Analysis of “Ode to the West Wind”
I chose the poem Ode to The West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley because I was attracted to the many images Shelley painted in the poem. Nature is a very interesting and powerful force and the way Shelley portrays it in this poem really caught my attention. Shelley also emphasizes the importance of words and their potential impact on a society if shared. This is a concept I found quite intriguing. In my research, I found that when Shelley wrote this poem he was visiting Italy. Throughout the poem, I noticed many references to Italy such as his account of the “blue Mediterranean” and Baiae’s bay in stanza III. I also noticed a large theme surrounding the topic of death and new life. Shelley wrote this poem shortly after the death of his son. He will often use winter as a metaphor for death. In the last line of the poem he asks for new life by saying “O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” He also mentions Heaven in stanzas IV and II, transforming the wind into a divine being. When Shelley wrote this Ode he was not only grieving for his son but the lives lost in his home country of England as this was also written shortly after the Peterloo Masacre. Shelley considered himself to be a revolutionary and wanted his words to be spread and make a change. I saw this in the last stanza of the poem when Shelley describes his hopes that his words will be spread throughout the universe “Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!” He hints at this once again in lines 68 and 69, telling the wind to prophesize his words to “unawakened Earth”. In the poem Ode to the West Wind, Percy Bysshe Shelley uses imagery, personification, and metaphors to describe the Wind as a fierce and powerful being who has the ability to give or take life. Shelley also has a strong desire to be like the wind so that his words will be spread throughout mankind. Shelley uses imagery in many different ways throughout this poem allowing the reader to...
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