Sophia and Philosophia


At one level, Keats’s sonnet entitled On Peace (1814) is full of philosophical certainties. The speaker believes, for example, that a nation’s people have a right to live in freedom under the rule of law, and that the rule of law should be applicable to everybody. Political and philosophical commitments of this kind do not seem to be called into question in this poem, or made the subject of an enquiry. On the contrary, it is as though we are confronted with somebody who, in certain central thematic respects at least, appears to know his own mind.


Keats, John, 1795-1821; Truth; Empathy in literature