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Study Note 6 Percy Bysshe Shelley
2008/01/02 22:16

Study Note for Percy Bysshe Shelley

        Percy Bysshe Shelley is a radical person, publishing a pamphlet named The Necessity of Atheism, and he also be a nonconformist. His multiple literature capability let him write poetry, prose, literary criticism, even play like close drama. Shelley’s works includes “Mutability”, “Ozymandias”, “England in 1819”, a long poem “Alastor:or, The Spirit of Solitude” and especially his famous poem “Ode to the West Wind”. Besides he writes a classic drama Prometheus Unbound, A Defence of Poetry. is a prose of literary criticism that he expound his own poetry idea.

        In “Mutability” Shelley talk about the idea which is “nobody can tell the future” because he point out it at the first sentence in the poem. Life is like clouds and they are restless, speed, gleam, and quiver, so we should seize the day and grasp every moment. Then there is the same theme in another poem “Ozymandias”, the Egypt king’s sculpture is stable and elegant, but it can’t escape from the time’s efflux. As the time pass, no one will remember the old king.

        Shelley’s most unstanding poem “Ode to the West Wind” is terza rima, and it confers the what the death entity and how human being should react. The whole poem divides in five stanzas, and repeat the imagery “death” through this work. The central imagery is the west wind which represents death and rebirth, Shelley thinks everything on the earth should destruct then resurrect. Filtering this process every creature will be full of energy and lively. He uses the change of weather to strengthen his idea:

                 Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky's commotion,

                 Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,

                 Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

        At the final stanza of the poem, Shelley still doesn’t forget his ability of as a poet. He wants to use the word to change the world, so he left a really remarkable saying at the end of the poem: “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

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