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The Personification Of Nature In Percy Shelley's Poetry

1209 words - 5 pages

Personification has been used by many poet, authors, and writers alike to catch the attention of their audience by drawing a comparison. This technique of giving immanent objects human like characteristics allows for the readers to better identify with what is portrayed on the page. The romantic era poets, especially the second generation including Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and John Keats, loved the use of personification to call their readers to attention and make them return to nature and see it’s beauty if they could. The early romantics, Burns, Blake, Coleridge, and Wordsworth began this process through their poetry, “The World is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending, ...view middle of the document...

Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.”(Ozymandias lines 9-14) Shelley uses this experience to describe how one day, everything we have done on earth will not be remembered. Eventually the things we deem important will soon be nothing more. For the great Ozymandias, all of his work that he believed made him the greatest ruler who would ever live, in the end did not matter as they were overcome by the powers of nature, something men often forget to think of.
Shelley’s poem Ode to the West Wind moves into his use of personification to connect nature and his own soul or spirit. The poem begins with a description of the west wind of the fall which has the power to scatter leaves which causes destruction yet has the ability to preserve, it brings the clouds and the weather where it blows, then how the wind has an effect on the water and can disrupt the peacefulness of the waves, and after each description he asks the wind to listen to the words he will soon speak. He then relates the strength of the wind and how it can be both wonderful and terrible after which he asks to become as the water, leaf, or cloud that is carried in the wind. Finally he describes the sound wind makes in the tress and ask that the words and thoughts he has can be carried to the people throughout the world that they may read the words he writes and know the thought he had and his love of the nature around him. Throughout the whole poem Shelley uses words to personify the wind, making it behave or seem for human like. “A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed one too like thee: tameless, and swift and proud.”(Ode to the West Wind part IV lines 55-56) The human qualities Shelley gives to the wind allow the reader to understand it in a different way because of the personality traits each can see in themselves of those that surround them daily. It is Shelley’s use of personification that will allow his audience to identify with his work and search to feel the same about the world around them as he so clearly states that he does through his work.
Finally, Shelley’s To a Skylark uses personification to help the reader understand the mood and feelings he had during that time in...

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