– Keats was the greatest of the young Romantics.
- – The theme of his poetry: the everyday world of chaos dominated by death and decay vs. the eternal beauty and lasting truth of poetry and the human imagination.
- – Elements of Hellenism, feeling for the Middle Ages
- – A special conception of what a poet should be: suffering is necessary for the understanding of the world; great poetry grows from deep suffering and tragedy
- – Poems: attracted very little attention
- – Endymion: a poetic Romance: extensive use of Greek mythology; search for an ideal love and happiness beyond earthly possibility
- o Theme: A shepherd’s love for the Moon and his search for her
- – Lamia and Other Poems (Ode to a Nightingale; Hyperion; Isabella,…): Keats develops a poetic language; everything in the poems is balanced; Keats’s odes are considered to be the best of short poems in the century
- o elusive beauty: tends to escape from whoever wants to possess -> the subject of Keats’s ballads written between 1818-1820
- – La Belle Dame sans Merci: his most famous ballad; full of magical and fantastic images; Keats uses unfamiliar vocabulary: OE words, archaisms
- Dream vs. reality
- Imagination vs. actuality
- Superstition vs. supernatural
- o Influenced Robert Graves and the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood