The 1819 Manchester Massacre And Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Masque Of Anarchy

1484 words - 6 pages

The 1819 Manchester Massacre and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Masque of Anarchy

Sometimes a person is beyond all reach of society. Percy Bysshe Shelley was in Italy on August 16, 1819, during an event which shook his native England. The next month, word reached Italy, and upon receiving word of the protest gone awry, he immediately started work on a poem, and finished it before the end of the month (White 105). It became “The Masque of Anarchy.” Written in light of the 1819 Manchester Massacre, it demonstrates Shelley’s political stance, in that he detested the British government yet was terrified of the chaos and violence of a revolution.

       The Manchester Massacre, also called the Peterloo Massacre due to the name of the specific location--St. Peter’s Field--as well as its temporal proximity to the battle of Waterloo, took place on the field in the city, and featured such noted speakers of the day as Richard Carlile, John Cartwright, and Henry Hunt, all known for their contrarian views of the government (Bloy). The people there had gathered--fifty to sixty thousand outside of the city of only two hundred thousand, a fourth of the normal population--to protest, among other things, misrepresentation in Parliament (Manchester and other new industrial cities didn’t have any parliamentary representation, but much, much smaller townships did). However, such a large gathering, peaceful or not, would and did arouse the suspicions of the government, especially a bloated and corrupt government like England’s in the early nineteenth century. The English government, fearful of a violent uprising, took the first strike and sent more than sixteen hundred troops: cavalry, infantry, artillery, and even dispatched the local yeomanry and constables to keep watch on the situation (“Peterloo”). When magistrates decided that the gathering “could be the forerunner of revolution,” they announced the arrest of the speakers, but because the deputy constable in charge of the apprehension decided that involving the military in dispersing the crowd was the only way to get to the speakers (Bloy). A dispersal of so many people by armed troops is intimidating, especially given the shape of the city: St. Peter’s Field was in the center of the city, and troops filled the streets all around it, so when the troops attempted to disperse the protesters, they had no where to go and general chaos ensued (“Map”). The yeomanry in particular attacked the populace, and the military was forced not only to disperse the population, but also to hold back the “ill-trained” yeomanry (Bloy). Unfortunately, by the end of the day, not only were Hunt and the others arrested on trumped-up charges (they were accused of being “wicked” and conspiring to create an armed disturbance), but eleven men and women were dead and four hundred or so were injured (Bloy). All investigations of the events were prohibited, mainly to prevent a biased view; this, of course, was impossible for the fifty-or-so...

Find Another Essay On The 1819 Manchester Massacre and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Masque of Anarchy

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

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

Compare and Contrast the way nature is represented in Percy Bysshe Shelley's Mont Blanc and lines 452-542 from Book six of The Prelude by William Wordsworth

1666 words - 7 pages The Prelude is an auto-biographical, epic poem by William Wordsworth, 'Mont Blanc' by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a much shorter poem, however it correlates closely to a passage from Wordsworth's epic where he describes a walking trip he took to Mont Blanc. There are some startling similarities between the two pieces, but at the same time there are sharp contrasts in the way that the scene is represented and the poets have conflicting views on what

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ode to the West Wind

1217 words - 5 pages Percy Bysshe ShelleyOde to the West WindPercy Bysshe Shelley was born in Field Place on 4th August 1792. His ancestors had been Sussex aristocrats since early in seventeenth century. His grandfather, Sir Bysshe Shelley, made himself the richest man in Horsham and his father, Timothy Shelley, was hard-headed and conventional Member of Parliament.Percy Bysshe Shelley was sent to be educated at Eton and then he continued his studies at Oxford. By

The Ode to West Wind, by Percy Bysshe Shelley

1479 words - 6 pages The Ode to West Wind Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" is a lyric poem. The poem addresses the west wind as the powerful force and the speaker asks the west wind to disseminate his words and thoughts throughout the world. The speaker narrates the vicissitude of nature and how the west wind changes the ground, the sky and the ocean. With rich imagination which is the reflection of Shelley's "defence of Poetry," the poet modifies the

The Industrialization of Manchester

1102 words - 5 pages in the creation of towns. As factories sprang up along rivers, previously small towns such as Liverpool and Manchester grew massively in size almost overnight. In fact, the town of Manchester is considered a perfect model for early and middle industrial life. Over time, Manchester, like all other industrial towns, grew and changed to adapt to various social and political outcries of the time. Manchester, over the course of 100 years, grew from a

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

The Problems of Philosophical Anarchy

1082 words - 4 pages society, for example, the Free Territory (1918-1921). Within this essay I will argue that there are a number of problems with philosophical anarchism and that it is at best a critique of the modern system (a capitalist state) offerings no viable alternative. The word anarchy comes from the Greek: an (without/the absence of) archos (ruler/chief/authority/leader.) Anarchists claim that social stability is achievable without any form of hierarchy

Symbolism of Life and Death in “The Masque of the

1064 words - 4 pages Symbolism of Life and Death in "The Masque of the Red Death" One characteristic of a romantic piece of literature is the use of symbolism the authors use in their works. In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death," symbolism is used and seen many times. Some things in the story, when taken at face value, seem peculiar and confusing, such as the different colored rooms in the hallway, the purpose of the giant ebony clock, and

Comparing Masque of the Red Death and Hop Frog

999 words - 4 pages Masque of the Red Death and Hop Frog The manner in which Poe addresses the topic of class differences and the struggle for power with his fictional characters resounds of his own struggles in his personal life. However, unlike in Hop Frog and the Masque of the Red Death, he was never himself able to emerge wholly victorious over his adversaries, including the publishing industry. In addition, Poe’s characters appear to

Manchester United: Brand of Hope and Glory

2366 words - 9 pages •Media •GovernmentsStakeholders within segment A are of very little power and interest, Manchester United can keep these stakeholders informed but are not of high importance.Segment B contains stakeholders of high interest yet low power. They will need to be kept informed and also to a certain degree, need to be kept interested in the teams actions.Segment C contains stakeholders who have high power and low interest, they are at times

Similar Essays

John Keats’ To Autumn And Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ode To The West Wind

1292 words - 5 pages John Keats’ To Autumn and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind Even though both John Keats’s “To Autumn” and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind” are about the same season, they are very dissimilar. Keats’s poem concentrates on the creating power of autumn, and makes it seem a gentle season, while in Shelley’s poem death is a repeating image, and shows autumn’s destroying power. In “To Autumn”, Keats uses three

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

Romanticism And Percy Bysshe Shelley Essay

1237 words - 5 pages Romanticism and Percy Bysshe Shelley The age of Romanticism covers the period between the French Revolution in 1789 and the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837. During this period of time there were produced an unexpected richness of writers, artists, and composers throughout Europe such as Goethe, Rousseau, Pushkin, Hugo, Beethoven, Schubert, and many others. Romanticism has certain characteristics, such as emotion, imagination

Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Cloud And The Romantic Theme Of Deity In Nature

1818 words - 7 pages Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Cloud and the Romantic Theme of Deity in Nature   Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in 1792, the eldest of seven children. Shelley was very hostile to organized religion, declaring religion must perish. Moroever, Shelley read widely, including the Bible, and thus knew his opponents. "The Cloud," written in 1820 is a short poem written in abcb (as opposed to the heroic couplets of previous generations) rhyme scheme