The "trembling, delicate, and snail-horn perception of Beauty."

An Exploration of Particularized Experience Through the Poetry of John Keats.

  • Attena Keeler MacEwan University


Romanticism marks a movement away from Classical conceptions of idealized beauty with a shift towards expressions of particularized experience. Enlightenment philosophy influenced this shift through empiricist theory, which introduced the importance of sensation and subjective experience in the acquisition of knowledge or truth. This paper analyzes the elevation of particular experience, specifically feeling, which scholars argue encompasses both sensation, and emotion. An in depth exploration of current and past research exposes the pursuit of a particular experience which “at once sustains and eludes both thought and language” at the heart of Romanticism. Romantic poet John Keats captures this elusive expression of sensation and emotion in his most descriptive poetry. A master at his craft, Keats’ poetry simultaneously expresses and evokes a particular response to sensation.


Faculty Mentor: Jillian Skeffington

Department: English (Honours)