Allan Sealy

Date of Defense





The linking of an early 19th_century poet with what is generally considered to be a 20th century philosophy might at a glance appear arbitrary, even capricious. "Keats as Existentialist". One may be led to expect a thesis which resolves the quiddity by pronouncing Keats a modern and Existentialism otherwise. While neither of these judgments (however simplistic) is at all ungrounded, the tie does run deeper. It is obvious that Keats did not subscribe to the philosophy of existence as we know it today, with all its post-war ramifications. It is, indeed, likely that he would have discredited or ignored any philosophy external to his direct experiential limits. "Axioms in philosophy are not axioms", he stipulates, "until they are proved upon our pulses." * And there's the rub. We find in Keats what we might term a 'natural' awareness of an empirical philosophy which was clearly at variance with and well in advance of his current intellectual milieu. This divergence is the more pronounced for its denial of the fundamental tenets of Romanticism—a class in which Keats sits like a somewhat uncomfortable student.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only