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Romantic Symbolic Poem: Coleridge, Shelley, Keats - part III: Keats

Class at Faculty of Arts |



The course will focus on close reading of selected major poems by the above poets in the context of recent critical theory. It is divided into three semester-long sections dedicated to the work of individual romantic poets: Coleridge,

Shelley and Keats.


Sessions will be opened by short talks (5 minutes max.) given by all students on the texts assigned in the week-by-week schedule. Discussion will follow, concluded by the instructor´s comments or a short lecture.


John Archer, “Authority in Shelley”, Studies in Romanticism, 26.2 (Summer 1987): 259-74.

Paul de Man, Allegories of Reading (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1979) (“Semiology and


Paul de Man, The Rhetoric of Romanticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984)(“Intentional Structure of the Romantic Image”, “Shelley Disfigured”)

Jacques Derrida, “White Mythology,” in Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago

Press, 1985) 207-72.

David Duff, Romanticism and the Use of Genre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) (selection)

William Freedman, “Postponement and Perspectives in Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’”, Studies in Romanticism, 25.1

(Spring 1986): 63-74.

Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat (eds.), The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, vol. 1 and 2 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000 and 2004).

Lawrence John Zillman (ed.), Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound. The Text and the Drafts (New Haven and London:

Yale University Press, 1968).

For Czech students:

Martin Procházka, Romantismus a osobnost (Praha: Kruh moderních filologů, 1996), kapitola 1 (Subjektivita v romantické poezii a estetice)

Zdeněk Hrbata a Martin Procházka, Romantismus a romantismy (Praha: Karolinum, 2005), kapitola 4 (Imaginace a poezie)

Some primary texts and most secondary texts will be available in the moodle at the beginning of the course.


Credits will be given on the basis of students’ short talks, their participation in discussion and a final essay (4000 words max.) whose topic has to be discussed with the instructor.

Course Schedule 1.Introductory 2. From Philosophical Allegory to the Symbolism of Nature (3 sessions)

(a) Queen Mab (1812-13), Canto I and Canto II (lines 1-125)

(b) shorter reflexive poems: “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”, “Mont Blanc” (1816),

“The Cloud” (1820), “Ode to the West Wind” (1819).

(c) Essays: “On Love”, “On Life” (1815); Mary Shelley’s notes on Queen Mab (1839, 1840) 3. Politics, Power, Poetry (2 sessions)

(a) “The Devil’s Walk: A Ballad” (1812), “The Mask of Anarchy”, “Song: To the Men of England”, “England in 1819”

(all 1819)

(b) “Ozymandias” (1817), A Defence of Poetry (1821) 4. A Project of a New Order? Prometheus Unbound (1820), Myth and Universal Imagination (3 sessions)

(a) Hellenic and Christian: Preface, Acts I and II

(b) “Some unimagined change”: Act III and the Symbol of Demogorgon

(c) “A universal sound like words”: Act IV 5. A Testament? “The Triumph of Life” (1822)

Paul de Man “Shelley Disfigured” (1984) 6. Concluding Discussion: Beyond Romantic Notions of Allegory and Symbol

Paul de Man, “Intentional Structure of Romantic Image”, “Anthropomorphism and Trope in Lyric” (1984). Jacques

Derrida, “White Mythology” (1985)