Har. The  poem i s divided into four symmetrical movements,  each introducing and developing hood.  the theme of Thel's  self-  In each section Thel meets a figure with whom she  hopes to i d e n t i f y , but discovers each time that the apparent s i m i l a r i t y i s , in f a c t , an i l l u s i o n .  This  discovery  is the discovery of Narcissus,who f a l l s In love with his shadow, and t r i e s to embrace i t , only to find that he i s mistaken,  ^hel's s e l f - p o r t r a i t i n the f i r s t part i s almost  completely disproved  by the end of the poem.  She  identifies  herself with "the lotus of the water," with "a parting cloud." and the "smile upon an infant's face." ( I . 6 - 1 0 ) But t h i s apparent i d e n t i t y i s f a l s e .  After meeting the  L i l l y , she must pass on, because the lotus Is not Thel.  like  The s i m i l a r i t y of the imagery associated with both  Thel and the L i l l y does not emphasize t h e i r e s s e n t i a l ident i f i c a t i o n with each other,^ but rather emphasizes Thel's basic i l l u s i o n in her false state of innocence.  Her world  is s i m i l a r to the well of Narcissus where I l l u s i o n  and  r e a l i t y are Indistinguishable:  Stanley Gardner, I n f i n i t y on the A n v i l : a C r i t i c a l Study of Blake's Poetry, Oxford, 1954, ~p. 36.  - 23  -  The s t a t e o f Innocence I s a world o f d e c e p t i v e r e f l e c t i o n s , a shadowy l o o k i n g g l a s s where two appearances o f the one r e a l i t y w i l l seem e q u a l ly true. 7  When she meets the c l o u d her i l l u s i o n i s a g a i n f o r c i n g her t o a d m i t : ( I I . 17)  " I f e a r t h a t I am not l i k e  Her m e t a p h o r i c a l  e a r l i e r p i c t u r e o f h e r s e l f as The  thee."  d e s c r i p t i o n of the worm as  i n f a n t wrapped i n the L i l l y ' s l e a f " ( I I I . 3)  faceJ'  shattered,  recalls  'a s m i l e upon an  "an the  Infant's  apparent I d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s s u s t a i n e d  until  t h e l a s t p a r t o f the poem when T h e l f l e e s from the  ma-  t r o n C l a y because, u n l i k e the worm,she cannot d w e l l t h e r e . I n " N i g h t IX" the E t e r n a l Man  summarizes the n e c e s s a r y  d i t i o n s f o r t r u e I d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the f l o w e r and  con-  the  worm: "Man  i s a Worm.  Wearied w i t h j o y , he seeks the caves o f s l e e p Among the F l o w e r s of B e u l a h , i n h i s S e l f i s h c o l d repose Forsaking Brotherhood & U n i v e r s a l l o v e , i n S e l fish clay F o l d i n g the pure wings of h i s mind, s e e k i n g the places dark, A b s t r a c t e d from the r o o t s of S c i e n c e ; then i n c l o s ' d around In w a l l s of Gold we c a s t him l i k e a Seed i n t o the Earth T i l l times & spaces have pass'd over him. Duly e v e r y morn We v i s i t him, c o v e r i n g w i t h a V e i l the Immortal Seed. (625-632) T h e l , however, r e f u s e s t o become a seed and  H a r o l d Bloom, B l a k e ' s A p o c a l y p s e : Argument, New Y o r k , 1963, p. 58. " 7  be covered  by  A S t u d y In P o e t i c "  - 24 -  the v e i l .  She can, t h e r e f o r e , n o t even be t h e worm t h a t  be t r a n s f o r m e d  i n t o l i f e by t h e E t e r n a l s .  Thel,  will  personi-  f y i n g h e r s e l f as a f l o w e r , a c l o u d and a worm, must r e j e c t her m i s t a k e n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n because k i n s h i p w i t h t h e L i l l y , t h e Cloud and the Worm i s as u n a t t a i n a b l e f o r h e r as t h e shadow i s f o r N a r c i s s u s . In s p i t e o f t h i s c l o s e p a r a l l e l between T h e l and Narc i s s u s , a unique and more s i g n i f i c a n t a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e myth t o t h e poem i s p o s s i b l e l f T h e l ' s words t h a t she i s " L i k e a r e f l e c t i o n i n a g l a s s , l i k e shadows i n t h e w a t e r , " ( I . are taken l i t e r a l l y .  In t h i s context  she r e p r e s e n t s t h e  shadow o f N a r c i s s u s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e p o o l , a v e r y image both i n t h i s poem and i n B l a k e ' s  important  l a t e r works. I n -  s t e a d o f b e i n g t h e deluded N a r c i s s u s who does n o t r e c o g n i z e her i l l u s i o n s about t h e C l o u d , she i s i n f a c t t h e shadow o f t h e L i l l y , t h e C l o u d , t h e Worm and t h e C l o d o f C l a y . She  d i s c o v e r s , n o t t h a t t h e y a r e u n r e a l , b u t t h a t she I s  o n l y a shadow o f t h e i r In "Night  reality.  I I I " t h e D a r k ' n i n g Man, r e p r e s e n t i n g an a s -  pect o f t h e f a l l e n A l b i o n , sees t h e s p e c t r e and emanation o f Luvah and V a l a a s h i s shadow r e f l e c t e d i n t h e w a t e r : Above him r o s e a Shadow from h i s w e a r i e d  intellect, Of l i v i n g g o l d , p u r e , p e r f e c t , h o l y ; i n w h i t e l i n e n pure he h o v e r ' d , A sweet e n t r a n c i n g s e l f d e l u s i o n , a wat'ry v i s i o n o f Man, S o f t e x u l t i n g i n e x i s t e n c e , a l l t h e Man a b s o r b i n g . (45-48)  - 25 -  This i s , without  a doubt, a d i r e c t a l l u s i o n t o t h e Nar-  c i s s u s myth, and demonstrates t h a t B l a k e  i s consciously  u s i n g t h e myth f o r h i s own p o e t i c purposes.  The meaning  o f t h i s N a r c i s s u s shadow i n t h e c o n t e x t o f The Four Zoas c l a r i f i e s some o f t h e i m a g i n a t i v e concepts t h a t B l a k e was w o r k i n g w i t h when he wrote The Book o f T h e l , and d e f i n i t e l y e s t a b l i s h e s Thel's  s e l f p o r t r a y a l as a " r e f l e c t i o n i n  a g l a s s " ( I . 9) as a c o n s c i o u s  a l l u s i o n t o t h e myth.  shadow i n "Night I I I " i s connected w i t h i l l u s i o n , l o v e and punishment o f the N a r c i s s u s  self-  f i g u r e , as I t i s  i n both t h e myth and The Book o f T h e l . l i k e Narcissus  The  The f a l l e n Man,  i n S h i r l e y ' s poem, i s " I d o l a t r o u s t o h i s  own Shadow" ("Night I I I , " 54) because he m i s t a k e n l y that i t i s h i s Lord.  thinks  H i s worship, t h e r e f o r e , i s a worship  o f h i m s e l f as N a r c i s s u s ' l o v e f o r h i s shadow i s a l o v e o f s e l f . 1  He i s t h e p a r t i e whome he wooes, and s u t e r t h a t doth wooe, He i s t h e flame t h a t s e t t e s on f i r e , and t h i n g t h a t burneth t o o e . (Shakespeare's O v i d , I I I . 535-536) A l b i o n foresees and  prophesies  t h e doom t h a t must f o l l o w t h i s  perversion  from h i s s l e e p : -  I can nof.longer hide d i s m a l v i s i o n o f mine eyes. 0 l o v e & l i f e & light! P r o p h e t i c dreads urge me t o speak: f u t u r i t y i s b e f o r e me L i k e a dark lamp. E t e r n a l death haunts a l l my expectation. (!lNight I I I , " 67-70)  The  The  r e a s o n f o r t h i s doom i s t h e same as t h e punishment f o r  - 26 -  Narcissus nal  1  s e l f - l o v e , because when we a r e "Rent from E t e r 71)  B r o t h e r h o o d , we d i e , & a r e no more." ("Night I I I , "  T h e l , t o o , r e t u r n s t o e s s e n t i a l n o n - e x i s t e n c e because she c o u l d n o t l e a r n from t h e Cloud t h a t " e v e r y t h i n g t h a t Lives not alone nor f o r I t s e l f . " ( I I .  live;  26-27)  When U r i z e n f a l l s and s e p a r a t e s h i m s e l f from h i s f e male p r i n c i p l e , A h a n i a , and c a s t s h e r t o t h e e a r t h as a s e p a r a t e e n t i t y , he, t o o , d e s c r i b e s h e r i n terms o f a Narcissus  reflection: And thou h a s t r i s e n w i t h t h y m o i s t l o c k s i n t o a wat'ry image R e f l e c t i n g a l l my i n d o l e n c e , my weakness & my d e a t h . ("Night I I I , " 119-120)  Tharmas, "emerging from t h e Smoke/ Of U r i z e n , dashed i n p i e c e s from h i s p r e c i p i t a n t f a l l , "  ("Night I I I , "  152-153)  i d e n t i f i e s h i s l o s t emanation, E n i o n , as Echo: For  now no more remain'd o f E n i o n i n t h e d i s m a l air, Only a v o i c e e t e r n a l w a l l i n g i n t h e E l e m e n t s . ("Night I I I , "  199-200)  The emanations o f t h e f a l l e n gods a r e , t h e r e f o r e ,  Inter-  changeable as Echo o r t h e shadow o f t h e N a r c i s s u s s t o r y . B l a k e has combined  t h e r e f l e c t i o n o f N a r c i s s u s and t h e Q  f i g u r e o f Echo, t o mean t h e same t h i n g i n h i s a l l u s i o n s . T h i s i n n o v a t i o n e x p l a i n s t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f T h e l as both a r e f l e c t i o n and as someone who i s f a d i n g ..away. N o r t h r o p F r y e , F e a r f u l Symmetry: B l a k e , B o s t o n , 1962, p. 2 S 3 .  Thel i s ,  A Study o f W i l l i a m  - 27  -  - t h e r e f o r e , B l a k e ' s v e r s i o n o f N a r c i s s u s ' shadow, and  can  be c l a s s e d w i t h the female p r i n c i p l e s s e p a r a t e d from U r i zen and Tharma;. : The  Ahania and  Enion.  opening l i n e s o f The Book o f T h e l emphasize  T h e l ' s l a m e n t i n g v o i c e "by the r i v e r Adona" as she  seeks  "the s e c r e t a i r , / To fade away l i k e morning beauty."  Echo,  t o o , l e a v e s N a r c i s s u s and fades i n t o a mere v o i c e : She gate h i r t o the Moods, h i d h i r head f o r v e r i e shame among the l e a v e s and buddes. And e v e r sence she l y v e s a l o n e i n dennes and h o l low Caves.  And  •• •  Through r e s t l e s s e c a r k e and c a r e H i r bodie pynes t o s k i n n e and bone, and waxeth wonderous b a r e . - (Shakespeare's O v i d , I I I . 4 8 9 - W _ The  shadow of N a r c i s s u s , s i m i l a r l y , g l i d e s away and  shes as he t r i e s t o touch i t .  L i k e Echo who  vani-  l i s t e n s f o r the  v o i c e o f N a r c i s s u s , T h e l a l s o wants t o "hear the v o i c e / Of him t h a t w a l k e t h i n the garden i n the e v e n i n g ( I . 13-14) importance  time."  These a l l u s i o n s t o the N a r c i s s u s myth g a i n i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n t o The Four Zoas.  F r y e i d e n t i f i e s the r i v e r Adona w i t h the f o u r r i v e r s o f the B i b l i c a l Eden, or B l a k e ' s e q u i v a l e n t o f B e u l a h , because o f the e t y m o l o g i c a l c o n n e c t i o n between "the Hebrew 'Eden' and the C l a s s i c a l h o r t u s A d o n i . "  F r y e , F e a r f u l Symmetry, p.  229.  9  This  identifica-  - 28  -  t l o n c l a r i f i e s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the V a l e s o f Har where T h e l d w e l l s .  Har I s the e a r l y concept of B e u l a h  i n the l a t e r P r o p h e c i e s , one o f the f o u r l a n d s o f B l a k e ' s cosmos.  B e u l a h " i s the bed i n which we bury the seed be-  f o r e i t r i s e s a g a i n , and the bed o f s l e e p i n g l o v e i n which new of  human l i f e i s c r e a t e d .  1 0  I t i s the l a n d o f "the Caverns  the Grave & p l a c e s o f Human Seed," ( N i g h t I I I , "  136)  i n t o which U r i z e n and Ahania f a l l a f t e r t h e i r s e p a r a t i o n . Prom here the seed must f a l l  i n t o e x i s t e n c e , as Adam had t o  f a l l from Eden, because "from the e t e r n a l p o i n t o f view i t i s a s t a t e o f repose and o f dormant l i f e . " f o r e , i s l i k e Man  i n The Pour Zoas, who  1 1  Thel, there-  "seeks the caves of  s l e e p / Among the F l o w e r s o f B e u l a h , " ( N i g h t I X , " 625-626) and w a i t s f o r a v i s i t from the Immortal w o r l d : 'the v o i c e / of  him t h a t w a l k e t h i n the garden.'  T h i s v o i c e i s the v o i c e  of  God t a l k i r g t o Adam i n Eden b e f o r e the n e c e s s a r y f a l l .  T h e l , however, wants t o remain i n her garden r a t h e r than participate i n regeneration.  I n the Songs o f E x p e r i e n c e  t h i s "Holy Word" c a l l s t o the " l a p s e d s o u l , " not t o s l e e p , but t o , A r i s e from out the dewy g r a s s ; N i g h t i s worn, And the morn R i s e s from the slumberous mass. (Works, " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " 12-15)  F r y e , , F e a r f u l Symmetry, p. F r y e , p.  232.  229.  - 29 -  T h e l hears t h i s v o i c e as i t i s embodied i n t h e words o f the L i l l y , t h e C l o u d , t?he C l a y and t h e " v o i c e o f sorrow," (IV.  10) but she i s u n w i l l i n g t o e x p e r i e n c e t h e n e c e s s a r y  s y m b o l i c b i r t h , and f l e e s back t o t h e v a l e s o f H a r . The v a l e s o f Har i s t h e d w e l l i n g p l a c e o f Mnetha and h e r c h i l d r e n , Har and Heva, i n t h e unengraved poem, Tiriel•  The u n e x p l a i n e d "Mne" i n t h e f i r s t l i n e o f The  Book o f T h e l I s p r o b a b l y a d e l i b e r a t e a l l u s i o n t o Mnetha, i d e n t i f y i n g T h e l as one o f h e r d a u g h t e r s .  The word was  not s c r a t c h e d from t h e p l a t e ( P r o p h e t i c W r i t i n g s J I , f o o t note I , p. 271) and i s , i n f a c t , n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e metre o f the l i n e .  The v a l e s o f Har i s t h e p l a c e o f unborn  innocence,  a s t a t e o f death b e f o r e e x i s t e n c e f o r those who remain t h e r e : "Har  i s t h e human S e l f h o o d which, thzomgh men spend most o f  t h e i r time t r y i n g t o e x p r e s s i t , never a c h i e v e s and i s i d e n t i f i e d o n l y as d e a t h .  reality  H a r , u n l i k e Adam, never  outgrows h i s garden but remains t h e r e shut up from t h e w o r l d i n a permanent s t a t e o f n e a r - e x i s t e n c e . " old  1 2  T h e l , l i k e the  T i r i e l , f l e e s back t o t h i s l a n d f o r s a f e t y .  Innocence  here i s f a l s e and equated, not w i t h c h i l d h o o d , but w i t h senility: 30)  Tiriel  " i s an i n n o c e n t o l d man" ( T i r i e l ,  because he I s harmless  without h i s s t a f f .  2. 26-  The imagery  d e s c r i b i n g Har and Heva i n T l r l e l  i d e n t i f i e s t h e "daughters  of Mne Seraphim" as t h e daughters  o f Mnetha:  12 P r y e , F e a r f u l Symmetry, p. 242.  And Har & Heva, l i k e two c h i l d r e n , s a t beneath the Oak. Mnetha, now aged, w a i t e d on them, & brought them food & c l o t h i n g ; But t h e y were as the shadow o f Har & as the y e a r s forgotten. P l a y i n g with flowers & running a f t e r b i r d s they spent the day, And i n the n i g h t l i k e i n f a n t s s l e p t , d e l i g h t Ce\d w i t h i n f a n t dreams. ( T i r i e l , 2. 5-9) T h e l , as one o f these d a u g h t e r s , i s a l s o l i k e a f o r g o t t e n shadow i n the " s e c r e t a i r " ( T h e l , I . 2 ) , who  plays with  flo-  wers, and whose t r a n s i e n c e i s " L i k e dreams o f i n f a n t s . " (Thel, I.  1-0)  The E a r t h , i n a l a t e r stage o f the p r o c e s s o f  r e g a i n i n g Eden, answers the 'Holy Word' w i t h the " E a r t h ' s Answer," i n o r d e r t o escape i t s f a l l e n s t a t e i n the Songs of  Experience: 'Break t h i s heavy c h a i n That does f r e e z e my bones Selfish! vain! E t e r n a l bane!  around.  That f r e e Love w i t h bondage bound.' (Works, 21-25) T h e l , t o o , s h o u l d break from her c h a i n s o f s e l f - l o v e , but remains i n s t e a d , the shadow o f N a r c i s s u s because she i s unable t o e n t e r the c y c l e o f s e l f l e s s n e s s i n the w o r l d o f e x p e r i e n c e . " T h e l ' s M o t t o " i n d i c a t e s the n e c e s s i t y o f a descent the p i t o f e x p e r i e n c e i n o r d e r t o  .obtain "Wisdom" and  "Love":  " 'Thel's M o t t o ' i s a s e r i e s o f q u e s t i o n s which suggest moral n e c e s s i t y o f immersion  Into  the  i n l i f e , b u t , a t the same t i m e ,  the d i s t a s t e f u l n e s s of the immersion.... S i n c e t h e E a g l e does not know what i s In the p i t , one has t o ask the M o l e , and  In o r d e r t o ask him one must go t o the p i t . But  E a g l e i s so much more g l o r i o u s than the Mole t h a t one  the won-  - 31  -  ders why i t i s d e s i r a b l e t o know what i s i n the p l t . " ^ 1  But e x p e r i e n c e i n B l a k e demands s a c r i f i c e , and t h e p r i c e must be p a i d i n o r d e r t o a t t a i n t h e h i g h e r s t a t e . i n " N i g h t I I , " asks t h e c r i t i c a l  Enion,  q u e s t i o n t h a t demands an  answer i n B l a k e ' s mythology: What i s t h e p r i c e o f E x p e r i e n c e ? do men buy i t f o r a song, Or wisdom f o r a dance i n the s t r e e ? No! i t i s bought w i t h t h e p r i c e Of a l l t h a t man h a t h — h i s house, h i s w i f e , h i s children. Wisdom i s s o l d i n : t h e d e s o l a t e market where none come t o buy, And i n the w i t h e r ' d f i e l d where t h e farmer plows f o r bread i n v a i n . (605-609) T h i s i s t h e p r i c e t h a t T h e l i s asked t o pay, but r e f u s e s . The L i l l y o f t h e v a l l e y , the symbol o f t h e r e s u r r e c ted  C h r i s t , g i v e s T h e l the f i r s t  l e s s o n on how she must  descend i n t o the p i t . The v o i c e t h a t the L i l l y hears i s not the v o i c e o f God i n the garden, but the v o i c e o f C h r i s t i n Matthew 6 : 2 8 - 3 1 , who promises c i p l e s I f they w i l l  t o c l o t h e and f e e d h i s d i s -  "take no t h o u g h t " f o r t h e m s e l v e s .  The  v i r g i n i t y o f the L i l i y i s s p o i l t by the lamb, t h e cow and the " f i r e - b r e a t h i n g s t e e d , " ( I . 35) but u n l i k e T h e l ' s  vir-  g i n i t y i t i s productive. A f t e r l e a r n i n g t h a t she must d i s s o c i a t e h e r s e l f  from  the L i l l y , T h e l must l e a r n next t h a t she I s not " l i k e a  ~> E.D. H i r s c h , J r . , Innocence and E x p e r i e n c e : An In — t r o d u c t i o n t o B l a k e , New Haven, 1954 ™ p p . 305-3O6. x  - 32  wat'ry bow, must f i r s t  -  and l i k e a p a r t i n g c l o u d . " ( I . 8)  The  Cloud  i n f o r m T h e l t h a t i t s "steeds d r i n k of the g o l ( I I . 7-8)  den s p r i n g s / Where Luvah doth renew h i s h o r s e s . " T h i s f a c t does not a p p l y t o T h e l , who  t h i n k s o f the Cloud  o n l y as v a n i s h i n g from i t s " p e a r l y t h r o n e . " ( I . 37)  She  does not want t o l e a v e her throne any more than she wants to  change from an e a g l e t o a mole.  tamed the s t e e d , so now of  Luvah.  But as the  Lilly  the Cloud d r i n k s w i t h the horses  T h e l does n e i t h e r .  Luvah, i n the l a t e r poems,  w i l l " r e p r e s e n t the s e x u a l a s p e c t o f e x i s t e n c e , " c a l l e d " G e n e r a t i o n " * the w o r l d t o which T h e l must descend 11  in or-  der t o be born so t h a t she can reascend i n t o the t r u e Eden. The Cloud s y m b o l i z e s the s t a t e o f G e n e r a t i o n .  Unlike  T h e l i t passes away " t o t e n f o l d l i f e " by descending t o the " s h i n i n g t e n t " o f G e n e r a t i o n and by wedding "the f a i r ' e y e d dew"  i n o r d e r t o reascend t o a h i g h e r i n n o c e n c e ,  "link'd  i n a g o l d e n band and never p a r t , / But walk u n i t e d , b e a r i n g food t o a l l our t e n d e r f l o w e r s . " ( I I . 11-16) t h e Cloud a l s o ascends unity. dew  The  L i k e the  Lilly,  t o an e t e r n a l s t a t e o f Innocence  l o s s o f i d e n t i t y o f the Cloud and the  and  virgin  w i t h i n each o t h e r s y m b o l i z e s B l a k e ' s concept o f i d e a l  unity. When Luvah and U r i z e n f a l l i n "Night I I I , "  F r y e , F e a r f u l Symmetry, p.  235.  they a r e  - 33 -  s e p a r a t e d from t h e i r female c o u n t e r p a r t s which a r e a c t u a l l y a p a r t o f themselves Once Ahania  i n t h e e t e r n a l and u n f a l l e n s t a t e .  i s s e p a r a t e d from U r i z e n she becomes a shadow  i n t h e same way t h a t T h e l i s a shadow.  I n B l a k e ' s Eden  the whole human w o r l d e x i s t s i n "the shape o f a s i n g l e i n f i n i t e human body," t h e " p e r f e c t Man." ^ 1  The f o u r e t e r n a l  a r c h e t y p e s , U r t h o n a , Luvah, U r i z e n and Tharmas, e x i s t In p e r f e c t harmony as t h i s body, A l b i o n .  However, when any,  "one o f t h e e t e r n a l f a m i l y usurps f o r h i m s e l f t h e r o l e o f e t e r n a l man," ^ t h e S p e c t r e o f t h a t E t e r n a l i s formed, s e 1  p a r a t i n g I t s e l f from i t s Emanation.  When Tharmas f a l l s  i n " N i g h t I , " he becomes a S p e c t r e who c o m p l a i n s , " L o s t ! L o s t ! L o s t ! a r e my Emanations!" (19) The " S p e c t r e i s a 'ravening devouring l u s t , ' l o o k i n g outside himself f o r g r a t i f i c a t i o n , " and h i s former Emanation i s " e v e r y t h i n g he can l o v e " as p a r t o f h i m s e l f .  1 7  When man worships Luvah as a  s e p a r a t e p r i n c i p l e o f h i m s e l f and c a l l s him L o r d , Luvah becomes t h e S p e c t r e s e p a r a t e d from h i s Emanation, V a l a .  The  Cloud and t h e dew who a r e ' l i n k ' d i n a golden band and never p a r t , ' exemplify the u n i f i e d e x i s t e n c e of the e t e r n a l a r c h e t y p e s , whereas T h e l i s s t i l l  the separated  virgin  Prye, " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , p . x x x v i i . Robert P. G l e c k n e r , " B l a k e ' s R e l i g i o n o f I m a g i n a t i o n , " JAAC, XIV (September 1955)* P. 3 6 0 . 17 P r y e , p. x x v i .  - 34  dew,  the l o s t Emanation,  who  -  (11.22)  remains " w i t h o u t a use."  T h e l i s l i k e Echo because she remains an u n f u l f i l l e d f a d i n g t o a mere v o i c e , and l i k e N a r c i s s u s  1  virgin,  shadow because her  e x i s t e n c e i s a c t u a l l y a s t a t e o f n o n - e x i s t e n c e and s t e r i l i t y i n terms o f B l a k e ' s c a t e g o r i e s . I n The M a r r i a g e o f Heaven and Hell,  s e l f h o o d as found i n T h e l i s r e p r e s e n t e d by the "Devou-  rer,"  whereas s e l f l e s s n e s s i s the " P r o l i f i c . "  The  union of  t h e s e p r i n c i p l e s i s n e c e s s a r y i n o r d e r t o " r e i n s t i t u t e the c o n d i t i o n s o f unconscious s e l f h o o d which preceded U r i z e n ' s r e volt."  1 8  The C l o d o f C l a y , l i k e the C l o u d , i s a l s o bound i n "nupbands," (111.14)  tial  and l i k e the L i l l y and the Cloud i t  t o o has l e a r n e d t h a t "we  l i v e not f o r o u r s e l v e s . " ( I I I .  10)  As the L i l l y has been promised the " e t e r n a l v a l e s , " ( I . 25) and the Cloud has been promised e t e r n a l u n i o n , so C h r i s t o f 19 R e v e l a t i o n s 2:10  has promised t o g i v e the C l a y "a crown  7  t h a t none can t a k e away."  (Thel, III.16)  w i t h o u t a promise, but the matron C l a y now e n t e r her house,  to  and Dante 1 0  of  19  the as  remains  i n v i t e s her t o  and promises t h a t " t i s g i v e n thee t o e n t e r /  And t o r e t u r n . " ( I I I . 23-29) given  Only T h e l  epic an  hero  invitation  T h i s promise such to  as  is  Homer,  share  the  traditionally Aeneas, s e c r e t s o f the  G l e c k n e r , " B l a k e ' s R e l i g i o n of the I m a g i n a t i o n , " p.365. "be thou f a i t h f u l unto d e a t h , and I w i l l g i v e thee a crown life."  - 35  underworld.  -  In C h r i s t i a n mythology C h r i s t , t o o , descends  t o and r e t u r n s from Hades, and i n t h i s c o n t e x t T h e l i s b e i n g i n v i t e d t o become C h r i s t .  Por B l a k e , C h r i s t i s the 20  e t e r n a l e s s e n c e , and the i d e a l oneness when he e n t e r s Eden.  which man  becomes  T h e l i s , t h e r e f o r e , asked t o des-  cend i n t o the grave i n o r d e r t o be a b l e t o reascend  into  Eden. The  source f o r the n o r t h e r n gates has been i d e n t i f i e d ,  both as "one  o f the few genuine and i n d i s p u t a b l e borrowings  on B l a k e ' s p a r t from N e o p l a t o n i c t r a d i t i o n , "  2 1  and as the  d i s c u s s i o n o f the e n t r a n c e s t o J e r u s a l e m i n E z e k i e l I n h i s a l l e g o r y on U l y s s e s ' descent  46:9. £:; 2  i n t o the Cave o f the  Nymphs, P o r p h y r y s t a t e s t h a t t h i s cave i s " f u l l o f a n c i e n t wisdom," and s i g n i f i e s "the descent o f the s o u l I n t o sublunary r e g i o n s . "  2 3  The  Odyssey e x p l a i n s t h a t the Cave o f  t h e Nymphs "has two d o o r s ; one t u r n e d t o the n o r t h , by m o r t a l men  may  descend; one on the s o u t h , meant r a t h e r f o r  gods, by which men 2 0  which  do not e n t e r , but t h i s i s the road o f  G l e c k n e r , " B l a k e ' s R e l i g i o n o f I m a g i n a t i o n , " p.  360.  21 Bloom, B l a k e ' s A p o c a l y p s e , p. 6 0 . G l e c k n e r , " B l a k e ' s Theland the B i b l e , " BNYPL,LXIV ( I 9 6 0 ) , pp. 579-580. 2 2  Thomas T a y l o r , t r a n s . , "On the Cave o f the-Nymphs," S e l e c t Works o f P o r p h y r y , London, 1823, pp. 174-175. 2 3  - 36 -  the  immortals The  two  Neoplatonic  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h i s cave with i t s  gates e x p l a i n s i t as a place o f g e n e r a t i o n f o r s o u l s : The n o r t h e r n p a r t s , l i k e w i s e , p e r t a i n t o s o u l s descending i n t o g e n e r a t i o n . And the gates o f the cavern which are turned t o the n o r t h , are r i g h t l y s a i d t o be pervious t o the descent o f men; but the southern gates a r e not the avenues ofpthe Gods, but o f s o u l s ascending t o the Gods.  Both Blake and Porphyry generation.  t h i n k o f t h i s cave as a place o f  T h e l , l i k e U l y s s e s o f the N e o p l a t o n i c  allegori  z a t i o n , i s g i v e n the o p p o r t u n i t y o f being born t o immort a l i t y by p a s s i n g through  t h i s cave.  does not s p e c i f y who can go through  The verse i n E z e k i e l the n o r t h and the south  g a t e s , but i t emphasizes t h a t those who e n t e r by one gate must e x i t by the o t h e r : he t h a t e n t e r e t h i n by the way o f the n o r t h gate to worship s h a l l go out by the way o f the south gate; and he t h a t e n t e r e t h by the way o f the south gate s h a l l go f o r t h by the way o f the n o r t h gate: he s h a l l not r e t u r n by the way o f the gate whereby he came i n , but s h a l l go f o r t h over a g a i n s t i t . (46:9) The V i r g i n , r e f u s e s g e n e r a t i o n when she f l e e s back the same way by which she came. The  l a n d t h a t T h e l e n t e r s , however, i s f i l l e d  "Dolours & l a m e n t a t i o n s . "  1937, 2  5  with  ( I V , 7) N e i t h e r the Cave of the  Homer, The Odyssey, trans.1. W.H.D. Rouse, New York, P. 140. T a y l o r , S e l e c t Works o f Porphyry,  pp. 1 8 6 - 1 8 9 .  - 37 -  Nymphs nor J e r u s a l e m "eternal gates unidentified. gil's  1  i s d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s way.  t e r r i f i c p o r t e r " ( I V . 1) But A e n e a s  1  v i s i t t o the underworld  e p i c seems t o have some a f f i n i t y  the  seems t o remain in Vir-  with Thel's  The S i b y l suggests t h a t P l u t o , the k i n g of the or  And  descent.  underworld,  p o s s i b l y C e r b e r u s , i s the p o r t e r of the g a t e t  "every  26 n i g h t and e v e r y day b l a c k P l u t o ' s door s t a n d s wide open." She a l s o t e l l s him, as the C l a y t e l l s T h e l , t h a t he has been g i v e n the p r i v i l e g e of both e n t e r i n g and r e t u r n i n g . The  sor-  rows t h a t meet T h e l as soon as she e n t e r s the g a t e , a l s o meet Aeneas:  "In f r o n t of the v e r y E n t r a n c e H a l l , i n the v e r y  Jaws of Hades, G r i e f and R e s e n t f u l Care have l a i d  their  beds.  Shapes t e r r i b l e of a s p e c t '.have t h e i r d w e l l i n g t h e r e ,  pallid  D i s e a s e s , Old Age  f o r l o r n , P e a r , Hunger, the Coun-  s e l l o r o f E v i l , u g l y P o v e r t y , Death, and P a i n . " sees the "couches o f the dead." ( I V . 3)  2 7  Thel, too,  T h e l ' s descent i s ,  t h e r e f o r e , a p o t e n t i a l N e o p l a t o n i c r e b i r t h and an o p p o r t u n i t y to:.enter i n t o the l a n d of v i s i o n . B l a k e d i v i d e s h i s cosmos i n t o the f o u r - f o l d  division  23  of U l r o , G e n e r a t i o n , Beulah and Eden. 26  V i r g i l The A e n e i d , I 9 6 0 , V I . 123-154. 2 7  28  W.P.  U l r o i s the l o w e s t  Jackson K n i g h t , t r a n s . , London,  V i r g i l The A e n e i d , V I . 255-287. G l e c k n e r , " B l a k e ' s R e l i g i o n o f the I m a g i n a t i o n , " p.  364.  - 38 -  l e v e l o f death and Non E n t i t y :  t h e p l a c e t o which t h e  seed must descend i n o r d e r t o r i s e i n t o Eden.  The O v i d i a n  and Dantean metamorphoses o f " e v e r y h e a r t on e a r t h "  (Thel,  IV. 4 ) i n t o a t r e e p i c t u r e : : i t as i n f i x i n g "deep I t s r e s t l e s s t w i s t s " i n t o t h i s l a n d o f t h e dead. I n t h e d i a l o g u e between t h e S p e c t r e o f Urthona and the Shadow o f E n i t h a r m o n , t h e Shadow e x p l a i n s how U r i z e n f e l l from t h e " p l a i n s o f B e u l a h . " ( N i g h t V I I , " 2 4 9 )  When  t h i s happened Enitharmon was wrapped up i n f o r g e t f u l n e s s " i n t h e Cavern d a r k , e n s l a v ' d t o ..vegetative forms." V I I , " '260)  ("Night  I n The Book o f T h e l , T h e l meets t h e s e v e g e t a t i v e  forms i n t h e g r a v e .  This i s the land of U l r o , the place  o f d i v i s i o n and t h e source o f a new u n i o n : t h i s d e l i g h t f u l Tree I s g i v e n us f o r a S h e l t e r from t h e tempests o f Void & S o l i d , T i l l once a g a i n t h e morn o f ages s h a l l renew u s , To r e u n i t e i n those m i l d f i e l d s o f happy E t e r nity Where thou:' & I i n u n d i v i d e d Essence walk'd about Imbodled, thou my garden o f D e l i g h t & I t h e s p i r i t i n t h e garden. ("Night V:II," 265-270) The e x i s t e n c e o f U l r o i s a r e s u l t o f a d i v i s i o n i n t h e " U n i v e r s a l Manhood" i n t o S p e c t r e and Shadow: One dread m o r n — Listen, 0 vision of delight! — The manhood was d i v i d e d ;  One dread morn o f goary b l o o d .  O " N i g h t V I I , " 275-277) r  The S p e c t r e o f Urthona i s now "a r a v e n i n g d e v o u r i n g l u s t , c o n t i n u a l l y / C r a v i n g and d e v o u r i n g , " ("Night V I I , " 301-302) and cannot pass back i n t o "the Gates o f E t e r n a l l i f e "  ("Night  - 39  V I I , " 305)  -  u n t i l t h i s d i v i s i o n i s destroyed, Consummating by p a i n s & l a b o u r s That m o r t a l body, & by S e l f a n n i h i l a t i o n back returning To L i f e E t e r n a l .  ("Night V I I , " 339-341.T  1  T h i s c h a l l e n g e t o go through the 'pains and l a b o u r s ' o f r e u n i o n f a c e s T h e l as she encounters "grave p l o t . " (IV.9)  Her f e a r i s the f e a r o f p a y i n g the  'price of E x p e r i e n c e , Har t o remain  her own S p e c t r e i n her  1  and she f l e e s back t o the v a l e s of  the f a d i n g v i r g i n Echo and the shadow of  Narcissus. The  q u e s t i o n s from t h e h o l l o w p i t are those o f expe-  r i e n c e , i n c o n t r a s t t o T h e l ' s q u e s t i o n s of innocence i n Part I .  Her f e a r i s the f e a r of f a l s e innocence  because  t h e t h r e a t o f d e s t r u c t i o n i s the means towards l i f e r a t h e r than d e a t h . 831)  Urthona  born Man"  ("Night  IX,"  asks: 'How How  The  w i t h i n the "New  i s i t we have walk'd t h r o ' f i r e s , & y e t a r e not consum'd? i s i t t h a t a l l t h i n g s a r e chang'd, even as i n a n c i e n t t i m e ? ' ("Night I X , " 842-843)  p r i c e i s the p r i c e o f s e l f h o o d .  Man  must become i n f i n i t e  i n o r d e r t o become e t e r n a l . The Book o f T h e l i s B l a k e ' s e a r l y e x p l o r a t i o n o f the problem  o f s e l f i s h n e s s , the u l t i m a t e s i n In h i s mythology.  He employs the N a r c i s s u s s t o r y as a v e h i c l e ~ f o r h i s p o e t i c v i s i o n by combining  the r o l e s o f Echo and the shadow o f  N a r c i s s u s t o r e p r e s e n t the ephemeral and  i l l u s o r y nature.  - 40 -  of s e l f h o o d .  He f u l l y e x p l o r e s the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f t h i s  theme i n The Pour Zoas where s e l f h o o d i s d e s t r o y e d by an a p o c a l y p t i c union u s h e r i n g man  i n t o an Innocence t h a t i s  g a i n e d a f t e r the s e l f i s l o s t i n e x p e r i e n c e .  In The  o f T h e l , however, T h e l i s unable t o pass t o " t e n f o l d  Book life*  w i t h the Cloud and t h e r e f o r e remains a "weeping v i r g i n b e f o r e the r i s e n  sun."  .1  CHAPTER I I SHELLEY'S ALASTOR: The  use o f t h e N a r c i s s u s myth i n A l a s t o r ,  most c r i t i c a l l y d i s p u t e d not  THE CONTROVERSIAL NARCISSUS  poem, has been conceded, but has  been i n t e r p r e t e d as t h e o r g a n i z i n g  principle  poem's u n i t y o f s t r u c t u r e , imagery and theme. son  Shelley's  f o r the  J a y Macpber-  has c a l l e d t h i s poem " t h e most N a r c i s s u s - r i d d e n  in English," these terms.  1  poem,  and has i n t e r p r e t e d some o f t h e imagery i n C o n t r a r y t o those c r i t i c s who see t h e Poet as  a positive hero,  2  M i s s Macpherson c l e a r l y r e c o g n i z e s  h i s s e a r c h i s " d e l u s i v e and s e l f - d e v o u r i n g "  that  because he i s  unable " t o r e c o g n i z e i n the v i s i o n a r y maiden h i s own c r e a tion."  3  Jones f i n d s a s e r i o u s and  l a t e r parts  inconsistency  o f t h e poem.  between t h e e a r l y  According t o h i s view, A l a s t o r  b e g i n s w i t h t h e purpose o f i l l u s t r a t i n g t h e f a t a l consequences  of l i v i n g a self-centered  l i f e , but then abandons t h i s pur-  pose and ends w i t h u n q u a l i f i e d p r a i s e o f t h e Poet "as t h e  J a y Macpherson, " N a r c i s s u s r Some U n c e r t a i n R e f l e c t i o n s , " A l p h a b e t , Number 1 (i960), p.46. 1  2  W i l l i a m H. H i l d e b r a n d , A Study o f A l a s t o r , K e n t , Ohio,  1954.  Macpherson, " N a r c i s s u s : Some U n c e r t a i n R e f l e c t i o n s : o r Prom * L y c I d a s ' t o Donovan's B r a i n , " A l p h a b e t , Number 2 (1961), p.63. 3  - 42 -  highest  conceivable  type."  that Shelley deviates  G i b s o n a t t a c k s Jones' c r i t i c i s m  from t h e purpose s t a t e d i n t h e " P r e f a c e "  i n t h e l a s t h a l f o f t h e poem, and f i n d s i n s t e a d a complete u n i t y o f thought t h r o u g h o u t , c o n s i s t e n t w i t h S h e l l e y ' s purpose.5  stated  He a r g u e s , however, t h a t t h e poem i s n o t s t r u c t u -  r a l l y u n i f i e d because S h e l l e y changes h i s method from n a r r a t i v e t o a l l e g o r y a t t h e p o i n t where t h e Poet embarks onto the sea i n t h e " l i t t l e s h a l l o p . " ( 2 9 9 )  6  Neither  Interpretation i s  c o m p l e t e l y s a t i s f y i n g , f o r A l a s t o r possesses a d e f i n i t e s t r u c t u r a l u n i t y s u p p o r t e d by t h e u n i f y i n g theme and imagery o f t h e Narcissus The  myth. j o u r n e y o f t h e P o e t , which begins w i t h l e a v i n g t h e  " a l i e n a t e d home" ( A l a s t o r , 76) and ends w i t h d e a t h , I s t h e b a s i s f o r t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e poem. and  Shelley's  invocation  p r o l o g u e (1-66) and t h e c l o s i n g lament (672-720) t h e -  m a t i c a l l y introduce  and summarize t h i s j o u r n e y .  The s t r u c -  ture of the s t o r y i s divided i n t o halves of a continuing cyc l e w i t h c l o s e u n i f y i n g p a r a l l e l s a t t h e p o i n t where t h e Poet goes t o s e a r c h f o r h i s v i s i o n . (222-223) The  P o e t ' s e n t i r e t r a v e l s , both b e f o r e and a f t e r t h e  F r e d e r i c k L. J o n e s , "The I n c o n s i s t e n c y t o r . " ELH. 13 ( 1 9 4 6 ) , p. 2^1.  of Shelley's  E.K. G i b s o n , " A l a s t o r ^ A R e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " p. 1022. " 5  Gibson, "Alastor:  Alas-  PMLA, 62 ( 1 9 4 7 ) ,  A R e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " p. 1036.  - 43  -  v i s i o n , take p l a c e i n the g e o g r a p h i c a l landscape o f c i t i e s , s e a , r i v e r s and mountains.  O'Malley's  argument t h a t the  hero's " t r a v e l s o b v i o u s l y were amid s p i r i t u a l l a n d s c a p e s , not t o any g e o g r a p h i c a l Thebes or C a s h m i r e " The  7  i s only p a r t l y true.  Poet does, i n t r u e Romantic f a s h i o n , r e c o g n i z e the ima-  g i n a t i v e v a l u e of the s c e n e r y , but the source o f the image i s always  i n real nature: •0 stream! Whose source i s i n a c c e s s i b l y p r o f o u n d , Whither do t h y m y s t e r i o u s waters tend? Thou imagest my l i f e . ( A l a s t o r , 502-505) 1  A l t h o u g h n a t u r e becomes animated  and m y s t e r i o u s d u r i n g the  boat t r i p , the P o e t , n e v e r t h e l e s s , does not l e a v e the p h y s i c a l world f o r a purely s p i r i t u a l realm.  These concepts  are  two a s p e c t s o f the same r e a l i t y i n S h e l l e y ' s m e t a p h y s i c s , and t h e r e f o r e i n d i v i s i b l e .  As S h e l l e y f e l t i n h i s a s c e n t  t o Mont B l a n c , t h a t i t "was  a l i v i n g b e i n g & t h a t the  f r o z e n blood f o r e v e r c i r c u l a t e d s l o w l y t h r o g X  veins,"  1  h i s stony  so a l s o the Poet e x p e r i e n c e s the l i f e o f the  r i v e r s and mountains.  The Poet i s , t h e r e f o r e , g o i n g on a  s i n g l e j o u r n e y , e x p e r i e n c i n g the landscape both and  objectively  subjectively. The  u n i t y o f t h i s s t r u c t u r e encompasses a s i n g l e theme:  Glenn O'Malley, S h e l l e y and S y n e s t h e s i a , E v a n s t o n , n o i s , 1964, p. 52. 7  Illi-  The L e t t e r s of P e r c y Bysshe S h e l l e y , ed. F r e d e r i c k L. J o n e s , O x f o r d , 19b*i, I , p. 500. Hereafter cited Internally as L e t t e r s I or I I .  - 44 -  the d e l u s i v e search f o r t r u t h .  T h i s theme i s u n i f i e d be-  cause t h e s e a r c h a f t e r t h e Poet l e a v e s home i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same as t h e s e a r c h a f t e r t h e v i s i o n a p p e a r s .  The P o e t ,  u n l i k e S h e l l e y , does n o t r e a l i z e t h a t t h e r e i s no d i v i s i o n between h i s o b j e c t i v e and s u b j e c t i v e w o r l d s .  The v i s i o n  t h a t he seeks has no r e a l i t y except as i t i s embodied i n t h e A r a b maiden, t h e p e a s a n t s , and t h e n a t u r a l s c e n e r y .  9  The  s p i r i t u a l essence, according, t o S h e l l e y , i s inseparable  from  the p h y s i c a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n s : When we speak o f t h e s o u l o f man, we mean t h a t unknown cause which produces t h e o b s e r v a b l e e f f e c t e v i n c e d by h i s i n t e l l i g e n c e & b o d i l y animat i o n which a r e i n t h e i r n a t u r e c o n j o i n e d , and as we suppose, as we o b s e r v e , i n s e p a r a b l e . ( L e t t e r s I , p. 100) The Poet i s t h e N a r c i s s u s  f i g u r e who i s m i s d i r e c t e d  into  s e a r c h i n g f o r t h e shadow o f t r u t h , and t h e r e f o r e doomed t o failure. and  The c o n s i s t e n t imagery o f t h e m i r r o r , t h e shadow  t h e e y e s , a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e quest f o r t h e v i s i o n ,  t i f i e s i t as t h e r e f l e c t i o n i n t h e f a t a l N a r c i s s u s S h e l l e y ' s " P r e f a c e " t o A l a s t o r supports tation.  iden-  pool.  this interpre-  The " B e i n g " t h e y o u t h "images t o h i m s e l f . . . u n i t e s  a l l of wonderful,  o r w i s e , o r b e a u t i f u l , which t h e poet, t h e  philosopher, or the l o v e r could d e p i c t u r e . " (p.l4) image i s t h e " s o u l w i t h i n our s o u l " t h a t S h e l l e y  C E . P u l o s , The Deep T r u t h : c i s m , L i n c o l n , 1954, p.81.  This  discusses  A Study o f S h e l l e y ' s S c e p t i -  - 45  i n the e s s a y ,  "Oh  -  Love":  We d i m l y see w i t h i n our i n t e l l e c t u a l n a t u r e a m i n i a t u r e as i t were of our e n t i r e s e l f , y e t d e p r i v e d of a l l t h a t we condemn or d e s p i s e , the i d e a l p r o t o t y p e of e v e r y t h i n g e x c e l l e n t or l o v e l y t h a t we are c a pable of c o n c e i v i n g as b e l o n g i n g t o the n a t u r e of man. T h i s " m i r r o r whose s u r f a c e r e f l e c t s o n l y the forms of r i t y and  brightness,"  i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o the  1 0  myth by M i s s Macpherson.  She  pu-  Narcissus  f i n d s t h a t the "De I n e r e d i b i -  l i b u s , " the f i r s t d o c t r i n e e x p l a i n i n g the N a r c i s s u s myth, i n t e r p r e t s the water i n which N a r c i s s u s i s drowned as " 'stream of n a t u r e and  the p h y s i c a l body'," and  t i o n w i t h which he f e l l  i n l o v e as " 'the f a i n t e s t  t i o n of h i s t r u e s o u l ' . "  1 1  According  the  the reflec-  reflec-  t o h e r , t h e r e were  two d i v e r g e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f the m i r r o r - s y m b o l i s m : Renaissance considered  the  the m i r r o r Image t o be f a r i n f e r i o r t o  the o r i g i n a l , but the Romantics tended t o suggest t h a t i t was  more b e a u t i f u l than the r e a l i t y .  Treting Narcissus,  w r i t t e n i n 1560,  'The  F a b l e Of Quid  however, a l r e a d y  p r e t s the w e l l as r e f l e c t i n g o n l y what i s  inter-  praiseworthy:  W i t h i n t h i s w e l l no f a u t e s he euer s p i e s Whereby him s e l f e he anye waye might s p i t e But as eche f a c e a p p e a r i t h e , f a y r e & quyte  1 0  and 1 1  '  P e r c y Bysshe S h e l l e y , "On Love," E n g l i s h Romantic P o e t r y P r o s e , ed. R u s s e l l Noyes, New Y o r k , 195b, p. 1093. Number 1, p.  44.  Macpherson, " N a r c i s s u s , " A l p h a b e t , Number 1, p,  46.  Macpherson, " N a r c i s s u s , " A l p h a b e t ,  - 46 -  Thougheitt be f o u l e w i t h i n t h e f l a t r i n g e g l a s .„ T h i s l y i n g e l a k e , sbewes: euerye g y f t e t o passe. J  S h e l l e y i s , t h e r e f o r e , working w i t h a t r a d i t i o n a l  interpreta-  t i o n o f t h e r e f l e c t i o n as b e i n g more b e a u t i f u l than t h e o r i g i nal.  A t t h e same t i m e , he i s a l s o borrowing  i n "De I n c r e d i b i l i b u s . "  T h i s combination  the explanation  produces t h e ' s o u l  w i t h i n our s o u l ' as p u r i f i e d r e f l e c t i o n o f the t o t a l man. The  second paragraph o f the " P r e f a c e " e x p l a i n s S h e l l e y ' s  a t t i t u d e towards t h e Poet. i n the t h i r d sentence * 11  Poet as a l u m i n a r y .  Hildebrand's  reading of the "but"  over-emphasizes S h e l l e y ' s p r a i s e o f t h e  The p r o t a g o n i s t o f t h e poem i s one o f the  " l u m i n a r i e s o f the w o r l d " under t h e dominion o f the Power, as d i s t i n g u i s h e d from t h e "meaner s p i r i t s dominion." irresistible  t h a t dare t o a b j u r e i t s  He i s n e v e r t h e l e s s "avenged by t h e f u r i e s o f an p a s s i o n p u r s u i n g him t o speedy r u i n " as a p u n i s h -  ment f o r h i s " s e l f - c e n t e r e d s e c l u s i o n . "  'The f u r i e s '  literally  r e f e r s t o t h e Poet's u n c o n t r o l l e d e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n t o h i s f r u s t r a t e d s e a r c h , but i t a l s o embodies t h e m y t h o l o g i c a l concept o f Nemesis, as e x p l a i n e d i n Sandys' comments, who Narcissus f o r h i s s e l f - l o v e .  punishes'  The Power, or " s p i r i t o f sweet hu-  man l o v e " (203) sends the Poet t h e v i s i o n t h a t d i s t i n g u i s h e s him from those who a r e " m o r a l l y dead."  The Poet m i s d i r e c t s h i s s e a r c h  when he i s o l a t e s h i m s e l f from human sympathy I n s t e a d o f d e d l c a -  3 ''The F a b l e Of Ouid T r e t i n g N a r c i s s u s / p. 158: x  1  14 H i l d e b r a n d , A Study o f A l a s t o r , p. 2 8 .  ed. B u c k l e y e ,  -  ting  47 -  h i s i n s i g h t t o the s e r v i c e  o f humanity.  Shelley's  p a t h y a t t h e end o f t h e poem does n o t c o n t r a d i c t cism  o f the Poet's  ses  'self-centered  h i s sorrow t h a t  than the r e s t should error.  Shelley  his c r i t i -  s e c l u s i o n * ' but r a t h e r  one who, l i k e  Narcissus,  h i s idealism  expres-  i s more b e a u t i f u l  p e r i s h b e c a u s e he I s d e l u d e d  distinguishes  sym-  by a g e n e r o u s  from t h e P o e t ' s :  I am u n d e c ( e ) i v e d i n t h e b e l i e f t h a t I have powers d e e p l y t o i n t e r e s t , o r s u b s t a n t i a l l y t o i m p r o v e , mankind ... I.am an o u t c a s t f r o m human s o c i e t y ; my name i s e x e c r a t e d by a l l who u n d e r stand i t s e n t i r e i m p o r t , — b y those very beings whose h a p p i n e s s I a r d e n t l y d e s i r e . ( L e t t e r s I,p.517) He does n o t b e l i e v e  that  the " i d e a l i s e t e r n a l ,  immutable, 16  and  above t h e m o r t a l i t y  ideal  f o rShelley  o f s p a c e a n d t i m e and d e a t h . "  He does n o t c l a i m  o f an i d e a l a f t e r d e a t h .  the  t o have a n y knowledge  Power, God, Love o r t h e i d e a l a r e  with the u n i v e r s e :  universe  The  i s immutable, but o n l y as i t i s a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h s p a c e and t i m e .  coexistent  J  "the essence o f the universe,  i s t h e e s s e n c e o f i t . " ( L e t t e r s I , p.101)  A l -  t h o u g h he may have a l t e r e d h i s v i e w s when he was o l d e r , he e x plicitly  believed  at this  time t h a t  "God i s a n o t h e r  cation  f o r the Universe."  search  f o r h i s v i s i o n t h r o u g h sympathy f o r h u m a n i t y o r e l s e  be  punished  by t h e c u r s e  ( L e t t e r s I , p.215)  signifi-  that a f f l i c t s  In t h e i n v o c a t i o n , S h e l l e y which t o g e t h e r  5 Hildebrand,  The P o e t must  Narcissus.  develops  the three  form t h e essence o f h i s concept  A Study of A l a s t o r , p . 4 l .  functions  o f t h e human  - 48 -  s o u l , as opposed t o the Poet's u n d e r s t a n d i n g he p i c t u r e s t o h i m s e l f . d e s c r i b e s how  h i s own  of a p h y s i c a l l o v e .  of the Image t h a t  In the f i r s t s e c t i o n (1-17) Shelley-  senses have p e r c e i v e d Nature i n terms He has responded t o the " t i n g l i n g s i -  l e n t n e s s , " " h o l l o w s i g h s , " " w i n t e r r o b i n g w i t h pure snow," "voluptuous Sensual  p a n t i n g s , " and  "sweet k i s s e s " of N a t u r e .  p e r c e p t i o n , t h e r e f o r e , i s the f i r s t f u n c t i o n .  second f o c u s e s  The  on the i n t e l l e c t u a l s e a r c h f o r the "deep mys-  t e r i e s " i n Nature.  The  s i n i s t e r imagery o f the " c h a r n e l s , "  " c o f f i n s , " "black death,"  " l o n e g h o s t , " and  chemist"  t h i s search p o e t i c a l l y ,  (18-41) develops  t h a t i t i s a s e a r c h f o r a f o r b i d d e n and  "desperate a l -  b o l i z i n g the f u n c t i o n o f the h i s e s s a y , "On  what we e x p e r i e n c e  He ends  the w i n d , sym-  imagination.  Love," S h e l l e y i d e n t i f i e s these  f u n c t i o n s as the f u l f i l m e n t o f the human b e i n g . the i m a g i n a t i o n and  suggesting  fatal truth.  the i n v o c a t i o n w i t h the image of the l y r e and  In  (7-12)  The  the senses compose the t o t a l i t y w i t h i n o u r s e l v e s and  a response o u t s i d e o f o u r s e l v e s .  three  reason, of  f o r which we  seek  T h i s t o t a l i t y i s the  nature  o f t h a t "something w i t h i n us which ... more and more t h i r s t s a f t e r i t s l i k e n e s s . " This which we c o n c e n t r a t e  "our  " r e f e r a l l s e n s a t i o n s , " and imagination.  The  'something' i s the m i n i a t u r e i n i n t e l l e c t u a l n a t u r e , " t o which which i s a c t e d upon by  l t : )  the  m i n i a t u r e i s the " m i r r o r whose s u r f a c e r e -  f l e c t s o n l y the forms of p u r i t y and our s o u l . "  brightness: a soul within  S h e l l e y has, t h e r e f o r e , d e s c r i b e d the t h r e e  S h e l l e y , "On  we  Love," p. IO93.  func-  - 49  t i o n s of the s o u l w i t h i n the  -  i n v o c a t i o n o f the poem.  The  P o e t , however, s e a r c h e s f o r t h i s essence i t s e l f r a t h e r for  a human b e i n g who  j u s t as N a r c i s s u s  The  w i l l respond t o t h i s s o u l w i t h i n  wants t o embrace h i s own  respond t o Echo, who  shadow r a t h e r  melancholic l o n e l i n e s s ,  the t r a g e d y o f the Poet's l a c k of response  t o human l o v e .  The  v i r g i n s who  waste away f o r l o v e , and  y o u t h ' s " w i l d e y e s " both echo imagery from the O v i d i a n c i s s u s myth.  1  h i s home f o r the " u n d i s c o v e r e d  " f i e l d s o f snow," "bitumen l a k e s " and  lands."  visiting  "secret caves."  p u r s u i t c u l m i n a t e s i n a bond of k i n s h i p w i t h N a t u r e . H i s "wandering s t e p " proceeds t o the o l d  cities  where he f i n a l l y  perceives  the b i r t h o f t i m e . " (106-128) l o v e o f the Arab maiden, and and  where he f a l l s a s l e e p .  t o him,  1963.  and  This (100-  ruined  the " t h r i l l i n g s e c r e t s  of  On h i s j o u r n e y he r e j e c t s  c o n t i n u e s through A r a b l e ,  the Carmanian waste, f i n a l l y  (147)  Nar-  f i r s t h a l f o f the s t r u c t u r a l c y c l e (67-IO6) b e g i n s  f i r s t pursues "Nature's most s e c r e t s t e p s , "  106)  the  7  when the Poet l e a v e s He  than  i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the s t o r y of the Poet (50-66) e s -  introduces  The  him,  admires h i s beauty.  t a b l i s h e s the mood of s o r r o w i n g and and  than  As  the  Persia  ending i n a " n a t u r a l bower," hie s l e e p s , a v i s i o n comes  when he awakes the w o r l d which p r e v i o u s l y  was  O v i d , The Metamorphoses, t r a n s . Horace G r e g o r y , New H e r e a f t e r c i t e d i n t e r n a l l y as O v i d .  York,  - 50 -  f u l l of ' t h r i l l i n g s e c r e t s ' (128) dark and  "empty scene." (201)  has  been transformed I n t o a  Hope changes t o d e s p a i r .  f i r s t h a l f of the c y c l e ends h e r e , because the w o r l d he has  f e l t " s t r o n g i n s p i r a t i o n " (127)  t u r e has d i s a p p e a r e d , and  he i s now  and  i n a world (225)  i n the i n v o c a t i o n i s r e i n t r o d u c e d  v e l o p e d w i t h i n the s t r u c t u r e of the s e a r c h . t i f i e d as one n u r t u r e d ^imagination],"  (67)  by " v i s i o n , and  and  who  The  Na-  and  de-  Poet i s i d e n -  b r i g h t s i l v e r dream  " f e l t ^ f u n c t i o n s of sense]  knew [ i n t e l l e c t ] " the t r u t h of n a t u r e and  ' s o u l w i t h i n our s o u l ' i n "On  i t p o s s i b l e t o i n t e r p r e t t h i s Poet as one  and  (68-  knowledge.  These are p r e c i s e l y the f u n c t i o n s which S h e l l e y  t i f i e s as the  na-  of f e a r , l e d  theme of the t r i p l e response of the s o u l t o  ture introduced  75)  i n which  k i n s h i p with  on by.the " f i e r c e f i e n d " of h i s p a s s i o n . The  The  iden-  Love," making  of those who  c o g n i z e s t h a t ' s o m e t h i n g ' w h i c h 'more and more t h i r s t s  reaf-  ter i t s likeness.' T h i s theme i s expanded t o i n c l u d e the N a r c i s s u s dency towards s e c l u s i o n from s o c i e t y when the Poet " H i s c o l d f i r e s i d e and  a l i e n a t e d home." (76)  S h e l l e y d e f i n e s l o v e as the s e a r c h type:  tenleaves  In h i s e s s a y ,  f o r the s o u l ' s  "anti-  the meeting w i t h an u n d e r s t a n d i n g c a p a b l e o f c l e a r l y  e s t i m a t i n g our o w n "  S h e l l e y , "On  13  w i t h i n a n o t h e r person.  Love," p. IO93.  Since  this  - 51 -  c e n t r a l idea i s c o m p l e t e l y c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e c e n t r a l i d e a i n t h e " P r e f a c e " t o A l a s t o r , i t may be s a f e l y assumed t h a t t h e g e n e r a l i d e a s i n "On Love" a r e r e l e v a n t f o r an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e poem.  The P o e t , c o n t r a r y t o S h e l l e y s f  i d e a l s , s e a r c h e s f o r t h e f u l f i l m e n t o f h i s d e s i r e s i n Nat u r e , r a t h e r than i n s o c i e t y . S h e l l e y d e v e l o p s t h i s double theme o f t h e Poet's d e s i r e f o r t r u t h and h i s a l i e n a t i o n i n t h r e e p a r t s . ( 7 3 - 2 3 9 )  He  f i n d s some response t o h i s i n n e r l o n g i n g i n h i s f e e l i n g o f k i n s h i p w i t h Nature and h i s f l a s h e s i n t o t h e s e c r e t s o f time.  The imagery o f t h e a n i m a l s e a t i n g from h i s hand p o r -  trays this identification.  The a l i e n a t i o n i s re-emphasized  i n t h e p i c t u r e o f t h e Arab maiden who p i n e s away f o r h i s l o v e . (129-139)  T h i s maiden s y m b o l i z e s t h e a n t i - t y p e which  S h e l l e y mentions i n "On Love," who c o u l d respond t o t h e Poet's r e a s o n , i m a g i n a t i o n and f e e l i n g .  She comes " t o gaze" ( 1 3 5 )  upon t h e Poet i n t h e same way t h a t he " g a z e d / A n d gazed*' ( 1 2 5 1 2 6 ) on t h e a w f u l r u i n s , both o f them s e e k i n g a response f o r the same d e s i r e .  The maiden i s a l s o t h e r e j e c t e d Echo, who p i n e s  away f o r t h e l o v e o f N a r c i s s u s , here t h e P o e t .  The Poet i s  one who, as e x p l a i n e d i n t h e " P r e f a c e , " s e a r c h e s f o r an I d e a l which I s t h e r e f l e c t i o n o f h i s s o u l , but t r i e s t o e x i s t w i t h out human sympathy. H i l d e b r a n d c h a l l e n g e s t h e view t h a t t h e Poet i s punished f o r not r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e Arab maiden because "the Poet d i d "  - 52 -  not y e t know about l o v e i n the p e r s o n a l sense; he had not e x p e r i e n c e d i t y e t and c o u l d not u n t i l he was pared."  This suggestion i s untenable.  1 9  properly pre-  Narcissus, too, i s  o n l y a y o u t h when he r e j e c t s Echo, sometimes s i x t e e n , somet i m e s twenty-one, and y e t the gods must p u n i s h him.  Like  N a r c i s s u s , the Poet does n o t o o n l y r e j e c t the A r a b maiden, the Echo o f the myth, but a l s o o t h e r maidens and youths sigh after  who  him.  S h e l l e y a l r e a d y emphasizes  the Poet's i n d i f f e r e n c e i n  the i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the n a r r a t i v e : S t r a n g e r s have wept t o hear h i s p a s s i o n a t e n o t e s , And v i r g i n s , as unknown he p a s s e d , have p i n e d And wasted f o r fond l o v e o f h i s w i l d e y e s . (61-63) T h i s i s the f i r s t c l e a r r e f e r e n c e t o the N a r c i s s u s s t o r y i n t h e poem.  B o t h heroes a r e t o o i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e i r  b e a u t y t o respond t o t h o s e whom t h e y a t t r a c t .  own  A f t e r the  P o e t ' s v i s i o n , when he i s s u p p o s e d l y ready f o r human l o v e , t h e c o t t a g e r s , m o u n t a i n e e r s , i n f a n t s and maidens show t h e i r d e v o t i o n (254-271),' but he i s s t i l l  unable t o l o v e them.  S h e l l e y e s t a b l i s h e s the O v i d i a n p a t t e r n of d e m o n s t r a t i n g the hero's s e l f " l o v e t h r o u g h h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e t o o t h e r s . The theme of the l a s t two s e c t i o n s of the b e g i n n i n g of t h e Poet's j o u r n e y f u l l y d e v e l o p s the i d e n t i t y of h i s a s p i rations.  The v i s i o n (149-191) i s r e p r e s e n t e d as an  tual ideal:  intellec-  "Knowledge, and t r u t h and v i r t u e were her theme,"  H i l d e b r a n d , A Study of A l a s t o r , p. 23.  (153)  as an I m a g i n a t i v e  raised,"  ideal:  and as a s e n s u a l  "wild  numbers t h e n /  i d e a l . (161-165)  These t h r e e r e -  sponses had a l l been d e s c r i b e d i n the I n v o c a t i o n . sion i s , therefore, poetically the Poet's own  soul'  the Poet m i s t a k e s  his v i s i o n  pair  the ' s o u l w i t h i n our  the a n t i t y p e f o r the  L i k e Nar-  1  prototype:  i s but a shadow of h i m s e l f .  The  f i n a l s e c t i o n ( 1 9 2 - 2 2 2 ) develops the Poet's d e s -  and  his mistake i n i d e n t i f y i n g  t y p e and  the v i s i o n as the  o b j e c t of h i s s e a r c h , r a t h e r than as the  of h i s s o u l . 201)  I t i s unmistakably  of h i s  f o r which the Poet must f i n d an a n t i t y p e .  cissus,  This v i -  i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the essence of  s o u l d e s c r i b e d a t the b e g i n n i n g  (67-75)  journey.  She  H i s "wan  anti-  reflection  e y e s / Gaze on the empty scene,"  but do not f i n d the e a r l i e r i n s p i r a t i o n  cannot s a t i s f y h i s s o u l now  (200-  because Nature  t h a t he has f u l l y e x p e r i e n c e d i t s  20  desire.  L i k e N a r c i s s u s , he m i s t a k e s  t h e o b j e c t of h i s s e a r c h .  The  the r e f l e c t e d  Poet's d e s i r e f o r the  l i k e Narcissus' desire for his r e f l e c t i o n , by m i r r o r images.  soul for vision,  i s emphasized  H i s eyes t h a t gaze on the empty scene  ocean's moon l o o k s on the moon i n heaven," (222)  are  "as  similar  t o N a r c i s s u s ' eyes when he " l a y t o l o o k deep, d e e p e r / I n t o two  s t a r s t h a t were h i s e y e s . " ( O v i d , p. 98)  The  deluding  The c o n n e c t i o n between t h i s statement and the C h r i s t i a n Myth of the P a l l of Man i s o b v i o u s . H i s i n i t i a l wanderings a r e i n a k i n d of Eden, and now t h a t he has eaten the a p p l e , ( v i s i o n ) , he has l o s t P a r a d i s e . dKJ  - 54 -  N a r c i s s u s predicament i s p a r a l l e l e d by S h e l l e y : Does t h e b r i g h t a r c h o f rainbow c l o u d s , Andpendent mountains seen i n t h e calm l a k e , Lead o n l y t o a b l a c k and watery depth? (213-215) S h e l l e y ' s suggestion that the v i s i o n i s a r e t r i b u t i v e a c t o f t h e ' S p i r i t o f sweet human l o v e , " corresponds O v i d i a n source  t o the  i n which Nemesis t r a p s N a r c i s s u s i n answer  t o Echo's c u r s e . The  i d e a l o f t h e v i s i o n embodies t h e Poet's d e s i r e ,  f i r s t m o t i v a t i n g him t o l e a v e h i s home, and i n t h e second h a l f o f t h e c y c l e becoming i t s e l f his  continuing search.  w i t h i n our s o u l  1  The B e i n g he imagines i s t h e ' s o u l  which cannot s a t i s f y i t s e l f ,  the a n t i t y p e i n t h e " c o r r e s p o n d i n g beings." ("Preface," The  the conscious object of  but must f i n d  powers o f o t h e r human  p. 14)  second p a r t o f t h e j o u r n e y c o n t i n u e s , i n many ways  p a r a l l e l t o the f i r s t .  The Poet a g a i n wanders through o l d  r u i n s , P e t r a ' s s t e e p and B a l k , as he had done i n t h e f i r s t j o u r n e y . (106-123)  A g a i n he r e j e c t s human companionship  and t h e maidens* l o v e .  The e n c o u n t e r w i t h t h e swan i s p a r a l -  l e l t o the feeding of the wild animals.  The f l a s h i n g  inspira-  t i o n i n t h e f i r s t p a r t o f t h e j o u r n e y i s now c o n v e r t e d t o a "desperate  hope" t h a t " s l e e p " and "death" c o n t a i n t h e  s e c r e t "shadowy l u r e . " (292-294)  The r i v e r voyage i n t h e  s h a l l o p can be i n t e r p r e t e d as t h e c r o s s i n g I n t o t h e m y s t i c a l w o r l d o f dream, o r as t h e escape i n t o N a t u r e . He  finally  ends i n t h e " s i l e n t nook" (572) where Death o v e r t a k e s him.  -  The  55  -  e x p l a n a t i o n i n the " P r e f a c e " i s now  fulfilled:  "He  seeks  i n v a i n f o r the prototype of h i s c o n c e p t i o n . " (p. 1 4 - 1 5 ) To t h i s s t r u c t u r a l development S h e l l e y adds the theme of the mistaken  search f o r the shadow of the  soul.  i s not pursuing the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of a l l  The  t r u t h and  Poet  identified  beauty, which " i t would be a crime not t o  but r a t h e r the shadow of t h i s  pursue,"  p  truth:  and s i l e n t death exposed, F a i t h l e s s perhaps as s l e e p , a shadowy l u r e , With d o u b t f u l smile mocking i t s own strange charms. (293-295)  The  theme of h i s search among the r u i n e d c i t i e s empha-  s i z e s h i s f e a r and anguish l o v e l y dream." ( 2 3 3 ) pursued:  i n pursuing the "shadow of t h a t  He becomes both the pursuer and  " S t a r t l i n g with c a r e l e s s s t e p s . . . / He  2 3 7 ) because the pursued deep mind." ( 2 9 8 )  He  He The  fled" (236-  Shadow i s a c t u a l l y " i n h i s  i s l i k e N a r c i s s u s i n Ovid's  Himself the worshipped and sought h i m s e l f and  was  the  the  own  account:  worshipper,  pursued.  (Ovid, p. 9 8 )  image of the e a g l e , f a t a l l y b i t t e n by the snake w i t h i n  i t s own  grasp, p a r a l l e l s the Poet, whose own  a deadly snake. ( 3 2 5 ) "green  The  s o u l i s now  depressing d i c t i o n :  "fiend,"  s e r p e n t , " " p o i s o n , " " g l a r e , " " d e s o l a t e , " "tombs,"  "decaying,"  Jones,  "withered  "The  s k i n , " ( 2 2 6 - 2 5 1 ) emphasizes the theme  I n c o n s i s t e n c y of S h e l l e y ' s A l a s t o r , " p. 2 9 5 .  - 56  of  f e a r and  -  death.  When the Poet i g n o r e s the c o t t a g e r s and maidens, the theme of the r e j e c t i o n of. human l o v e as the source f o r r e q u i t i n g desire i s reaffirmed.  The  " g l a r e o f those w i l d e y e s , " ( 2 6 4 )  suggests the d e c e i v e d eyes i n the e a r l i e r s e c t i o n (200) N a r c i s s u s ' eyes. watch  and  The maidens no l o n g e r 'gaze' a t him, but /  him "dim through t e a r s , " (270)  as Echo was doomed t o  watch N a r c i s s u s from a f a r . The swan scene ( 2 7 2 - 2 9 5 ) , s i m i l a r t o the one i n which the Poet f e d the a n i m a l s , f u r t h e r develops the theme o f the l o s s of k i n s h i p with Nature.  The f l e e i n g swan s y m b o l i z e s  Nature's f i n a l r e j e c t i o n of the P o e t .  I r o n i c a l l y t h e swan  f l e e s t o i t s "sweet mate," w h i l e the Poet i s a l i e n a t e d because he has d e l i b e r a t e l y r e j e c t e d a l l such a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h h i s p o s s i b l e mates.  T h i s e x p e r i e n c e l e a v e s him w i t h the  "despe-  r a t e hope" t h a t he w i l l be a b l e t o see i n t o the s e c r e t s o f Death, (290-295) but as h i s f i r s t i n s i g h t , i n t o the s e c r e t s " (128)  ended i n d i s i l l u s i o n ,  "thrilling  so t h i s hope w i l l  result  i n u l t i m a t e death. The s e a r c h now  t a k e s him t o the N a r c i s s u s w e l l where,  yellow flowers For- ever gaze on t h e i r own d r o o p i n g e y e s , R e f l e c t e d i n the c r y s t a l calm. (406-408) The  Poet i s a l i e n a t e d from n a t u r e , l i k e T h e l who  ded as the C l o u d and the Dew,  and  like  no  his  first  beauty  and f l o w e r s ,  in  Nature  after  u n l i k e the P o e t ,  i s not wed-  Endymion  who  finds  vision.  The  trees  are c l o s e l y  u n i t e d i n wedlock,  s y m b o l i z i n g the i d e a l  relationship:  These twine t h e i r t e n d r i l s w i t h t h e wedded boughs U n i t i n g t h e i r c l o s e u n i o n ; t h e woven l e a v e s Make net-work o f t h e dark b l u e l i g h t o f day. (444-446)  The P o e t , however, l i k e t h e s e l f - i s o l a t e d N a r c i s s u s , comes to the l o n e l y  " w e l l " that"Images  a l l t h e woven boughs  above." (457-459) and sees h i s own r e f l e c t i o n : H i t h e r t h e Poet came. H i s eyes beheld T h e i r own wan l i g h t through t h e r e f l e c t e d l i n e s Of h i s t h i n h a i r , d i s t i n c t i n t h e dark depth Of t h a t s t i l l f o u n t a i n ; as the human h e a r t G a z i n g i n dreams over t h e gloomy g r a v e , Sees i t s own t r e a c h e r o u s l i k e n e s s t h e r e . (469-474) The v i s i o n i s now a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h i s shadow. t h i n k s he sees t h e " S p i r i t but,  The Poet  .../ s t a n d b e s i d e him," (479-480)  i n f a c t , t h e r e a r e o n l y "two e y e s , / Two s t a r r y  (439-490)  He i s by now i n t h e c l u t c h e s of h i s ' f u r i e s : which 1  w i l l mock him i n t o f o l l o w i n g  t h e 'shadowy l u r e . '  The Poet's l a s t d e s p e r a t e s e a r c h , (492-671) linked  eyes."  t o h i s wandering  structurally  i n n a t u r e , (81-106) demonstrates t h e  i m p o s s i b i l i t y of f i n d i n g the Narcissus v i s i o n .  He  realizes  t h a t t h e u n i v e r s e can no l o n g e r t e l l him "where these t h o u g h t s r e s i d e . " (512)  living  The imagery c o n s t a n t l y suggests  t h a t he i s p u r s u i n g a r e f l e c t i o n , r a t h e r than an a n t i t y p e . He i s "Obedient t o the l i g h t / That shone w i t h i n h i s s o u l , " (493-494) a c t u a l l y soul"  (311)  the v i s i o n i t s e l f .  he s e a r c h e s f o r "those b e l o v e d eyes," (332)  a l r e a d y i d e n t i f i e d as h i s own. fleeted  " F o l l o w i n g h i s eager  In the cave he sees the re- :-  N a r c i s s u s f l o w e r , whose 'drooping e y e s , / R e f l e c t e d  :  -  i n the c r y s t a l calm.'  The  53  -  l i g h t l e a d s him down the m i r r o r -  l i k e r i v u l e t , t a k i n g him t o the ' s i l e n t nook|' where he sees the "two  l e s s e n i n g p o i n t s o f l i g h t a l o n e , " (654)  suggesting  N a r c i s s u s ' ' s t a r s t h a t were h i s eyes.' In life,  the d e s c r i p t i o n of the l a s t moments o f the  Poet's  (625-671) S h e l l e y once more r e p e a t s the t h r e e f u n c t i o n s  o f the s o u l i n o r d e r t o emphasize the mistaken search.  These f u n c t i o n s fade as the Poet's  r e f l e c t i o n o f the  l i f e expires.  T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s r e m i n i s c e n t o f the b e g i n n i n g o f the growth and t h e r e b y completes the c y c l e of h i s q u e s t .  Poet's  The  Poet  once more "resignTs!] h i s h i g h and h o l y s o u l / To images,"  (628-  629)  communicates w i t h Nature through  the senses?  H i s l e a n hattdupon the rugged t r u n k , " " R e c l i n e t s l  " p l a c e tsl / his l a n -  gued head" "Upon an i v i e d s t o n e " (632-605) and a l l o w s "the stream of thought"  (644)  t o f l o w through  him.  The  cyclical  journey  o f the Poet l i n k s him w i t h the a r c h e t y p a l hero q u e s t ,  ob-  v i o u s l y employed as the u n i f y i n g s t r u c t u r e o f the poem. The  c o n c l u s i o n r e c a l l s the s i n i s t e r themes o f the i n -  v o c a t i o n , and the lament i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n . The  imagery  o f "Medea's wondrous alchemy" and the "dream/ Of dark magic i a n i n h i s v i s i o n e d c a v e , R a k i n g the c i n d e r s of a c r u c i b l e " (672-683) e s t a b l i s h e s a f i r m c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the imagery i n the i n v o c a t i o n of t h e " d e s p e r a t e l i f e on some dark hope." (31-32) suggesting despairs  a l c h e m i s t / Staking h i s very The  repeated  diction  " p o i s o n , " " d e a t h l e s s wrath," " s l a v e , "  " i n c a r n a t e d e a t h , " "decay," (676-685) i m p l i e s t h a t t h i s  death i s n o t a v i c t o r y , but r a t h e r a m y s t e r i o u s l o s s . A f t e r e s t a b l i s h i n g these images, S h e l l e y e x p r e s s e s h i s sympathy f o r t h e P o e t , and h i s p r a i s e f o r h i s h i g h The  spirit.  c a r e f u l choice of d i c t i o n , c o n s i s t e n t with t h a t of the  i n t r o d u c t i o n , emphasizes t h e l o s s and t h e t r a g e d y death,  " F r a i l , " " p a l l i d , " "worm's outrage," "woe," and  " c o l d t r a n q u i l l i t y " .(711-713) do n o t suggest praise.  of h i s  unrestrained  S h e l l e y ' s p r a i s e o f t h e Poet as "The b r a v e , t h e  g e n t l e and t h e b e a u t i f u l , / The c h i l d o f grace and g e n i u s " does not c o n t r a d i c t t h e expressed theme o f t h e poem. admires t h e Poet because he has r e c o g n i z e d  and d e d i c a t e d  h i m s e l f t o those i d e a l s which S h e l l e y c o n s i d e r e d i n "OnLove."  On t h e o t h e r  Shelley  valuable  hand, t h e o r g a n i c use o f t h e  N a r c i s s u s myth w i t h i t s c e n t r a l m o t i f o f d e l u s i o n i s h i s p o e t i c comment on t h e t r a g i c death o f a poet engaged i n a m i s d i r e c t e d search f o r t r u t h .  The wheel o f t h e poem has come f u l l  c i r c l e , f o r m i n g a c o n s i s t e n t s t r u c t u r a l and t h e m a t i c  unity.  CHAPTER I I I KEATS'S ENDYMION;  NARCISSUS METAMORPHOSIZED  K e a t s ' s Endymion i n t r o d u c e s t h e genre o f t h e R e n a i s s a n c e e p y l l i o n i n t o Romantic  poetry.  The Book o f T h e l and A l a s t o r  f o l l o w some o f t h e a r c h e t y p a l p a t t e r n s o f mythology and make s i g n i f i c a n t a l l u s i o n s t o c l a s s i c a l myths, but u n l i k e such poems as Venus and A d o n i s and Hero and Leander, t h e y do not employ these myths as t h e b a s i c source f o r t h e d e v e l o p ment o f t h e p l o t .  Endymion, however, l i k e t h e poems o f  Shakespeare and Marlowe, uses a s p e c i f i c myth f o r I t s main n a r r a t i v e and i n c l u d e s d i g r e s s i o n s t h a t a l l u d e t o o t h e r myths:  Pan, Venus and A d o n i s , A r e t h u s a and A l p h e u s , and  Glaucus.  Keats f o l l o w s Shakespeare's example•of  portraying  A d o n i s as t h e shy N a r c i s s u s o r Hermophraditus, by combining the  s t o r y o f Endymion and C y n t h i a w i t h t h e theme o f Nar-  c i s s u s and Echo.  He had a l r e a d y d i s p l a y e d h i s i n t e r e s t  i n c l a s s i c a l mythology b e f o r e he wrote Endymion i n " I Stood T i p - T o e , " where he l i s t s t h e myths o f Pan, Cupid and Psyche, N a r c i s s u s , and Endymion.  The emphasis  i n t h i s poem i s n o t  on t h e myth i t s e l f , but on t h e p r o c e s s o f t h e c r e a t i o n o f the  myth.  The d e t a i l s o f t h e c l a s s i c a l myth a r e sub-  o r d i n a t e d t o t h e e m o t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e t h a t prompted t h e poet t o c r e a t e a p a r t i c u l a r t a l e .  The s t i m u l u s f o r each  myth i s t h e poet's attempt t o convey an e m o t i o n a l response  - 61 -  t o nature i n concrete terms. who f i r s t  Keats e x p l a i n s that the poet  t o l d the myth of Cupid and Psyche f e l t  when we see such beauty as the "waving  (128)  of the mountain  or "bloomy grapes l a u g h i n g from green  an experience o r i g i n a l l y prompted  as we do pine"  attire."(l36)  Such  the poet t o c r e a t e the myth:  the v o i c e of c r y s t a l bubbles Charms us a t once away from a l l our t r o u b l e s : So that we f e e l u p l i f t e d from the world, Walking upon the white clouds wreath d and c u r l ' d . So f e l t he, who f i r s t t o l d , how Psyche went On the smooth wind t o realms o f wonderment.(137-142) f  These  lines  show t h a t Keats understands the essence o f the  nature of myth as being an.~attempt plainable subjective experience.  to objectify  an unex--  Keats a l s o endorses the  t h e o r y t h a t a myth i s an attempt t o e x p l a i n a c e r t a i n natural  phenomenon.  The " t a l e / Of young N a r c i s s u s , and sad  Echo's b a l e , " (179-180)  i s , t h e r e f o r e , a poet's attempt t o  e x p l a i n the l o n e l y f l o w e r on the bank as w e l l as h i s own emotional  reaction.  T h i s approach t o myth i s developed i n the l a t e r  poem,  Endymion. The poem i s a f u l l e r e x p l o r a t i o n o f the-process of myth making, and the c o n d i t i o n s that a l l o w a poet t o mytholog i z e h i s experience with the beauty of n a t u r e .  In h i s poem,  "To George P e l t o n Mathew," Keats asks why Mathew has never t o l d how A p o l l o changed (85)  him "from a f l o w e r , i n t o a f i s h of g o l d . "  Keats, i n f a c t , wants t o know why Mathew, u n l i k e the  poets i n " I Stood T i p - T o e , " has not been able t o  create  - 62 -  any myths.  I n t h e p r e f a c e t o Endymion K e a t s a l s o  expresses  t h e hope t h a t he w i l l be a b l e t o p r e s e r v e t h e b r i g h t n e s s o f " t h e b e a u t i f u l mythology o f Greece,"  Endymion a t t e m p t s  to  s o l v e both problems.  be  * u p l i f t e d from t h e world,* so t h a t he can m y t h o l o g i z e  his  The hero must d i s c o v e r how he can  l o v e o f t h e beauty o f t h e moon. Keats*s  poem, l i k e t h e R e n a i s s a n c e e p y l l i o n ,  t h e theme o f a n o t h e r myth i n t o i t s main s t o r y . o f Endymion o r i g i n a l l y t o l d how t h e moon f e l l and  finally  Introduces  The s t o r y i n love with,  e x a l t e d , h e r l o v e r . .Drayton adds t h e Venus and  A d o n i s theme o f t h e u n w i l l i n g l o v e r who i s b e i n g c o u r t e d by a cgoddess.  I n Keats's  poem, Endymion i s a l s o i n l o v e w i t h  t h e moon-goddess, b u t he must f i r s t l e a r n t h a t he cannot e s cape h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o s o c i e t y i f he wishes t o consummate h i s d e s i r e . Narcissus.  T h i s theme i s borrowed from t h e s t o r y o f  Narcissus f a l l s  i n love with h i s unattainable  shadow as a punishment f o r r e j e c t i n g h i s f r i e n d s .  In the  f i r s t book, Endymion, L i k e N a r c i s s u s , r e j e c t s h i s people and i s punished w i t h a d e s i r e f o r an i l l u s i o n ,  b u t , u n l i k e Nar-  c i s s u s , he l e a r n s t o c o r r e c t h i s e r r o r and l o v e t h e r e a l I n d i a n maid.  He i s now rewarded w i t h t h e d i s c o v e r y t h a t h i s  i n v o l v i n g experience  w i t h t h e human and r e a l I s a l s o an expe-  rience with the i d e a l , Cynthia. respond t o t h e beauty o f n a t u r e  He i s now t h e poet who can by c r e a t i n g t h e myth.  "Book I " d e s c r i b e s how t h e p a s t o r a l - k i n g , Endymion, a l most c o m p l e t e l y withdrawss h i m s e l f from any p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n  - 63 -  the e l a b o r a t e f e s t i v a l o f Pan. H i s sfeter, Peona, t a k e s him t o h e r bowery i s l a n d t o d i s c o v e r t h e r e a s o n f o r h i s sorrow and  t o c o u n s e l him. A f t e r a l o n g r e f r e s h i n g s l e e p , he p r o -  mises h e r t h a t he w i l l renounce h i s i s o l a t i o n and r e t u r n t o h i s former a c t i v i t i e s .  He then t e l l s h e r o f h i s t h r e e  e n c o u n t e r s w i t h t h e v i s i o n as an e x p l a n a t i o n o f h i s s o r r o w . E v e r y one o f these e n c o u n t e r s i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e myth o f N a r c i s s u s by d e f i n i t e  allusions.  The f i r s t m e e t i n g o c c u r s a f t e r Endymion f a l l s i n a bed o f poppies and d i t a m i e s .  He i s e n r a p t u r e d  asleep with the  r i s i n g and t h e s e t t i n g o f t h e moon, when a "completed form o f a l l c o m p l e t e n e s s " ( I . 606) descends t o him and he r i s e s t o embrace her p a s s i o n a t e l y .  T h i s scene i s an e l a b o r a t e d  s i o n o f t h e C y n t h i a and Endymion myth:  ver-  Endymion dreams i n a  nook where t h e r i v e r seems " l i k e a c r e s c e n t moon," ( I . 544) and  t h e d i t a m i e s and p o p p i e s , a c c o r d i n g t o L e m p r i e r e , a r e  s a c r e d f l o w e r s o f D i a n a , a n o t h e r name f o r C y n t h i a .  A f t e r he  awakes t h e "sweet dream/ P e l l i n t o n o t h i n g , " ( I . 677-678) and he t h i n k s t h a t t h e wind " b r o u g h t / P a i n t f a r e - t h e e - w e l l s , and s i g h - s h r i l l e d adieus."  ( I . 689-690)  This a l l u s i o n t o the  N a r c i s s u s myth r e c a l l s t h e s i g h i n g o f Echo f o r t h e deluded/.'.:^ Narcissus.  Endymion's dream i s t h e r e f o r e u n r e a l , and not  an a c t u a l v i s i o n a r y m e e t i n g w i t h C y n t h i a . however, i s n o t on C y n t h i a ' s  The emphasis,  u n r e a l i t y but on Endymion's i n -  a b i l i t y t o have t h e type o f v i s i o n e x p e r i e n c e d i n " I Stood T i p - T o e . "  by t h e poets  - 64 -  The of  circumstances  o f t h e dream a n d t h e d e s c r i p t i o n  the awakening, support t h i s  interpretation.  Endyraion's  r e a c t i o n t o t h e b r e e z e a n d t h e f l o w e r s b e f o r e he  falls  a s l e e p i s s i m i l a r t o t h e r e a c t i o n s t h a t s t i m u l a t e t h e myths in  " I Stood  Tip-Toe":  through.the dancing poppies A b r e e z e , most s o f t l y l u l l i n g t o And s h a p i n g v i s i o n s a l l a b o u t my Of c o l o u r s , w i n g s , a n d b u r s t s o f  (I.  The  stole my s o u l ; sight spangly l i g h t .  566-569)  r e p e t i t i o n o f t h e " s " a n d " 1 " s o u n d s , a n d t h e open  vowels  (e,o,a,e) lend a m u s i c a l l i l t  the reader i n t o the experience. l a r l y repeats this  t o these phrases,  The dream o f t h e moon  drawing simi-  experience:  she d i d s o a r So p a s s i o n a t e l y b r i g h t , my d a z z l e d s o u l Commingling w i t h h e r argent spheres d i d r o l l T h r o u g h c l e a r a n d c l o u d y , ( I . 593-596) p a r a l l e l i n g t h e r e a c t i o n o f t h e p o e t who o r i g i n a l l y  sang  the s t o r y o f Endymion: t o him b r i n g i n g Shapes from t h e i n v i s i b l e w o r l d , u n e a r t h l y s i n g i n g Prom o u t t h e m i d d l e a i r , f r o m - f l o w e r y n e s t s , And f r o m t h e p i l l o w y s i l k i n e s s t h a t r e s t s F u l l i n the speculation of the stars. ("I S t o o d T i p - T o e , " But Endymion's v i s i o n , u n l i k e t h e Poet's does n o t produce t h e myth.  i n the e a r l i e r  poem,  Heawakes i n d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t a n d  d e s p a i r t o a world t h a t appears ful.  I85-I89)  desolate r a t h e r than  beauti-  The d i c t i o n now e m p h a s i z e s t h e c o n t r a s t w i t h t h e  earlier  joy.  The b r e e z e  that l u l l e d  " B l u s t e r ' d " ; t h e 'spangly l i g h t '  h i s s o u l b e f o r e , now  o f c o l o u r s , ,'.i,s; now " s o o t y " ; t  - 65 -  the "vermeil rose had blown/ In f r i g h t f u l s c a r l e t . " . ( I . 687-697). tor, of  The v i s i o n , l i k e the v i s i o n of the poet i n A l a s -  has destroyed Endymion's appreciation f o r the beauty nature: a l l pleasant hues Of heaven and earth had faded: deepest shades Were deepest dungeonsj heaths and sunny glades Were f u l l of pestilent l i g h t . ( I . 691-69?)  Instead of innocence, he now finds death: If an innocent bird Before my heedless footsteps s t l r r ' d , and s t i r r ' d In l i t t l e journeys, I beheld i n i t A disguis'd demon, missioned to knit My soul with under darkness. ( I . 698-702) This seemingly a t t r a c t i v e i n v i t a t i o n to suicide, however, is an i l l u s i o n and ends only with "disappointment."  (I.705)  The dream has destroyed a l l communication with nature i n stead of stimulating Endymion to mythologize the beauty. The introduction i n "Book I" establishes the opposing view that "A THING of beauty i s a joy f o r ever."  "Loveli-  ness" does not fade, but "increases," and the "sleep/ P u l l of  sweet dreams" does not destroy our joy i n the beauty  of  the eacth, but rather wreaths "A flowery band to bind  us to the earth,/ Spite of despondence." ( I . 1-8)  In  "Sleep and Poetry," )Heats s i m i l a r l y establishes that the purpose of poesy i s not to feed upon "the burrs,'/And thorns of l i f e , " but "To sooth the cares, and l i f t the thoughts of man." (244-247)  Endymion's reaction to his  dream i s , therefore, a misunderstanding  of the v i s i o n .  - 66 -  Even i f t h e nymph i s t h e C y n t h i a  o f "Book IV," h i s i n t e r -  p r e t a t i o n i s , n e v e r t h e l e s s , based on an i l l u s i o n r a t h e r than vision.  Lempriere says o f N a r c i s s u s  t h a t he "Vsaw h i s image  r e f l e c t e d i n a f o u n t a i n , and becameenamoured o f i t , t h i n k ing  i t t o be t h e nymph o f t h e p l a c e . "  1  Endymion a l s o t h i n k s  t h a t he has seen 'the nymph of. t h e p l a c e ' but has,  i n fact,  o n l y had an h a l l u c i n a t i o n t h a t beckons him t o death i n s t e a d of t o g r e a t e r a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r t h e beauty o f n a t u r e . Peona admonishes h e r b r o t h e r f o r h i s "poor weakness," (I.  718) and t r i e s t o t e a c h him jtow t o r e a c t t o h i s f a n t a s y .  She  wants  him t o be " r a t h e r i n t h e trumpet's mouth," than  t o s i g h away h i s l i f e t o d e a t h .  ( I . 731-737)  She t o o has  seen t h e western c l o u d i n e s s p i c t u r e d i n s i l v e r l a k e s t a k i n g , The semblance o f g o l d r o c k s and b r i g h t g o l d sands, I s l a n d s , and c r e e k s , and a m b e r - f r e t t e d strands W i t h horses p r a n c i n g o'er them, p a l a c e s And towers o f amethyst. ( I . 743-746) This f a n t a s t i c r e f l e c t i o n i s s i m i l a r t o the r e f l e c t i o n that N a r c i s s u s sees i n t h e w e l l , f o r Peona r e c o g n i z e s  the f o l l y  of t r y i n g t o "mount/ I n t o those r e g i o n s . " ( I . 746-747)  These  dreams a r e " f i t f u l whims o f s l e e p " ( I . 749) t h a t c o u l d n o t even be c a p t u r e d by, the s p i d e r ' s s h u t t l e , C i r c l e d a m i l l i o n times w i t h i n t h e space Of swallow's n e s t - d o o r . ( I . 751-753) The  dreamer must r e c o g n i z e  t h e i l l u s i o n s o f these dreams  L e m p r i e r e s C l a s s i c a l D i c t i o n a r y , p. 396.  - 67  or  -  e l s e be l e d only t o d e s p e r a t i o n . Dreams themselves are not harmful i f the dreamer r e a l i -  zes  their implications.  In the s l e e p i n Peona's bower, En-  dymion a l s o dreams of "golden p a l a c e s , strange m i n s t r e l s y , / Fountains grotesque," ( I . 457-458) is"calm*d t o l i f e a g a i n , "  but when he wakes, he  and opens " h i s e y e l i d s with a  healthier brain." ( I . 464-465)  Instead of r e j e c t i n g h i s du-  t i e s as he does a f t e r h i s v i s i o n , he determines t o f o l l o w h i s sister's later advice: No, I w i l l once more r a i s e My v o i c e upon the mountain-heights; once more Make my horn p a r l e y from t h e i r foreheads hoar. (I.  477-479)  The e f f e c t s of these dreams on the dreamer are determined his  by  r e a c t i o n , and not by the dreams themselves. Endymion's "pleasure thermometer" speech ( I . 7 6 9 - 8 4 2 )  is  i n t r o d u c e d i n the context of Peona's warning, and must not  be i n t e r p r e t e d by i t s e l f . whether  The  critical  arguments as to  t h i s speech r e p r e s e n t s a Neoplatonic p h i l o s o p h y , or  Keats's own  n a t u r a l P l a t o n i s m , or merely a sensual approach p  to  life  but  are  relevant  the context  of  this  f o r an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poem, passage  hero adds a s i g n i f i c a n t dimension. with  essence"  and  i t s a p p l i c a t i o n to the  The  that Endymion mentions  Is  first  "fellowship  similar  Jacob D. Wigod, "The Meaning of Endymion," (1953), PP.779-790.  t o the ex-  PMLA, XVIII  - 68-  p e r i e n c e s d e s c r i b e d i n " l Stood Tip-Toe."  The " r o s e l e a f "  and the " A e o l i a n magic" s t i m u l a t e the poet t o hear p r o p h e c i e s and l u l l a b i e s "Round e v e r y spot where t r o d A p o l l o ^ s f o o t " and " i n e v e r y p l a c e where i n f a n t Orpheus s l e p t . " the " t i p - t o p " of t h i s type of e x p e r i e n c e s i t l o v e and  At friend-  s h i p , w i t h l o v e at, t h e top because i t i s more s e l f - d e s t r o y i n g and demands a complete " m e l t i n g i n t o i t s r a d i a n c e . " The p r o g r e s s i o n i s from an involvement w i t h n a t u r e t o an i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h humanity  a t i t s most i d e a l l e v e l .  would agree e n t i r e l y w i t h t h i s p o i n t of view.  Keats  Endymion, how-  e v e r , c o n t i n u e s h i s argument t o j u s t i f y a " s l e e p i n l o v e ' s e l y s i u m " and an " a r d e n t l i s t l e s s n e s s . "  He then c o n c l u d e s  t h a t s i n c e " t h i s e a r t h l y l o v e has power t o make/1 Men s b e i n g 1  mortal, immortal," ( I .  84-3-844)  t h e d i s r e g a r d of the m o r t a l  and the d e v o t i o n o n l y t o an immortal i s j u s t i f i e d . would never agree.  The "World" i s one of the n e c e s s a r y  m a t e r i a l s " f o r the purpose of f o r m i n g t h e Soul."3 and humanity  Keats  Nature  a r e n e c e s s a r y f o r an a s c e n t t o the i d e a l ,  can never be d i s r e g a r d e d as i r r e l e v a n t .  and  The v i s i o n a r y i s  i n a w o r l d of i l l u s i o n i f he t r i e s t o g r a s p h i s v i s i o n . b y r e j e c t i n g h i s own  mortality.  Endymion then d e s c r i b e s h i s two o t h e r meetings w i t h the nymph as a j u s t i f i c a t i o n of h i s p o s i t i o n :  The L e t t e r s of John K e a t s , ed. Maurice Buxton Forman, London, I960, p. 3 3 5 ' 3  - 69 -  I'm s u r e , My r e s t l e s s s p i r i t n e v e r c o u l d e n d u r e T o u b r o o d s o l o n g upon one l u x u r y , Unless i t d i d , though f e a r f u l l y , espy A hope beyond t h e shadow o f a d r e a m . ( I . 8 5 3 - 3 5 7 ) The  next  that  two a c c o u n t s ,  the object of h i s love  would s u s p e c t  (1.862-917)  bottom  i s e v e n more shadowy t h a n one  from t h e f i r s t occurs  bushes, so t h a t the  c o n t r a r y t o what he b e l i e v e s , p r o v e  dream.  The s e c o n d  i n a "deep h o l l o w "  experience,  enclosed  by l e a n i n g  "a v u l t u r e c o u l d n o t g l i d e / P a s t  of this  "cool c e l l "  i s the " c r y s t a l  w e l l where E n d y m i o n has o f t e n p i c k e d  them."  eye" of a  flowers that  Lilce v e s t a l p r i m r o s e s , b u t d a r k v e l v e t E d g e s them r o u n d , and t h e y have g o l d e n Shirley  had s i m i l a r l y  "Saffron-colour'd picking the  o f these  i n h i s poem. ( S t a n z a  snare  121)  •  Endymion's  t h e P e r s e p h o n e myth i n t h e "Hymn t o Deme-  w r i t t e n i n the Seventh Century,  version,  pits.  f l o w e r s a l l u d e s t o t h e Greek a s s o c i a t i o n o f  n a r c i s s u s with  ter"  looked,  d e s c r i b e d t h e n a r c i s s u s as h a v i n g  rayes"  At  P l u t o prepares  the v i r g i n ' s li  the shades."  is  i n danger o f b e i n g  According  to this  t h e f l o w e r f o r Persephone, " f , en-  thoughless  of  B.C.  m i n d , / And p l e a s e  Endymion, l i k e carried  the r u l e r  P e r s e p h o n e and N a r c i s s u s ,  t o t h e underworld  i n this  setting. The  setting  reflection  recalls  t h e g r o v e where N a r c i s s u s  i n the w e l l :  "Hymn t o D e m e t e r , " The G r e e k P o e t s ,  New  saw h i s  Y o r k , 1953, p.117.  trans.., Moses Hadas,  - 70 -  A S p r i n g t h e r e was, whose s.^luer -Vfeters were, , As smooth as any m i r r o r , n o r l'esse c l e a r e : Which n e i t h e r Heards-men, tame, n o r s a l u a g e B e a s t , Nor w'andring Fowle,' "nor s c a t t e r e d l e a u e s m o l e s t ; G i r t round w i t h g r a s s e , by n e i g h b o u r i n g moysture " ' • ~ f e d , And Woods, a g a i n s t t h e Sunnes i n v a s i o n spred.2 Endymion, l i k e  the Ovidian l o v e r , i s p l a y i n g i n the w e l l  when he sees, A wonder, f a i r as" any I have t o l d ' - the same b r i g h t f a c e I t a s t e d I n my s l e e p y s m i l i n g I n t h e c l e a r w e l l . My h e a r t d i d l e a p Through t h e c o o l depth. ( I . 894-897) J  T h i s wonder had been t o l d many times' b e f o r e , and h i s r e a c t i o n f o l l o w s t h e well-known p a t t e r n : such a b r e a t h l e s s h o n e y - f e e l o f b l i s s A l o n e p r e s e r v e d me f r o m t h e d r e a r abyss Of d e a t h , f o r t h e f a i r form had gone' a g a i n .  ( I . 903-905). The  i n t r o d u c t i o n o f t h e N a r c i s s u s myth i n t o Endymion's  s t o r y r e p r e s e n t s K e a t s ' s comment on Endymion s a s s e r t i o n t h a t 1  he i s n o t b e i n g l u r e d by " t h e shadow o f a dream." ( I . 857) The  l a s t enchantment appears i n t h e grdbto of Persephone,  ( I . 918-989) o r t h e " c e l l o f Echo."  The double a l l u s i o n t o  b o t h G y n t h i a and Persephone combines t h e two myths s i n c e Persephone i s t h e underworld  manifestation of Cynthia, but  Endymion's wandering i n t o h e r cave a l s o a l l u d e s t o N a r c i s s u s ' c r o s s i n g of the Styx a f t e r h i s death.  The b a b b l i n g Echo r e -  f e r s t o t h e Echo who i s s i g h i n g a f t e r a N a r c i s s u s , now con-  J George Sandys, t r a n s . , Ovid's Metamorphosis E n g l i s h e d , M y t h o l o g i z ' d And R e p r e s e n t e d i n F i g u r e s . Oxford lbJ2, p. 90.  - 71  sumed " i n . unseen f i r e . " "  -  He sues f o r her h e l p , not r e a l i -  z i n g t h a t he i s l i k e her l o v e r whose death she l a m e n t s . He f o l l o w s the u n i d e n t i f i e d v o i c e i n t o the cave, b u t does not e x p l a i n what he saw.  The i m p l i c a t i o n may be t h a t he i s  f o l l o w i n g h i s i l l u s i o n t o the r e a l m of Hades l i k e  Narcissus,  who d i s a p p e a r s from the grave t o gaze e t e r n a l l y "Upon t h e waters of the i n f e r n a l l Styx."7 H e , d e c i d e s , as a r e s u l t of h i s l a s t m e e t i n g , t o bear up a g a i n s t death w i t h "demurest meditation,"  and f a s h i o n h i s " p i l g r i m a g e ( I . 975-977)  dusky b r i n k . "  some r e g i o n " t h a t U l y s s e s of P l u t o and  f o r the w o r l d ' s  T h i s b r i n k i s the " d e a d l y - d a r k v i s i t s i n The Odyssey:  3  the homes  Persephone.  Endymion s quest d e t e r i o r a t e s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y from the 1  f i r s t time t h a t he sees the d e s c e n d i n g nymph. for  His desire  the h i g h e s t h a p p i n e s s of i m m o r t a l l o v e has l e d him down  the c l a s s i c a l h i e r a r c h y from C y n t h i a Persephone.  t o Diana and f i n a l l y t o  He has not found j o y , but o n l y d e s p a i r ,  ning himself f i n a l l y to death.  L i k e the p o e t ' s quest i n  A l a s t o r , Endymion's v i s i o n i n . "Book I " i s an i l l u s i o n " P e l l i n t o nothing"  ( I . 6-78)  that  and l e a d s o n l y t o d e a t h .  K e a t s , however, f i n d s a s o l u t i o n t o t h i s  predicament  p.  92,  7 Sandys, t r a n s . , O v i d s Metamorphoses. p.  9 .  Sandys, t r a n s . , Ovid's Metamorphosis, 1  resig-  2  Q  ° George Chapman, t r a n s . , Homer's Odyssey. V o l I , London, 1874, x i . p. 198.  - 72 -  i n t h e l a s t t h r e e books. Endymion s descent b e g i n s h i s 1  s a l v a t i o n from i l l u s i o n .  U n l i k e T h e l , who f l e e s f r o m h e r  g r a v e , Endymion f o l l o w s t h e v o i c e from t h e c a v e r n s and r e ceives the prophecies. i s a gradual  The development i n the n e x t t h r e e books  change from t h e type of v i s i o n t h a t he sees i n  "Book I , " t o a p o e t i c , e x p e r i e n c e  t h a t i n v o l v e s him more and  more i n b o t h t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d and i n humanity. his  As he r e j e c t s  d e s i r e f o r o t h e r w o r l d l y e s s e n c e s , he l e a r n s t h e powers  of t h e poet who can c r e a t e t h e myth from h i s e x p e r i e n c e  with  beauty. I n "Book :tEL," Endymion f o l l o w s a b u t t e r f l y t o a f o u n t a i n where t h e b u t t e r f l y changes t o a nymph and t e l l s him t h a t he must wander f a r i n t h e r e g i o n s o f t h e u n d e r w o r l d .  He meets  the s l e e p i n g A d o n i s and Venus i n t h e underground  caverns,  preparing to reascend i n t o the springtime world.  Cupid  tells  him t h e s t o r y of t h e i r l o v e , and Venus t e l l s him t h a t he w i l l one day be b l e s s e d w i t h t h e l o v e of t h e f a i r i m m o r t a l . e a r t h t h e n c l o s e s b e f o r e him, and he c o n t i n u e s t h r o u g h caves and p a l a c e s .  t o wander  An e a g l e c a r r i e s him t o a bower,  where he dreams t h a t he meets t h e human form o f C y n t h i a , promises t h a t she w i l l soon e x a l t him t o j o i n h e r . and  The  imagines t h a t he hears A l p h e u s p u r s u i n g  I n "Book I I I , " Endymion c o n t i n u e s  t h e coy  who  He awakens Arethusa.  h i s journey beneath t h e s e a  where he f r e e s Glaucus from h i s c u r s e by h e l p i n g him t o r e s u r r e c t t h e drowned p a s s e n g e r s . Cynthia's  Venus a g a i n encourages him, and  v o i c e t e l l s him t h a t he i s now r e a d y t o j o i n h e r i n  - 73 -  heaven. I n "Book I V , " Endymion f i n a l l y l e a r n s t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between t h e i l l u s i o n and t h e t r u e o b j e c t o f h i s q u e s t : meets t h e I n d i a n maid and a c c e p t s h e r l o v e .  he  Two s t e e d s  t a k e them f o r a r i d e onto a c l o u d i n t h e s k y , where Endymion goes t o s l e e p and dreams t h a t he meets D i a n a .  After strugg-  l i n g between h i s l o v e f o r D i a n a and h i s l o v e f o r t h e maid, he a c c e p t s  t h e s l e e p e r by h i s s i d e , b u t when they r e t u r n  from t h e c l o u d , t h e r i s i n g moon e n r a p t u r e s the maiden b e s i d e him d i s a p p e a r s .  him once a g a i n , and  I n t h e Cave o f q u i e t u d e he  f a l l s a s l e e p w h i l e Diana p r e p a r e s f o r t h e coming wedding f e a s t . He awakens i n d e s p a i r and r e j e c t s h i s d e s i r e f o r h i s v i s i o n , and pledjgs h i m s e l f t o t h e I n d i a n i n s t e a d , b u t she i n f o r m s him t h a t she may n o t be h i s l o v e .  When he r e t u r n s home he i s  s u r p r i s e d t o meet Peona w i t h t h e g i r l .  Endymion pieces' him-  s e l f t o h i s e a r t h l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of r u l i n g t h e shepherd r e a l m , and t h e I n d i a n maid now a c c e p t s him.  Endymion and  Peona watch i n amazement as she changes i n t o C y n t h i a . u n i t e d couple k i s s Peona f a r e w e l l and v a n i s h .  The  Peona goes  "Home t h r o u g h t h e gloomy wood i n wonderment." The theme o f t h e l a s t t h r e e books s h i f t s from p o r t r a y i n g Endymion as N a r c i s s u s who sees h i s shadow i n "Book I , " t o p o r t r a y i n g him as t h e hero who g r a d u a l l y l e a r n s t h e t r u e nat u r e o f t h e d e s i r e d essence, and becomes worthy o f p o s s e s s i n g i t by d e s c e n d i n g i n t o t h e u n d e r w o r l d . mion's e x p e r i e n c e  I n "Book I I , " Endy-  a t t h e f o u n t a i n g u i d e s him t o t h e r e a l  -  C y n t h i a f o r the f i r s t t i m e . to  k-  7  The b u t t e r f l y t h a t l e a d s h i m  t h i s f o u n t a i n i s born out o f a w i l d r o s e t h a t he p i c k s and  d i p s i n t o the water.  T h i s b u t t e r f l y , :;unlike h i s e a r l i e r .  v i s i o n s , i s not an i l l u s i o n , but i s a product o f Endymion's a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r the r o s e .  These c i r c u m s t a n c e s r e c a l l t h e  f i r s t p a r t o f the " p l e a s u r e thermometer" speech i n which the r o s e l e a f around the f i n g e r s t i m u l a t e s the happiness music o f the wind.  i n the  The water nymph c o u l d be a c o m b i n a t i o n  of the goddess who t e l l s U l y s s e s how t o e n t e r the r e a l m o f the dead, and the nymphs who mourn N a r c i s s u s ' death. Endymion i s s t i l l  the N a r c i s s u s a t the w e l l and must  l e a r n the dangers o f i s o l a t i o n and s e l f - l o v e . " B r a i n - s i c k shepherd p r i n c e , " ( I I . ^3) t a i n ways." ( I I . HQ)  He i s t h e  "wandering i n uncer-  The f o u n t a i n , l i k e the N a r c i s s u s w e l l ,  i s i n " s o l i t a r y g l e n , / Where t h e r e was never sound o f m o r t a l men."  ( I I . 77~7 ) 3  A f t e r h e a r i n g the nymph he i s s t i l l i n  d e s p a i r , t h i n k i n g t h a t t h e r e i s n o t h i n g e a r t h l y worth h i s compassing ( I I . 161-162), but he n e v e r t h e l e s s f o l l o w s her v o i c e i n t o the c a v e r n even though he would r a t h e r be w i t h "the s o f t shadow" o f h i s " t h r i c e - s e e n l o v e . " ( I I . 168) c a v e r n , "thoughts  o f s e l f " and the "deadly f e e l o f s o l i t u d e "  ( I I . 275"28U) a g a i n " s u r c h a r g e ' d  him w i t h g r i e f " because he can-  not see a n y t h i n g o f n a t u r e * s beauty. now  I n the  ( I I . 285-293)  Endymion,  a t the n a d i r o f h i s q u e s t , e x p e r i e n c e s the sorrow o f the  dying Narcissus.  B u t Endymion r e j e c t s h i s own i s o l a t i o n and  f o l l o w s the e c h o i n g v o i c e "back i n t o the temple's c h i e f , " ( I I . 298)  - 75  w h e r e he'meets V e n u s and ved,  but E n d y m i o n has  making' t h a t w i l l true  -  Adonis.  The  struggle  at l e a s t entered  l e a d him  t o an  'The  ultimate  ginning  of h i s sympathy f o r o t h e r  h i s experience  but  explanation clic  o f m y t h w h i c h began when he  now  Venus i s the  the  had  picked  d e a t h and  r e b i r t h of nature. the  The  the  rejected  e m p h a s i z e s A d o n i s ' i m m o r t a l i t y as  be-  a development  progresses towards r e i n t e g r a t i o n .  u n i t y b e t w e e n n a t u r e and  of  rose.  his Cupid's  part of the  myth e m p h a s i z e s  cy-  the  gods as a g u i d e t o E n d y m i o n ' s  aspirations. Cynthia  now  comes t o E n d y m i o n i n h i s s l e e p a s  d i t i o n a l v e r s i o n o f t h e myth d i c t a t e s . tions  There are  i n "Book I I " t h a t t h i s m e e t i n g i s an  of the N a r c i s s u s the  Soul-  i n t e g r a t i o n with  l o v e r s and  "Book I , " E n d y m i o n , l i k e N a r c i s s u s ,  friends  own  vale of  resol-  ideal. E n d y m i o n ' s e n c o u n t e r w i t h A d o n i s and  In  i s not  myth, k C y n t h i a ,  w e l l as E n d y m i o n l e a r n s t h e  i n t e r r u p t s the n a r r a t i v e "For i n order  now value  replaces  the  tra-  no i n d i c a -  illusion.  The  Echo  shadow i n  o f human s y m p a t h y .  Keats  t h e mere s a k e o f t r u t h , " ( I I . 8 2 9 )  t o e x p l a i n t h a t E n d y m i o n ' s dream i s an  old myth:  'twas t o l d By a c a v e r n w i n d u n t o a f o r e s t o l d ) And t h e n t h e f o r e s t t o l d i t i n a dream To a s l e e p i n g l a k e , whose c o o l and l e v e l A p o e t c a u g h t as he was journeying To P h o e b u s ' : s h r i n e ; . . . • ••  the  gleam  He s a n g t h e s t o r y up i n t o t h e a i r , G i v i n g i t u n i v e r s a l f r e e d o m . ( I I . 830-839)  - 76 -  E n d y m i o n i s now p e r s o n a l l y i n v o l v e d t h a t Keats d e s c r i b e s i n " I Stood  i n t h e t y p e o f myth-making  Tip-Toe."  Endymion's r e a c t i o n a f t e r t h e "Love's madness" ( I I . 860935)  i s d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed  visions. "On a l l  t o the response t o h i s e a r l i e r  I n s t e a d o f f o r s a k i n g h i s f r i e n d s , he now p o n d e r s hislife,"  t h i n k i n g o f " E a c h t e n d e r m a i d e n whom  once thought f a i r , /  he  With every f r i e n d and f e l l o w - w o o d l a n d e r . "  He d o e s n o t t r y t o e s c a p e  the earth butrather i n s i s t s  that  essences a r e only s i g n i f i c a n t as they r e l a t e t o h i s e a r t h l y existence:^ essences Once s p i r i t u a l , a r e l i k e muddy l e e s , M e a n t b u t t o f e r t i l i z e my e a r t h l y r o o t , And make my b r a n c h e s l i f t a - g o l d e n f r u i t I n t o t h e bloom o f h e a v e n s other l i g h t , ••• ... i s d a r k , (11.905-912)  Dark as t h e parentage o f chaos. Rather than r e j e c t i n g  " o t h e r p h y s i c a l o b j e c t s , w h i c h he now  recognizes as agencies o f essence," disparaging those s p i r i t u a l  1 0  Endymion i s a c t u a l l y  e s s e n c e s i n "Book I " w h i c h s t i m u -  l a t e d h i s heavenly a s p i r a t i o n s by s e p a r a t i n g him from h i s earthly root.  H i s s t a t e m e n t i s p r o b a b l y one o f t h e m o s t  succinct formulations  of Keats*s theory o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p  between t h e p h y s i c a l  and  wrongly  interprets  the ideal.  the last  vision  Endymion, as  however,  representing  the  9 WalterHH. E v e r t , A e s t h e t i c and Myth i n t h e P o e t r y o f K e a t s , P r i n c e t o n , 1965, pp.130-133. 1  0  E v e r t , A e s t h e t i c and Myth,  p.133.  - 77 -  'golden f r u i t ' t h a t he must l i f t  t o heaven.  meetings w i t h C y n t h i a must s t i l l  teach him t h a t s h e , t o o ,  is  The o t h e r  p a r t o f t h e 'muddy l e e s , ' and t h a t o n l y t h e union o f  t h e e a r t h w i t h t h e t r e e can a c t u a l l y produce t h e d e s i r e d fruit. I n s p i t e o f t h i s m i s t a k e , Endymion has progressed f a r enough t o e n a b l e him t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e a e s t h e t i c c r e a t i o n of t h e A l p h e u s and A r e t h u s a nature. is  The k i n s h i p w i t h n a t u r e d i s p l a c e d by t h e i l l u s i o n s  now r e v i v e d .  echoing  myth from h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h  He imagines t h e d i a l o g u e w h i l e h e a r i n g t h e  from t h e s h e l l s  1 1  j u s t as t h e poet imagined t h e  i  Endymion myth'while h e a r i n g t h e cavern wind i n t h e f o r e s t . (II.  837-853)  From t h i s p o e t i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i t h  nature  he must now advance t o a s i m i l a r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h human i t y that w i l l culminate The  i n h i s l o v e f o r t h e I n d i a n maid.  s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e Glaucus myth has been e x c e l -  l e n t l y i n t e r p r e t e d by E v e r t as a " r e t u r n t o human sympathy ... in his  by means o f t h e c o n c r e t e  i l l u s t r a t i v e precept  t h e f i g u r e and s t o r y o f t h e a n c i e n t G l a u c u s . "  embodied 1 2  Through  a c t i o n , Endymion becomes t h e "new born god," ( I I I . 808)  who can r a i s e dead l o v e r s from t h e i r d e a t h . won "immortal  He has a l s o  b l i s s " ( I I I . 1024) f o r C y n t h i a , n o t because h i s  E v e r t , A e s t h e t i c and Myth, p.134. E v e r t , A e s t h e t i c and Myth, p.140.  -  T  8 -  a c t has r a i s e d h e r t o i m m o r t a l i t y , but because h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h humanity has i m m o r t a l i z e d  h i s d e s i r e f o r the  ideal. I n "Book I V , " Endymion l e a r n s t o d i s t i n g u i s h between his  shadowy v i s i o n s of the f i r s t book, and l e a r n s t h a t h i s  l o v e f o r t h e human maiden i s , i n f a c t , t h e same as l o v e f o r an immortal..  The c o m p l i c a t i o n s  of the p l o t f o l l o w Endymion s 1  i n d e c i s i o n between h i s a t t r a c t i o n f o r t h e shadowy v i s i o n s and h i s l o v e f o r t h e . I n d i a n maiden: F o r b o t h , f o r "Both my l o v e i s so immense, I f e e l my h e a r t i s c u t f o r them i n t w a i n .  ( I V . 96-9~()  He no l o n g e r d e s i r e s t o i s o l a t e h i m s e l f f r o m humanity, but he must s t i l l f r e e h i m s e l f from the l u r e o f the shadow i n the well. The I n d i a n had a l r e a d y appeared t o him" i n h i s s l e e p i n the second book, a l t h o u g h Endymion was unable t o d i s t i n g u i s h between h e r and h i s i l l u s i o n a t t h a t t i m e . him  She now comes t o  i n human f o r m i n o r d e r t o c h a l l e n g e h i s l o v e f o r t h e  i m a g i n a r y nymph.  Her r o l e r e c a l l s P e o n a s a t t e m p t s i n "Book 1  I " t o persuade him t h a t he i s s a c r i f i c i n g h i s "honour.../ F o r n o t h i n g b u t a dream," ( I . 759~7'6o) and t o encourage him t o abandon h i s s e a r c h and r e t u r n t o t h e f e s t i v a l .  When Endymion  r e t u r n s home, the I n d i a n maiden and Peona welcome him and i n i t i a t e him I n t o h i s new r o l e . Endymion's l o v e f o r , t h e g i r l d r i v e s away the i l l u s i o n a r y shadow w h i c h had a t t r a c t e d him i n "Book I . " The v o i c e  inter--  - 79 -  r u p t i n g t h e i r l o v e scene, c r y i n g "Woe . Woe t o Endymion! 1  Where i s he?"  (IV. 321) echoes "Through t h e w i d e , f o r e s t "  as "a shade pass'd by,/ As of a thunder c l o u d . " (IV. 3 3 2  326)  -  T h i s shade appears a g a i n as he i s dreaming o f P.iana  w h i l e t h e g i r l i s s l e e p i n g b e s i d e him.  When he t u r n s from  h i s dream t o k i s s h e r , "the shadow wept, m e l t i n g away." (IV. 456)  The two shadows and t h e Diana he meets i n h i s  dream, t h e r e f o r e , r e p r e s e n t h i s I l l u s i o n t h a t i s now b e i n g t h r e a t e n e d by t h e r e a l C y n t h i a i n human form.  When Endymion  t u r n s from t h e g i r l t h e second time t o adore t h e " c o l d moons h i n e , " (IV. 5°8) she d i s a p p e a r s , l e a v i n g him i n h i s former despair.  T h i s , however, m o t i v a t e s  him t o admit t h a t  he h a s , .. clung To n o t h i n g , l o v ' d a n o t h i n g , n o t h i n g seen Or f e l t b u t a g r e a t dream. (IV. 636-638) He r e c o g n i z e s t h a t he has s i n n e d a g a i n s t t h e e a r t h and a g a i n s t humanity and d e c i d e s t o r e p e n t : 0 I have been Presumptuous a g a i n s t l o v e , - a g a i n s t t h e s k y , A g a i n s t a l l "elements, a g a i n s t t h e t i e Of m o r t a l s each t o each .... (IV. 638-6H1) From t h i s a d m i s s i o n  o f both h i s i l l u s i o n and h i s s e l f - c e n -  t e r e d n e s s , Endymion now a p p e a l s t o t h e I n d i a n . f o r h e r l o v e , And r e c o g n i z e s t h a t she has saved him from h i s dreaming: My sweetest I n d i a n , h e r e , Here w i l l " I k n e e l , f o r t h o u redeemed h a s t My " l i f e from t o o t h i n b r e a t h i n g : ' gone and p a s t Are c l o u d y phantasms, (IV. 648-651)  - 80-  The-maid r e t u r n s , b u t t e l l s him somewhat h a r s h l y t h a t she must r e f u s e h i s love:  :  I may n o t be t h y l o v e : I am f o r b i d d e n - Indeed I am - t h w a r t e d , a f f r e i g h t e d , c h i d d e n , By t h i n g s I t r e m b l e d a t , and gorgon w r a t h . Twice hast" t h o u ask'd w h i t h e r I went: henceforth M k me no more! (IV. 752-756) Her  statement t h a t he"- has asked f o r h e r t w i c e r e f e r s t o h i s  s e a r c h f o r t h e maid who appeared t o him i n h i s dream i n "Book I I , " ( I I I . 1 0 1 1 ) and f o r t h e I n d i a n maid, (IV. 632) thus i d e n t i f y i n g t h e two times t h a t t h e r e a l v i s i o n appeared t o him. Endymion d e c l a r e s h i s d e t e r m i n a t i o n  t o resume h i s r e s -  p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s r e a l m , and thereby becomes worthy o f possessing  t h e maid.  H i s p o l i t i c a l s o l u t i o n t o govern  through h i s s i s t e r i s not,a r e j e c t i o n of h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as k i n g , b u t an amalgamation o f b o t h h i s human and s p i r i t u a l aspirations.  H i s f i n a l d e s i r e t o command t h e f a t e o f t h e t r i o  r e l e a s e s t h e I n d i a n ' s r e s e r v a t i o n , and Endymion b e h o l d s h e r metamorphosis i n t o h i s p a s s i o n , Phoebe.  The a b r u p t c o n c l u -  s i o n s u g g e s t s t h a t Endymion h i m s e l f i s c r e a t i n g t h i s consummating myth as a t r i u m p h a n t a s s e r t i o n o f h i s p o e t i c power t o immortalize  h i s l o v e f o r p h y s i c a l beauty.  K e a t s has, of d e t e r m i n i n g ness.  t h e r e f o r e , s u c c e s s f u l l y s o l v e d t h e problem what c o n d i t i o n s c o n s t i t u t e t h e h i g h e s t  happi-  He does n o t r e j e c t v i s i o n s as merely i l l u s i o n s , n o r  the d e s i r e f o r t h e i d e a l as mere s e l f - c e n t e r e d n e s s , b u t he i n s i s t s t h a t such a quest i s a n e g a t i o n  i f the searcher  - 81-  r e j e c t s h i s human and n a t u r a l bonds.  The h i g h e s t v a l u e i s  n o t i n a p o e t i c i s o l a t i o n , b u t i n an i m a g i n a t i v e f o r human r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  concern  Keats introduces the Narcissus  myth t o show how Endymion i s m i s g u i d e d  by t h e shadowy r e f l e c -  t i o n o f h i s i l l u s i o n , b u t t h e n s o l v e s the h e r o ' s dilemma by a s s e r t i n g h i s own f a i t h i n t h e i m m o r t a l i t y o f t h e " p o e t r y of t h e e a r t h . "  CONCLUSION Each o f t h e t h r e e poems by B l a k e , S h e l l e y and Keats  uses  a c l e a r a l l u s i o n t o t h e N a r c i s s u s myth i n o r d e r t o e s t a b l i s h the i d e n t i t y o f t h e p r o t a g o n i s t and t h e n a t u r e o f h i s q u e s t . T h e l i s c o n c r e t e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e O v i d i a n s t o r y i n two b r i e f s i m i l e s t h a t compare h e r t o 'a r e f l e c t i o n i n a g l a s s and  'shadows i n t h e water.'  1  ;  N e i t h e r o f these images a l l u d e s  t o N a r c i s s u s h i m s e l f , but r a t h e r t o h i s r e f l e c t i o n o r shadow i n t h e water.  The i n t r i c a t e network o f t h e imagery emphasizes  T h e l ' s evanescent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c .  U n l i k e t h e L i l l y , t h e Cloud  and the Worm, who pass ' t o t e n f o l d l i f e , ' l i k e a shadow and remains t h e u n p r o d u c t i v e Echo.  she fades i n t o n o t h i n g lamenting voice of  B l a k e has a c t u a l l y u n i f i e d N a r c i s s u s , h i s shadow and  Echo i n t o one r o l e by c h a r a c t e r i z i n g T h e l as s e l f - l o v e , as a f a d i n g u n p r o d u c t i v e v o i c e , and as a shadow o f r e a l i t y .  The  o t h e r symbols i n t h e poem r e p r e s e n t her o p p o s i t e s who  attempt  t o l e a d her t o acceptance  o f her S p e c t r e i n t h e g r a v e , so t h a t  she can d i s c a r d her s e l f h o o d and be r e b o r n l i k e a seed  through  a new u n i t y . Of t h e t h r e e poems, A l a s t o r  r e l i e s most f a i t h f u l l y and  most e x t e n s i v e l y on t h e O v i d i a n source f o r i t s imagery. c l e a r e s t a l l u s i o n t o t h e N a r c i s s u s myth i n the poem i s an almost e x a c t paraphrase  of Ovid:  H i s eyes beheld T h e i r own wan l i g h t through t h e r e f l e c t e d  lines  The  - 83 -  Of h i s t h i n h a i r , d i s t i n c t i n t h e dark depth Of t h a t s t i l l f o u n t a i n . (469-472) This  i s the only a l l u s i o n i n the three  Narcissus  as s e e i n g h i m s e l f  poems t h a t  i n the w e l l .  The a d j e c t i v e s 'wan  • t h i n , ' and 'dark' add a Romantic q u a l i t y t o t h i s allusion.  describes  classical  S h e l l e y ' s f u r t h e r comment s u p p o r t s h i s emphasis: as t h e human h e a r t , G a z i n g i n dreams over t h e gloomy grav£, Sees i t s own t r e a c h e r o u s l i k e n e s s t h e r e . (472-474)  The in  c l a r i t y o f t h i s a l l u s i o n t o N a r c i s s u s , who sees  himself  t h e w e l l , h e l p s t o e s t a b l i s h t h e s o u r c e o f t h e numerous  a l l u s i o n s t o r e f l e c t e d e y e s , echoes, w e l l s , m i r r o r s , shadows and f l o w e r s .  The myth o f N a r c i s s u s  pools,  i s c e r t a i n l y the  most s i g n i f i c a n t analogue o f t h i s poem, e s p e c i a l l y when r e l a ted t o the nature of the Poet's quest. I n Endymion, as i n A l a s t o r , t h e hero sees t h e r e f l e c t i o n in  an i s o l a t e d grove w i t h a w e l l t h a t r e f l e c t s t h e t r e e s and  clouds. ever,  The r e f l e c t i o n t h a t Endymion sees i n t h i s w e l l , how-  i s n o t i d e n t i f i e d w i t h h i s own shadow as i n O v i d , but  r a t h e r as a nymphr The same b r i g h t c l e a r f a c e I t a s t e d i n my s l e e p , S m i l i n g i n t h e c l e a r w e l l . My h e a r t d i d l e a p Through t h e c o o l d e p t h . ( I . 895-897) The  allusion i s s t i l l  lowing did  t o t h e N a r c i s s u s myth, but Keats i s f o l  such a u t h o r s as P a u s a n l a s , who argues t h a t  Narcissus  n o t a c t u a l l y see h i s own r e f l e c t i o n , but a nymph.  Ovidian Narcissus  The  a l s o t h i n k s t h a t he sees a maiden but r e c o g  - 84 -  n i z e s h i s r e f l e c t i o n b e f o r e he d i e s .  Keats does not e x p l i c i t l y  a l l o w Endymion t o r e c o g n i z e J h i m s e l f , a l t h o u g h the hero does complain  i n "Book IV" t h a t he has ' c l u n g / To n o t h i n g . " (636-637)  Endymion a l s o r e c o g n i z e s t h a t h i s f i r s t v i s i o n was a shadow a l t h o u g h n o t n e c e s s a r i l y h i s own.  T h i s nuance, however, i s  s t i l l w i t h i n the t r a d i t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f the N a r c i s s u s myth as found  i n the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t o r s and p o e t s .  r e l y i n g more on the Renaissance  Keats i s  popularizers while Shelley i s  t r u e r t o the c l a s s i c a l Ovidian v e r s i o n . The t h r e e poems, l i k e Ovid's s t o r y , a l l a s s o c i a t e t h e death-wish  w i t h t h e a l l u s i o n t o the r e f l e c t i o n i n the w e l l .  T h e l d e s i r e s o n l y t o l i e down and " s l e e p the s l e e p o f d e a t h . " (1.13)  The Poet i n A l a s t o r i s not " F o r g e t f u l o f the g r a v e ,  where.../ He must descend." (520-522)  He i s the o n l y one o f  the t h r e e who a c t u a l l y does fade away t o death a f t e r s e e i n g the Image of h i m s e l f . Endymion  T h e l r e t u r n s t o her former  state,and  p r o g r e s s e s t o a new realm w i t h the r e a l i z e d  vision.  When Endymion sees the r e f l e c t i o n , h i s h e a r t a c t u a l l y does l e a p i n t o the ' c o o l d e p t h  1  and he o n l y n a r r o w l y escapes the  p h y s i c a l f a c t of d e a t h : such a h o n e y - f e e l o f b l i s s Alone p r e s e r v e d me from the d r e a r abyss Of d e a t h , f o r the f a i r form had gone a g a i n . (I.90.3-905) T h e l wants t o d i e because she f e e l s t h a t she i s f a d i n g away and Is o f no f u r t h e r use.  The P o e t , as i n O v i d , i s i n d e s p a i r be-  cause he cannot s a t i s f y h i s p a s s i o n f o r h i s  image  i n the w e l l .  - 8  5  -  T h i s a s s o c i a t i o n o f . t h e r e f l e c t i o n w i t h l o v e , d e s p a i r and death i s a g a i n t r u e s t t o t h e O v i d i a n s o u r c e .  Endymion i s  o n l y p r e s e r v e d from jumping i n t o t h e abyss a t t h e l a s t moment.  H i s f e e l i n g o f b l i s s , however, i s K e a t s ' s  Innovation,  and t h e d e s i r e t o jump i n t o t h e water i s borrowed from Shakespeare's a l l u s i o n i n Venus and A d o n i s where N a r c i s s u s i s d e s c r i b e d as drowning t:o:.vjo;ihs h l s a shadow i n t h e b r o o k .  En-  dymion escapes death, b u t o n l y a f t e r r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t t h e shadow i s n o t h i n g and by r e s p o n d i n g  t o the love of the Indian  maiden who r e p r e s e n t s Echo. The  n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e o f A l a s t o r . u n l i k e t h o o t h e r two  poems, i s a t l e a s t g e n e r a l l y s i m i l a r t o t h e o r i g i n a l s t o r y of N a r c i s s u s , a l t h o u g h S h e l l e y i s even l e s s concerned w i t h r e t e l l i n g t h e myth t h a n Edwards and S h i r l e y a r e .  Blake's  poem, as we have seen, i s t h e most o r i g i n a l because he i s r e i n t e r p r e t i n g t h e myth i n terms o f h i s own i m a g i n a t i v e conc e p t s and metaphors.  K e a t s uses t h e s t o r y o f C y n t h i a and  Endymion f o r h i s b a s i c p l o t , i n t r o d u c i n g t h e N a r c i s s u s and o t h e r myths i n t o t h i s frame i n t h e manner o f t h e R e n a i s s a n c e e p y l lion.  The Poet, i n A l a s t o r . l i k e N a r c i s s u s , l e a v e s h i s f r i e n d s  and r e j e c t s t h e Arab maiden, b u t he then f i r s t sees t h e v i s i o n i n h i s s l e e p b e f o r e coming t o t h e w e l l where he a l s o sees h i s shadow and a s s o c i a t e s i t w i t h h i s dream.  T h i s dream may have  been borrowed from t h e Endymion myth i n which C y n t h i a appears t o h e r l o v e r w h i l e he i s a s l e e p .  The h e r o i n K e a t s ' s  a l s o l e a v e s h i s s i s t e r and f r i e n d s b e f o r e h i s dream.  poem Keats i s  - 86 -  obviously  u s i n g the myth,as h i s s o u r c e , a l t h o u g h S h e l l e y  have i n f l u e n c e d him.  Both heroes are s l e e p i n g when the  appears to them and b o t h embrace her p a s s i o n a t e l y , K e a t s i s more s p e c i f i c i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of her features. two  may lady  although  physical  There a r e , however, no obvious v e r b a l echoes i n the  accounts.  The  Poet dreams t h a t she i s s i t t i n g b e s i d e  him  v e i l e d , w h i l e Endymion dreams t h a t she descends t o him  from  the sky  the  ¥  i n naked c o m e l i n e s s . " ; ( I .  615)  A f t e r seeing  v i s i o n , b o t h h e r o e s , as i n Ovid's s t o r y , see the r e f l e c t i o n i n the w e l l , and  the Poet i n A l a s t o r d i e s l i k e N a r c i s s u s  i n the  i s o l a t e d grove. B-oth S h e l l e y and K e a t s i n t r o d u c e  the l o n g Romantic quest  which i s not found e i t h e r i n the myth of Endymion or  Narcissus.  Thel,- t o o , goes on a q u e s t , but not f o r a p r e v i o u s l y g l i m p s e d apparition: identity.  she i s s e a r c h i n g The  f o r a s o l u t i o n t o her  d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and  fading  l o s s of k i n s h i p w i t h n a t u r e  t h a t the t h r e e heroes e x p e r i e n c e d u r i n g the s e a r c h t e n s i o n of N a r c i s s u s '  complete s e l f - i s o l a t i o n and  t i o n t o h i s p a s s i o n f o r the r e f l e c t i o n .  i s an  ex-  f a t a l devo-  B o t h Endymion  and  the Poet found t h e i r source of j o y i n a harmony w i t h n a t u r e f r i e n d s but e x p e r i e n c e d a Wordsworthian d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t  and  l o s s of k i n s h i p a f t e r the i l l u s i o n appears t o them.  The  Book of T h e l band" '(XI*  15)  the C l o u d and  In  the idew are " l i n k e d i n a g o l d e n  but T h e l cannot i d e n t i f y h e r s e l f w i t h any  the symbols of n a t u r e .  of  S h e l l e y a l s o uses s i m i l a r m a r r i a g e  imagery t o c o n t r a s t w i t h , the P o e t ' s i s o l a t i o n .  T,he  tendrils  and  - 8  'twine  1  -  7  t o g e t h e r and the boughs a r e 'wedded.../ U n i t i n g t h e i r  close union.  1  A f t e r Endymion responds t o the descending  he, t o o , f e e l s t h a t he has b e e n , u n f a i t h f u l t o D i a n a , s y m b o l i z e s h i s response  to nature.  form,  who  H i s a p p r e c i a t i o n grows  a g a i n o n l y when he t u r n s t o the human maid who,  i n the. r e s o l u -  t i o n , u n i t e s h i s l o v e f o r her and h i s l o v e f o r the beauty of nature. The Arab maiden i n A l a s t o r and the I n d i a n maiden i n Endymion  r e p r e s e n t the same p r i n c i p l e i n the two poems, even  though t h e r e i s no evidence t h a t K e a t s was  consciously wri-  t i n g h i s poem as an answer or complement t o S h e l l e y ' s . A l a s t o r she i s the r e j e c t e d Echo.  In  The Poet, l i k e . N a r c i s s u s ,  p e r i s h e s because he i s unable t o respond, t o a n y t h i n g beyond his  own r e f l e c t i o n .  I n Endymion she i s the Echo who  a f t e r . t h e l o v e l y youth.  Endymion, who  i l l u s i o n , however, can respond the v a l u e of human sympathy.  was  pines  c a p t u r e d by h i s  t o her because he has  learned  The Arab g i r l i n A l a s t o r  i s very  coy and comes to. the Poet o n l y i n h i s s l e e p i n c o n t r a s t t o the voluptuous  and a g g r e s s i v e c o u n t e r p a r t i n Endymion.  Both of  these c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the O v i d i a n poems where Echo i s p o r t r a y e d b o t h as shy and withdrawn or as the a g g r e s s i v e wooer.  B l a k e ' s T h e l i s even more w i t h d r a w n . t h a n  S h e l l e y ' s maiden.  She  i s not even r e j e c t e d by a N a r c i s s u s ,  but c o m p l e t e l y unable t o u n i t e w i t h a male c o u n t e r p a r t who d e l i v e r her from her s t a t e of Non be the v o i c e i n . the grave who  Entity.  will  Her N a r c i s s u s c o u l d  would r e s c u e her f r o m f a d i n g  -  l i k e Echo.  88  -  T h e l , however, i s b o t h t h e u n f u l f i l l e d , v i r g i n and  thKnarcissistic  lover.  Thel's and Endymion's q u e s t s t a k e them t o a m y t h i c w o r l d where t h e y a r e g i v e n t h e s e c r e t knowledge-that them from t h e i r predicament.  under-  can redeem  T h e l descends t o t h e underworld .'.a  of The A e n e i d where she meets " D o l o u r s &. l a m e n t a t i o n s " (IV. 7) and a v o i c e from h e r own grave p l o t .  U n l i k e Aeneas, she does  not s t a y f o r t h e v i s i o n and f l e e s back unborn. c o n t r a s t e d t o T h e l , descends  Endymion, as  t o a p l a c e o f r e b i r t h where t h e  dead Adonis i s a g a i n p r e p a r i n g t o ascend t o t h e upper w o r l d t o h e r a l d t h e S p r i n g w i t h Venus.  He a l s o descends  t o the world  under t h e sea where h i s e x p e r i e n c e w i t h Glaucus teaches h i m the n e c e s s i t y o f i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h humanity  and t r a n s f o r m s  him i n t o a god. The c o m p l e t i o n o f t h i s d e s c e n t i n i t i a t e s him i n t o h i s new r o l e o f e p i c h e r o , so t h a t he can now r e a s c e n d t o complete h i s u l t i m a t e u n i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e goddess.  The Poet  i n A l a s t o r . i n c o n t r a s t t o T h e l and Endymion, does n o t even q u a l i f y as t h e hero who i s g i v e n t h e s e c r e t s t h a t w i l l him t h r o u g h t h e g a t e s o f Hades.  lead  H i s boat t r i p over t h e s e a  and h i s . t r a v e l s t h r o u g h t h e caverns l e a d s him up t o t h e mount a i n c l i f f s i n s t e a d o f underground.  L i k e N a r c i s s u s , he  f i n d s , no s o l u t i o n f o r h i s a t t r a c t i o n t o t h e shadow and must therefore perish i n his i s o l a t i o n . T h e l . A l a s t o r and Endymion i n c l u d e numerous t r a n s f o r mations e l a b o r a t i n g t h e s u g g e s t i o n a t t h e end o f t h e s t o r y o f .  -  89-  N a r c i s s u s t h a t l i e was changed i n t o a f l o w e r a f t e r h i s All  death.  t h r e e poems c o n t a i n some s i g n i f i c a n t f l o w e r imagery r e c a l -  l i n g the n a r c i s s u s .  T h e l ' s most s i g n i f i c a n t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n  i s suggested by h e r r e c u r r i n g c o m p l a i n t into nothing.  t h a t she i s f a d i n g  T h i s g r a d u a l f a d i n g does n o t f o l l o w - t h e G v i d i a n  p a t t e r n because she does n o t change from one s t a t e o f n a t u r e i n t o a n o t h e r as N a r c i s s u s , f o r example, does.  Blake,;however,  i n t r o d u c e s Ovid's theme o f e t e r n a l r e c u r r e n c e  i n two o t h e r  p a t t e r n s o f imagery t h a t a r e c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h T h e l . Her  s e l f - p o r t r a y a l as a f l o w e r , a c l o u d ..and a worm i s p o t e n t i a l l y  O v i d i a n b u t does n o t d e v e l o p beyond t h e i m a g i n a t i v e suggest i o n of the s i m i l e s .  These a l l u s i o n s t o O v i d emphasize t h a t .  Thel i s i n v o l v e d i n the e t e r n a l c y c l e of nature.  The L i l l y ,  the Cloud and' t h e Worm, i n c o n t r a s t t o T h e l , complete a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n on an i m a g i n a t i v e l e v e l .  Each o f them passes i n t o  e n d l e s s l i f e by f i g u r a t i v e l y changing t h e i r form.  The L i l l y  i s e a t e n by t h e lamb, t h e Cloud becomes f o o d f o r a l l t h e f l o w e r s , and t h e Worm becomes an I n f a n t "wrapped i n t h e L i l l y ' s leaf."  ( I I I . 3)  T h i s p a t t e r n comments on t h e p o t e n t i a l r e s u l t  of T h e l ' s descent t o h e r grave i f she c o u l d a c c e p t t h e necess a r y change and l o s s o f i d e n t i t y . S h e l l e y ' s poem i s t h e most e x p l i c i t . i n i t s a l l u s i o n s t o the ending o f t h e N a r c i s s u s myth. In h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the w e l l :  He i n c l u d e s t h e n a r c i s s u s  - 9o -  yellow flowers For ever gaze on t h e i r own d r o o p i n g eyes. R e f l e c t e d i n the c r y s t a l calm. (4o6-4o8) When the Poet d i e s , S h e l l e y d e s i r e s a n o t h e r k i n d of metamorp h o s i s t h a t w i l l change the dead body i n t o a f l o w e r as i n the original  myth: 0, f o r Medea"s wondrous alchemy, Which wheresoe'er i t f e l l made the e a r t h gleam W i t h b r i g h t f l o w e r s , and the w i n t r y boughs e x h a l e From v e r n a l blooms f r e s h f r a g r a n c e ! (672-675)  Shelley again repeats of the a l c h e m i s t ' s (684)  h i s r e q u e s t by d e s i r i n g the f u l f i l m e n t  dream, who  s e a r c h e s f o r " l i f e and  power."  These d e s i r e s a r e not g r a n t e d , but t h e Poet i s a t l e a s t  involved i n a poetic transformation I n the f r a i l pauses of t h i s s i m p l e  and  "shall live  strain.  1 1  alone/  (705-706)  wishes t h a t the Poet would be l i k e N a r c i s s u s , who  Shelley  changes  i n t o a f l o w e r , but f i n d s t h a t he must be s a t i s f i e d w i t h l i f e t h a t the dead hero w i l l have i n h i s l i n e s .  the  This r e s o l u -  t i o n i s the f i r s t s t e p towards the r e s o l u t i o n of the p a s t o r a l e l e g y t h a t S h e l l e y w i l l master i n A d o n a i s . There a r e numerous Metamorphoses i n Endymion but none of them f o l l o w the example of the N a r c i s s u s transformations tale.  myth.  Keats's  f o l l o w the p a t t e r n of the dream and  I n a dream as i n the f a i r y - t a l e , a n y t h i n g  anything  e l s e w i t h o u t any n e c e s s a r y p a t t e r n .  t a l e the h e r o or h e r o i n e  the  can become  I n the  fairy-  i s f r e q u e n t l y changed f r o m an  orphan or peasant t o the b e a u t i f u l p r i n c e s s or p r i n c e . c l a s s i c a l counterpart  fairy-  ugly The'  of t h i s t y p e , a l s o found i n O v i d , i s  the  e l e v a t i o n o f a m o r t a l i n t o an i m m o r t a l :  Endymion, A d o n i s , and Psyche.  t h e myths o f  I n h i s f i r s t dream, Endymion  imagines t h a t he sees t h e moon change i n t o a woman and descend t o him.  ( I . 59°f ')  in h i s imagination.  f  T h i s change, however, o c c u r s o n l y  I n t h e e p i s o d e where Endymion r e v i v e s t h e  drowned, he s c a t t e r s h i s magic charms, as S h e l l e y hopes t h a t Medea w i l l do f o r h i s dead p o e t , and they l i f t up t h e i r  head  "As d o t h a f l o w e r a t A p o l l o ' s t o u c h . " ( I I I . ~]Q6) When he meets t h e I n d i a n maiden,, she a g a i n d i s a p p e a r s i n d r e a m - l i k e f a s h i o n and he i s l e f t k i s s i n g h i s own hand.  Endymion,  however, a g a i n becomes worthy o f h e r as he i s e x a l t e d from a;,, m o r t a l t o a god.  When t h i s p r o c e s s i s complete, t h e  I n d i a n maiden a l s o throws o f f h e r d i s g u i s e and changes m o r t a l i t y t o t h e goddess Phoebe. tality.  from  Endymion has now won immor-  These r e c u r r i n g t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s demonstrate K e a t s s 1  b e l i e f t h a t t h e beauty o f n a t u r e i s 'a j o y f o r e v e r . " Endymion i s t h r e a t e n e d w i t h death o n l y when he d e s i r e s t o e s cape t h e beauty o f n a t u r e , humanity, f r i e n d s h i p and l o v e . Each o f t h e t h r e e poets uses t h e N a r c i s s u s myth a c c o r d i n g to h i s own i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c t a s t e , g u i d e d by p o e t i c  inspiration.  B l a k e emphasizes t h e theme o f selfhood!, b u t uses t h e N a r c i s s u s myth p r i m a r i l y as a b a s i s f o r h i s own o r i g i n a l r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . S h e l l e y f o l l o w s t h e p a t t e r n of the o r i g i n a l v e r s i o n , adding primarily  t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n and t h e hero's q u e s t , and r e i n -  t e r p r e t i n g t h e myth from a Romantic p o i n t o f v i e w .  Keats  - 92 -  r e l i e s h e a v i l y on Renaissance, masters who f r e e l y r e t e l l the myth and add whatever o t h e r myths o r d i g r e s s i o n s t h e y t h i n k w i l l enhance the n a r r a t i v e .  His s t y l e i s therefore  looser  and more encumbered by numerous t w i s t s i n the n a r r a t i v e , as compared t o the p o l i s h e d and u n i f i e d poems by B l a k e and S h e l ley.  A l l t h r e e o f the p o e t s , however, t r e a t t h e myth as i f i t  i s t r u l y t h e i r own. moralized  The myth no l o n g e r needs t o be j u s t i f i e d ,  or englished.  BIBLIOGRAPHY I . PRIMARY SOURCES Anonymous. "Hymn t o Demeter," The Greek P o e t s . Hadas, New Y o r k , 1 9 5 3 , pp.ll6-T2S: Bacon, F r a n c i s . 1870.  T r a n s . Moses  The Works o f F r a n c i s Bacon, V o l . V I . London, :  B l a k e , W i l l i a m . The P o e t i c a l Works o f W i l l i a m B l a k e . Sampson. London, 1949. -I-II.  Ed. John  The P r o p h e t i c W r i t i n g s o f W i l l i a m B l a k e , V o l s . E d s . D.J. S l o s s and J.P.R. W a l l i s . O x f o r d , 1957•  Chapman, George, t r a n s . The Odysseys o f Homer, V o l s . I - I I . E d . R i c h a r d Hooper. London, 1 8 7 4 . Donno, E l i z a b e t h S t o r y , ed. 1963.  Elizabethan Minor E p i c s .  Edwards, Thomas. Cephalus and P r o c r i s . B u c k l e y , London, l a o 2 .  Narcissus.  London, Ed. W . E .  G o l d i n g , A r t h u r , t r a n s . Shakespeare's Ovid B e i n g A r t h u r G o l d i n g ' s T r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e Metamorphoses. Ed. WTH.D. Rouse. London, 1 9 b l . 1  Homer The Odyssey.  :  T r a n s . W.H.D. Rouse.  New Y o r k , 1937.  K e a t s , John. The L e t t e r s o f John K e a t s . Ed. M a u r i c e Buxton F o r man. London, I 9 6 0 . . The P o e t i c a l Works o f John K e a t s . E d . H . W . G a r r o d . London, 1 9 6 1 . Noyes, R u s s e l l , ed. Y o r k , 1956'.  E n g l i s h Romantic SPoetry and P r o s e .  Ovid The Metamorphoses.  T r a n s . Horace G r e g o r y .  New  New Y o r k , 1963.  P l o t i n o s . Complete Works: I n C h r o n o l o g i c a l O r d e r , Grouped I n Four P e r i o d s , V o l s . I - I V . T r a n s . Kenneth S y l v a n G u t h r i e . London, 1 9 1 8 . Plotinus  The Enneads.  T r a n s . Stephen MacKenna.  London, 1930.  - 94 -  Sandys, George, t r a n s . Ovid's Metamorphosis E n g l i s h e d , Mythol o g i z ' d , And Represented I n . F i g u r e s . O x f o r d , 1632. Shakespeare, W i l l i a m . The Complete P l a y s and Poems o f W i l l i a m Shakespeare. E d s . W i l l i a m A l l a n N e l l s o n and C h a r l e s J a r v i s Hill. 5amb"ridge, Mass., 1942. S h e l l e y , P e r c y Bysshe. The L e t t e r s o f P e r c y Bysshe Ed. F r e d e r i c k L. Jones"! O x f o r d , 1964. ' Bysshe S h e l l e y .  Shelley.  . The Complete P o e t i c a l Works o f P e r c y EcF. Thomas H u t c h i n s o n . London, 1961.  V i r g i l The A e n e l d .  T r a n s . W.F. Jackson K n i g h t .  London,  i960.  I I . SECONDARY SOURCES A l l e n , W a l t e r , J r . "The E p y l l i o n : A Chapter i n t h e H i s t o r y o f L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m , " TAPhA, LXXXI ( 1 9 4 0 ) , pp.1-26. •. "The N o n - E x i s t e n t C l a s s i c a l SP, LV ( 1 9 5 « ) , P P . 5 1 5 - 5 1 8 .  Epillion,"  Bloom, H a r o l d . B l a k e ' s A p o c a l y p s e : A Study In P o e t i c Argument. New Y o r k , 1963. B r a d b r o o k , E.M. 1951.  Shakespeare and E l i z a b e t h a n P o e t r y .  London,  B r o n o w s k i , J . W i l l i a m B l a k e and t h e Age o f R e v o l u t i o n . Y o r k , 1965.  New  Bush, Douglas. Mythology and t h e Renaissance T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h P o e t r y . New Y o r k , 1963!  Poetry.  Mythology and t h e Romantic T r a d i t i o n i n E n g l i s h New Y o r k , 1903. : ' "  E v e r t , W a l t e r H. A e s t h e t i c and Myth i n t h e P o e t r y o f K e a t s . P r i n c e t o n , 1965. F i n n e y , Claude Lee. The E v o l u t i o n o f K e a t s ' s P o e t r y , V o l s . I I I . New Y o r k , 1963.  - 95  -  F r a z e r , S i r James George. The Golden Bough; and R e l i g i o n . London, 1933^ Frye, Northrop. Boston, 1962. . William Blake. Gardner, S t a n l e y . Blake's Poetry.  F e a r f u l Symmetry:  A Study i n Magic  A Study of W i l l i a m B l a k e .  " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " S e l e c t e d P o e t r y and Prose New Y o r k , 1953, PP. x i i i - x x x . I n f i n i t y on the A n v i l : Oxford, 1954.  A C r i t i c a l Study of  G i b s o n , E.K. " A l a s t o r : A R e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " FMLA, L X I I pp. 1022-1045. G l e c k n e r , Robert F. " B l a k e ' s R e l i g i o n of the JAAC, XIV ( 1 9 5 5 ) , PP.359-369.  (1947),  Imagination,"  ' - . " B l a k e ' s T h e l and the B i b l e , " ( l 9 b 6 ) , - pp.573-580. rience,"  of  BNYPL, LXIV  . " B l a k e ' s T i r i e l and the S t a t e of Expe-Pg, XXXVI ( 1 9 5 7 ) , pp.195-210.  H a r p e r , George M i l l s . "Thomas T a y l o r and B l a k e ' s Drama of P e r sephone," PQ, XXXIV ( 1 9 5 5 ) , PP.378-394. H l l d e b r a n d , W i l l i a m H.  A Study of A l a s t o r .  H i r s c h , E.D. J r . Innocence and E x p e r i e n c e : B l a k e . London, 1964.  K e n t , Ohio,  1954.  An I n t r o d u c t i o n t o  Hoffman, H a r o l d L e r o y . An Odyssey of the S o u l : tor. New Y o r k , 1933.  Shelley's Alas-  J o n e s , F r e d e r i c k L. "The I n c o n s i s t e n c y of S h e l l e y ' s A l a s t o r , " ELH, X I I I ( 1 9 4 6 ) , pp.291-293. Le Comte, Edward S. Endymion i n E n g l a n d : of a Greek Myth. New Y o r k , 1944.  The  Literary History  L e m p r i e r e , J . Lempriere's C l a s s i c a l D i c t i o n a r y of P r o p e r Names Mentioned i n A n c i e n t A u t h o r s . Ed. F.A. W r i g h t . London, 195b. Macpherson, J a y . " N a r c i s s u s : Some U n c e r t a i n R e f l e c t i o n s , " A l p h a b e t , No. 1 ( i 9 6 0 ) , p p . 4 l - 5 7 . . " N a r c i s s u s : Some U n c e r t a i n R e f l e c t i o n s : o r , From 'Lye I d a s ' t o Donovan's B r a i n , " A l p h a b e t , No. 2 (1961), pp.65-71.  - 96 -  M i l l e r , P a u l W. PP.31-38.  "The E l i z a b e t h a n M i n o r E p i c , "  O'Malley, Glenn. 1964. S h o r e r , Mark. Y o r k , 1946.  S h e l l e y and S y n e s t h e s i a . —  SP, LV —  Evanston,  W i l l i a m B l a k e : The P o l i t i c s o f V i s i o n . "~ ; ~~ ~~ "  P u l o s , C.E. The Deep T r u t h : A Study o f S h e l l e y ' s Lincoln, 19^H : T ""* :  1  (1958), 111., New  Scepticism.  T a y l o r , Thomas, t r a n s . "On t h e Cave o f the Nymphs," Works o f P o r p h y r y . London, 1823.  Select  Wasserman, E a r l R. The S u b t l e r Language: C r i t i c a l Readings o f N e o c l a s s l c and Romantic Poems. B a l t i m o r e , 1959. Wigod, Jacob D. -"The Meaning ( 1 9 5 3 ) , PP.779-790.  o f Endymion,"  PMLA, -  LXVIII  

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