Capitalism, Colonialism, Morality Renovation in John Keats’s Isabella or The Pot of Basil

Zhiting Shen, Dan Cui


This paper aims to interpret the capitalist economy and class polarization in John Keats’s narrative Isabella. The authors analyzed primitive accumulation of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, the division of social status and consciousness between bourgeoisie and proletariat, bourgeois ideological crisis, namely the bourgeoisie. Meanwhile, the authors endeavor to interpret the aesthetic poetic solutions that Keats tentatively found to realize the bonding of Lorenzo and Isabella and the salvation of the transcendental soul, in order to reveal the inhuman exploitation of the capitalist mode of production and Keats’s criticism of the moral decay of the bourgeoisie. Instead of complaining and lamenting about the misery and degradation, John Keats pinned high expectation onto the salvation power of Greek civilization and British poetry.

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