Body Work: The Representation of Labouring Bodies in John Keatss Isabella; or, the Pot of Basil

Maggie Hyslop


This article examines the portrayal of labouring bodies and the work they perform in Keatss Isabella; or, the Pot of Basil. Specific attention is paid to the ways in which the human body is physically affected by the work that it carries out, and to how the labouring body is valued or devalued based upon the relative physicality of its labour. The author also considers the extent to which the poem's divergence from its source material in Boccaccio's Decameron can be read as evidence of Keats's anti-capitalist critique of class structures.


John Keats; Isabella; or, the Pot of Basil; labour; class; bodies; luxury; murder; ghosts; decapitation; anti-capitalist; class; Boccaccio; Decameron

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