Philosophy In The Life Of Percy Shelley

1690 words - 7 pages

Philosophy in the Life of Percy Shelley

Thesis: There was no end to the apparent contradictions of personal philosophy versus popular culture, and what Shelley actually accomplished in his short life. Shelley was cognoscente of this contradiction, as can be seen in his Preface to The Revolt of Islam, and it continually shadowed his career.

The Romantic writers of the late 1700s and the early 1800s enjoyed a freedom in writing that is reminiscent of the freedom of some of the great Greek writers. Like the Greeks more than one thousand years earlier, the Romantic writers were able to enjoy such professions in the humanities due to the influx of technology in their respective societies. With the rise of the Greek Polis came efficiency in farming, shared labor, and specialized manufacturing on a more primitive scale. These innovations were key to the origin of philosophical writing for never before had so many humans had the luxury of time for contemplating life. The medical and mechanical advances, and increased importance of education for all classes in England during the 19th century replicated this revolution in many ways. England was developing into a network of urban areas. Wealthy business owners were able to support young poets and artist in their artistic endeavors. Without the support of the urban society, poets such as Shelley would have lived a life of labor and non-published thoughts of life. The irony occurs in that Romanic Poets such as Percy Shelley, who enjoyed the luxuries of modern life, would come to distain the very evolutionary events of society which enabled the time and freedom to contemplate. There was no end to the apparent contradictions of personal philosophy versus popular culture, and what Shelley actually accomplished in his short life. Shelley was cognoscente of this contradiction, as can be seen in his Preface to The Revolt of Islam, and it continually shadowed his career.
I aspire to be something better. The circumstances of my accidental
education have been favorable to this ambition.
An early inspiration to Shelley's thoughts was William Godwin. The effects of Godwin's writings upon Shelley would extend beyond his high school years. The book Political Justice entranced Shelley. The idea of a world dominated by philosophy rather than religion can be seen in Shelley's own ideals of Millennialism. Shelley accepted enthusiastically Godwin's promotion of free love instead of the cursed institution of marriage.
Shelley's own family did not understand him from the beginning. Shelley had expected an inheritance from his father, but upon Shelley's expulsion from Oxford his father disinherited him. Shelley's mother discouraged his reading of books as well as she felt that the reading added to his madness (Karunaratne, 29). Shelly's grandfather did provide a sum of money for him, but Shelley had an awkward appreciation for the money. Shelley, though he had no real income, would share...

Find Another Essay On Philosophy in the Life of Percy Shelley

Analysis of Prometheus by Percy Bysshe Shelley

1122 words - 4 pages Response Paper #5: Prometheus Unbound In his work Prometheus, Percy Bysshe Shelley seeks to show how the sufferings of Prometheus are like those of Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost, and how the tyranny of Jupiter is like what he sees as the tyranny of Milton’s God. In doing this, Shelly ends up making a Christ of Satan and a Satan of God. The intriguing character of Prometheus performs a change throughout the play. At the beginning of the play

The Life of Mary Shelley Essay

879 words - 4 pages Clairmont. At this time, however, Percy was married to his wife, Harriet. Two years passed, and Mary had bore Percy two children; one died a month after birth, and the other died at five months old. This was just the beginning of the tragedies in Mary's life. In the summer of 1816, tensions began to lift long enough for the brilliant Mary to envision the story of Frankenstein. Shelley, Mary, and Claire rented a house in Lake Geneva, close to the

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ode to the West Wind

1217 words - 5 pages suicide, the courts denied Shelley the custody of their children. Shelley married Mary and in 1818 moved to Italy. Within nine months in 1818-1819, Clara and William, the beloved children of Percy and Mary Shelley, both died. This tragedy destroyed the earlier harmony of their relationship with each other.His poetic life-work was fulfilled in Italy and he wrote his greatest works. In 1819 he completed his masterpiece, Prometheus Unbound, and a

The Ode to West Wind, by Percy Bysshe Shelley

1479 words - 6 pages west wind, being both a destroyer and a preserver, as a symbol of revolution, an impetus of the rejuvenation in both human and natural world. Then, the speakers complains about the circumstances of his life, pleads to accompany with the west wind and states his prophecy about future. In the first Stanza, the west wind is personified and the speaker sketches the spirit of the west wind in autumn. Those dead leaves are blown away by the west

Life Of Marry Shelley

1039 words - 4 pages reading her mother’s writings, at age ten she had them all memorized. As a child when times were bad and people were arguing in her household, Mary would walk to her mother’s grave at the St. Pancreas churchyard, where she would read and spend time pondering on her thoughts. In June the year of eighteen fourteen Mary was introduced to Percy Shelley around the age of sixteen. He became acquainted with her father and his ways and philosophy

Creation of Life in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

1389 words - 6 pages Many people may think that if someone were to create life as complex as humans it would beneficial to humans. In the story Frankenstein, Victor creates an intelligent new species of life. This “monster” is rejected by society and seeks revenge on humans and Victor. Throughout Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses the theme of the creation and destruction of life to illustrate how the creation of life can be a threat to many other lives. The book

English Poetry . Speaks of the younger romantics of the late 1700's and early 1800's. George Gordon Byron (Lord Byron), John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley

713 words - 3 pages Gordon Byron (Lord Byron), John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. These men were all pushing for liberty, appreciation of natural beauty, and justice for the oppressed. The only sad thing is that only one of the three lived to the age of thirty, and he died at the age of thirty-six.George Gordon was born on Jan. 22, 1788, in London. At 17 he entered Cambridge University. He read much literature but cared little for other subjects. The public reacted

The Relevance of Philosophy in Every Day Life

723 words - 3 pages The entire world does not exist; everything people knew was not real, and humans are nothing but an electromagnetic pulse. In other words, we might be living in a mind of another superior, and practically do not necessarily exist. It is metaphysics, a branch of philosophy that people ponder upon. As obscure it might seem, philosophy does apply to everyday practical life and it does not only deal with existential queries. Philosophies’ relevance

Comparing the Philosophy of Life in Christianity and Chinese Buddhism

847 words - 3 pages Comparing the Philosophy of Life in Christianity and Chinese Buddhism Chinese Philosophy not only is the fruit of thinking of the Chinese nation, but also is the important component part of world culture. In Chinese philosophy, there are three main parts: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Among them, Chinese Buddhism, which came from India, experienced a course of sinicization under the influence of Chinese traditional culture

The paradox of discovery in mary shelley

1802 words - 7 pages disappointed. It requires more philosophy than I possess, to bear this injustice with patience" (209). Shelley's statement rings clear in spite of Walton's bitterness: to admit the injustice of one's mortality requires philosophy, and to hold ideas of glory and honor is to endure present hardships regardless of the pain you may cause your fellow man. Science�which may be described as a desperate addiction to

Analysis of Percy Jackson and the Olympians

2786 words - 11 pages The fact that Percy Jackson has friends is incredible. It’s an unshakable fact that any friend of his within a ten mile radius will be in a life or death situation with him by dinner, and they aren’t always so lucky as him. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Over the course of the five-part contemporary young adult series Percy Jackson & The Olympians, titular character Percy Jackson must embrace his Greek God parentage and save Olympus with

Similar Essays

The Life Of Percy Bysshe Shelley

1064 words - 5 pages Percy Bysshe Shelley began life in Horsham, Sussex, England as the oldest child out of seven children. Shelley faced much hardship throughout his life for his controversial views and philosophies. Percy's life however got better after he married Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, his second wife, as they were intellectually equal and both wrote. Percy was born August 4th, 1792 in a small village of Broadbridge Heath, there he learned to fish and hunt

Ode Of The West Wind By Percy Shelley

1211 words - 5 pages Percy Shelley was a rebellious writer. Many of the things that he had written didn’t really follow the social standards of his time. Many times, he would call something out or introduce many ludicrous ideas. He also was a huge fan of William Wordsworth, a poet who thought the Industrial Revolution was ruining our connection towards nature. So, Shelley tended to follow this theme, except in a more rebellious way and Adam Kirsch agrees when he

Irony In Ozymandias By Percy Bysshe Shelley

610 words - 2 pages Ozymandias, the Greek name for Ramses II, is a sonnet written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. In the poem, Shelley uses irony as a form of satire, mocking tyranny. The poem was published, according to Ian Lancashire (University of Toronto) near January of 1818. At that time, for Europeans, places like Egypt were considered exotic and that adds to the popularity of the sonnet at the time. Shelley wrote this poem in a competition with Horace Smith

What The Skylark Taught Percy Shelley

780 words - 4 pages In his poem, “To a Skylark,” Percy Shelley praises the title character as well as implores the creature to teach him happiness. Yet the kind of happiness he seeks is different than the kind of tainted human emotion he naturally experiences but rather to understand the raw and heavenly joy that the skylark is graced with. “Teach us, Sprite or Bird,” (line 62 pg 892) Shelley pleads to the creature that he so fondly praises throughout the poem