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Imagination, Metaphor and Mythopeiea in Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats

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Firat Karadas

The book studies metaphor, myth and their imaginative aspects in the poetry of William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats. Relying on Kantian, Romantic, Neo-Kantian and modern ideas of imagination, metaphor and myth, the book proposes that imagination is an inherently metaphorizing and mythologizing faculty because the act of perception is an act of giving form to natural phenomena and seeing similitude in dissimilitude, which are basically metaphorical and mythological acts. Studying selected poems, the author explores how in its form-giving activity the imagination of the speaking subject ‘mythologizes’ and ‘metaphorizes’ by seeing objects of nature as spiritual, animate or divine beings and thus transforming them into the alien territory of myth. Myth and metaphor are analyzed in these poems mainly in two regards: first, myth and metaphor are handled as inborn aspects of imagination and perception, and the interaction between nature and imagination is presented as the origin of all mythology; second, to show how myth is re-created time and again by poetic imagination, Romantic mythography and re-creation of precursor mythologies are analyzed.
Contents: The imaginative and discursive character of metaphor and myth – Metaphorization and mythologization as inborn aspects of the imagination and perception – The speaking subject as the determiner of meaning – The interaction between nature and imagination as the originator of mythology – Romantic mythography as reconstruction of Greco-Roman, Christian and medieval mythologies.