Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Lee Anne Richardson


In the final stanza of John Keats’s “Ode on Melancholy,” there are capitalized emotions such as “Joy” that are characters within the poem. William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience” include personified emotions in much the same way. In this paper I will define allegory as using a “radical dispersonification” in which personified objects within the poem point to something abstract that exists on its own, outside the context of the poem. Given the similarity of Keats’s poem and Blake’s “Songs,” there is the possibility that as Romantics, Blake influenced Keats. In the sense that Blake’s “Songs” are ultimately a religious or political allegory, which Blake manifests as states of “Innocence” and “Experience,” and Keats’s poem is allegorical in the sense that it is about an abstract state called “Melancholy” that he has experienced as a poet.