Regarded as one of the finest lyric poets of the English-speaking world, Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on August 4, 1792 in Sussex, England. Immensely radical in his works and political as well as social, Shelley unfortunately did not receive much recognition during his lifetime. His worth as a genius as a poet came along only after his death. Shelley became such a strong influence on the next generation of poets and writers, so much so that he was great admired by the like of Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Robert Browning and Thomas Hardy.
Shelley’s literary compositions exemplify both extremes of Romanticism – joyous ecstasy and brooding despair. The major themes of Shelley’s works comprised – interchange with nature, pursuit of ideal love, rebellion against authority, visionary imagination and the untamed spirit always in search of freedom.
Though Shelley’s themes exude certain similar hues with his contemporaries, nonetheless, he has left behind certain peculiarities on the literary movement of Romanticism. Pursuit of the idea and the creation of powerful symbols are idiosyncratic to Shelley’s works. His compositions like Ozymandus, Ode to Intellectual Beauty, Prometheus Unbound and Ode to the West Wind are not only intellectual feasts but also a delight to the visual imaginations.
It goes without saying that Shelley’s radical ides embodied in his literary compositions, still remains as a challenge to us to achieve our extreme potentials.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Manuscript for “Ozymiandias” (biblioklept.org)
- Free Books by Percy Bysshe Shelley (mediabistro.com)
- Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) (biographyuk.wordpress.com)
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