A Poet Dwells in Beauty: A Kantian Reading of Keats’s Poetry

Chang Zheng


John Keats, the great literary figure of Romanticism in the 19th century, was the one whose name was written in
water. This essay tries to approach Keats’s poetry from the perspective of Kant, the forefather of German
Classical Philosophy by providing examples to show their great aesthetic features. The features can be
summarized as follows:a poet should have negative capability, the ability enabling him to remain an aesthetic
distance instead of using literature for utilitarian purpose; the revealing of experience of beauty that intimates the
harmony within man’s dual nature as free and physical being; the superiority of man’s cognitive power,
especially imagination and fancy, over the power of sensibility; transcendence from the sensory to the
supersensible through taste or experience of beauty, and for himself, poetry.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ells.v4n3p46

English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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