PB Shelley


Percy Bysshe Shelley was of the second generation of Romantic poets. His strange and brief life with its eccentric unworldliness his high imagination and idealism combine to form a popular image of romanticism. From a disciple of Godwin to a neo- platonic theist Shelley took many positions and spoke with many voices.
His Prometheus Unbound is a poetic drama in which Shelley develops the Greek Prometheus myth in his own way. He shows here the ultimate victory of love over hate and revenge. The Cenci is a blank verse play about an innocent mother and step mother who are driven by the cruelty violence and incestuous love of the father.
'Adonais' the well known elegy on the death of Keats displays his new platonic symbols. At the end he returns to himself and his own unhappy condition. He does so in such a way as to focus attention on Adomais who has soared beyond this night.

Shelly's political and social hopes were increasingly associated with his view of the universe. As a result his later works combine the contemporary with the mythical. "Hellas" is a lyric drama inspired by the possibilities of Greek revolt against Turkish domination.
Shelly's final, unfinished long poem "The Triumph of life" is a drem poem in terza rima with echoes of a number of Italian poets The "Ode to the West Wind" in terza rima has both the self pitying and the apocalyptic note. A similar use of pathetic fallacy is made in "To a Skylark". These poem were published in 1820. Of those published in 1824 "To Night", "A Lament" and "When the Lamp is Shattered" have long represented Shelly's poetry to the general reader.

The same passionate obstractionas which we find in Shelly's poetry is to be found in his "Defence of Poetry". This was first conceived as the defence of the value of poetry against the theory  of Thomas  Love Peacock  that peety had outlived it's usefulness in an age of reason. His another argument is that imagination is good because it enlarge sympathy and as poetry strengthens imagination it is good. This is the last of great defenses of poetry done in the spirit of the Renaissance. 

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