Dialectical oscillations in Keats: a Kristevan reading of endymion, hyperion and the fall of hyperion
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By deploying Kristevan theory, this thesis argues that Keats's poetry oscillates between the semiotic and the symbolic and it asserts that the semiotic threatens to overwhelm the symbolic in Endymion while the poet strives to repress the semiotic in Hyperion poems but it returns and causes the poet to leave these poems as fragments. The poet is immersed in the semiotic in Endymion, a romance, while attempts are made to repress this immersion in the epicscape of Hyperion and in the allegorical vision of The Fall of Hyperion. Nevertheless, the semiotic resurfaces, thereby challenging the resolution to restrain the semiotic. This thesis also studies the Keatsian confrontation with the abject. Boundaries threaten to collapse in Endymion, which provokes repulsion in the encounter with the abject. Hyperion strives to maintain boundaries against the revolting presence of the abject; likewise, The Fall of Hyperion seeks to preserve distinctions in the face of the blurring of boundaries; nonetheless, both Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion are haunted by the abject. This study further discusses how melancholy permeates these longer poems. The melancholic Endymion withdraws from the symbolic and retreats into the realm of the unnameable Thing where self and other are undifferentiated. The fallen Titans in Hyperion relapse into asymbolic melancholy while the Olympian Apollo, the new god of the black sun, merges with the unrepresentable Thing, obliterating the divide between subject and object. Similarly, the poet-narrator of The Fall of Hyperion mingles with the muse Moneta, eradicating the breach between inside and outside.