High Tragedy in the Hyperion Project
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Chapter 7 shifts the conceptual premises of the Hyperion project from theodicy to tragedy. In Hyperion, Keats’s appropriation of Milton is mediated through Wordsworth’s prior appropriation of Milton in the “Prospectus,” and shows Keats rejecting the notion of recoverable paradises. As Chapter 7 proceeds, the argument dismisses Oceanus’ paean to progress for its unresponsiveness to tragic victimization, claims that Keats refers tragedy to an existential ground beyond political determination, and suggests that the encounter with Moneta in The Fall of Hyperion shows the poet reconsidering his earlier belief in amoral chameleonic empathy. The final subsection offers valedictory assessments of Otho the Great, King Stephen, and Keats’s epitaph.