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Transcript

Percy bysshe shelley

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presented by Morriello nicolo' and olivotto massimo

CONTENTS

01.

HIS LIFE

02.

THEMES

03.

THE POET'S TASK

04.

ENGLAND IN 1819

05.

STRUCTURE

INTRODUCTION

Influenced by Enlightenment ideas, Percy Bysshe Shelley as a poet and intellectual defended liberal thought and openly rebelled against English religious and political institutions. His lyrics, with a bright and impulsive tone, fit perfectly into the trend of romantic poetry, of which he is considered one of the greatest authors, especially English ones.

TIMELINE

1815

The Timeline

1792

1818

1818-1822

Shelley believed strongly in the principles of freedom and love, which he regarded as remedies for the faults and evils of society.

1)FREEDOM AND LOVE

2)IMAGINATION

Shelly defence poetry as the expression of imagination, which should be understood as revolutionary creativity, capable of changing the reality of an increasingly material world.

3)NATURE

The nature that Shelley describes is not the real world of Wordsworth’s poems. It is instead a beautiful veil that hides the eternal truth of the Divine Spirit.

4)THE POET'S TASK

The poet, for Shelley, is both a prophet and a titan challenging the cosmos. The poet’s task is to help mankind reach an ideal world, where freedom, love and beauty replace tyranny, destruction and alienation.

England in 1819

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king, Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring,Rulers who neither see, nor feel, nor know, But leech-like to their fainting country cling, Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow,A people starved and stabbed in the untilled field,An army, which liberticide and prey Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield, Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay; Religion Christless, Godless—a book sealed; A Senate,—Time's worst statute unrepealed,Are graves, from which a glorious Phantom may Burst, to illumine our tempestous day.

THE FORM

“England in 1819” is a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem metered in iambic pentameter. Like many of Shelley’s sonnets, it does not fit the rhyming patterns one might expect from a nineteenth-century sonnet; instead, the traditional Petrarchan division between the first eight lines and the final six lines is disregarded. The rhyme scheme is: ABABABCDCDCCDD. The first six lines deal with England’s rulers, the king and the princes, and the final eight deal with everyone else. The sonnet’s structure is out of joint, just as the sonnet proclaims England to be.

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THE ANALYSIS

Shelley, exiled in Italy but following the news from England, summarised his nation’s ills in this sonnet, that is also a response to the brutal Peterloo Massacre in 1819.. The poem attacks England, as the poet sees it, decadent and ruled by a king, George III, who is dying, old, blind, insane and despised. His sons, the ‘leechlike’ princes, are objects of public scorn. The people are hungry, oppressed and hopeless. Meanwhile, the army is corrupt. The laws are harsh and useless because they are manipulated to protect the rich and enchain the poor. Religion is in a state of apathy and Parliament denies Roman Catholics their civil rights. Instead, the last two lines express the hope that a ‘glorious Phantom’ may spring from this decay and "illumine our tempestuous day" by destroying all wrongs.

WEBSITE AND RESOURCES

WIKIPEDIA.COM

POETS.ORG

POETSCOMMUNITY.ORG

SPARKNOTES.COM

THEGUARDIAN.COM

Education and first works

Shelley was born on 4 August 1792 in Sussex (England). He studied at prestigious schools such as Eton and Oxford, from where, however, he was expelled at nineteen for a pamphlet on the Necessity of Atheism. For this and for his marriage to a young sixteen-year-old, Harriet Westbrook, he broke with his family and began an irregular and wandering life.
  • university of oxford.
The death

On 8 July 1822, he died during a boat trip off the coast of Viareggio. His ashes were buried some time later in the non-Catholic cemetery in Rome, where they still rest today. During the fire, perfumes, incense and aromatic oils procured by Byron himself were poured on Percy's body.An anecdote has it that Shelley's heart was not incinerated by the flames. The incredible fact was recounted by Byron in a letter. Trelawny gave it to Mary in a wooden box along with Shelley's bones and ashes.The heart was actually removed almost intact from the pyre, as will be seen later, and kept by Mary Shelley until the day of her death, when it was buried in Bornemouth cemetery.

The poem was composed in 1819, but it was not published until 1839 in the four-volume "The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley" (London) edited by Mary Shelley.

The Peterloo Massacre

On 16 August 1819, over 60,000 working class people from the towns and villages of Manchester marched to St Peter’s Field to demand parlamentary and economic reforms. Their peaceful protest turned bloody when Manchester magistrates ordered a private militia to storm the crowd with sabres. Eleven people were killed and four hundred wounded. The incident was named the Peterloo Massacre, an allusion to the Battle of Waterloo four years earlier.

SHELLEY AND MARY

Shelley had revolutionary ideas and for this reason entered into a relationship with the philosopher William Godwin, whose positions oscillated between individualistic anarchism, socialism and utopianism. He fell in love with their daughter, Mary (she was the author of the famous "black" novel Frankenstein, 1818) and left his wife and children for her; he married her after his first wife took her own life.

LAST YEARS OF HIS LIFE

After a series of alternating literary and personal events, in 1818, having severed all relations with his family and in a terrible state of health, the poet, with his wife, moved to Italy, where, within four years, he stayed in Venice, Livorno, Lucca.Italy allowed Shelleys, Byron and other exiles a political freedom unattainable at home. The Italian years were intense both from an intellectual and creative point of view for both Shelleys.

FRIENDSHIP WITH BYRON

In 1818 he published "The Revolt of Islam", a poem with revolutionary tones: shortly afterwards the couple left England, where Shelley would never return. Even his homeland no longer wanted to hear of him, banished from society because of his radical ideas and his extravagant behavior. In the following four years he lived mainly in Italy, where he became friends with the poet Leigh Hunt and where he continued his acquaintance with his friend Byron with a certain intensity.