Romantic Opinions in the Work of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Topics: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Romanticism / Pages: 13 (3212 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
To think of something romantically is to think of it naively, in a positive

light, away from the view of the majority. Percy Bysshe Shelley has many

romantic themes in his plays. Educated at Eton College, he went on to the

University of Oxford only to be expelled after one year after publishing an

inappropriate collection of poems. He then worked on writing full-time, and

moved to Italy shortly before his death in a boating accident off the shore

of Leghorn. He wrote many pieces, and his writing contains numerous themes.

Shelley experienced first-hand the French Revolution. This allowed him to

ponder many different situations, and determine deep philosophical views -

views that were so radically different they were considered naive at best,

downright wrong at worst. He contemplated socialism, having for a

father-in-law William Godwin, who was the prominent socialist in the United

Kingdom in Shelley 's time. Shelley liked Napolean, and was suspicious of both

the Bourbon monarchy and the Directory. Most of all, Shelley felt that all

people had the right to work for themselves; he did not support the notion

that once one had been born into a class, one must stay in that class for the

rest of one 's life. Shelley felt that all bodies of the universe were

governed by the same principle, completely contradicting the given theories,

those of Aristotle. Thus, Shelley gained a romantic and rather naive view of

the universe. In fact, Carlos Baker describes his poems as "The Fabric of a

Vision". (Baker 1) In Percy Bysshe Shelley 's poems, the author uses those

naive, romantic opinions on the themes of romance, politics, and science.

Romance is well defined as a theme choice for Shelley. Shelley uses this

theme rather romantically; one could say that Shelley 's theme in his amorous

poetry is unrestricted passion; love, Shelley feels, can overcome all

obstacles, distance, fear, even death. One example of this is in Shelley 's

poem which is



Bibliography: Baker, Carlos. Shelley 's Major Poetry. New York: Princeton Unversity Press, 1961. Blank, G. Kim. Wordsworth 's Influence on Shelley. New York: St. Martin 's Press, 1988 Chicago Press, 1971. Cambell, Pyre, and Weaver, eds Movement. New York: F.S. Crofts and Comapny, 1932. Hazlitt, William Ingpen, Peck, eds. The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Volume I. New York: Gordian Press, 1965 King-Hele, Desmond. Shelley: His Thought and Work. Teaneck: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1960 Knopf, Alfred, ed. Shelley: Poems. Toronto: David Campbell Publishers Ltd., 1993. "Percy Bysshe Shelley." Adventures in English Literature. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973 Shelley, Mary. "Mrs. Shelley 's Preface to the Collected Poems, 1839." The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley: Poems, Vol Shelley. Ingpen and Peck, eds. Toronto: Gordian Press, 1965.

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