John Keats pp 111-146 | Cite as

Keats’s Medieval Romances

  • William A. Ulmer


Chapter 4 provides commentaries on Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, The Eve of Saint Mark, and “La Belle Dame sans Merci.” Still concerned with problems of love, Keats devotes Isabella to discrediting the high-flown sentimentality of Hunt’s Story of Rimini; and in The Eve of St. Agnes he conversely presents lovers skilled at adapting inherited conventions to modern needs. Departing from interpretations premised on Stillinger’s classic argument, the book rejects the rake and his victim to emphasize Porphyro and Madeline mutually constructing their unavoidably conventionalized passion for one another; The Eve of St. Agnes is Keats’s ardent celebration of young love. The chapter ends by discussing how all of Keats’s romances worry over poetry’s vulnerability to readerly misappropriation.


Sexual Intercourse Cultural Reception Literary Tradition Regency Society Sexual Infidelity 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. Ulmer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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