Updated on 2023/12/08


Affiliated organization, Waseda University Senior High School
Job title
Teacher (Affiliated Senior High School)

Internal Special Research Projects

  • Keats' Poetic Imagination and Medical Science


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    While reading the 19th-century medical notes and documents that Keats presumably acknowledged in his apprenticeship as a surgeon or later as a poet, I decided that my research this year would aim to understand the complex interpretation of the medical term vitalism, which regards the basis of living things as an energetic movement that comes from blood circulation or respiration. This doctrine was one of the significant notions Keats must have learnt as a medical student, as his poems reveal his strong interest in the mystery of humanity. Yet because the idea died out too soon with the discovery of urea, the first mineral created using a chemical reaction, only the first decade of the 19th century enjoyed it, and Keats's studies did not emphasize its importance.Thus, in the wake of my previous study focused on the relevance of vitalism and romanticism in the 19th century, I considered the medical documents and philosophical theories that must have been the archetype of vitalism. With or without directly referring to vitalism or some medical terminologies, my research this year analyzed Adam Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, and William Cullen, who similarly identified the principle of living movement with vitalism – or what they called sympathy or sympathetic imagination. By considering such 18th-century ideology, I hope this research contributes to the further study of Keats's poetic imagination.