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Lecture 2

Week 23: Shelley

Course Code
Helen Hatton

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Week 23:
-sees literature as a form of alienation (from normalworld/society) but also understand
true/enduring forms
-subversive yet moralistic nature of lit
-1811: writes Necessity of Atheism and is expelled from Oxford
-involved w/ Harriet Westbrook + Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
1816: writes Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Mont Blanc; Mary writes Frankenstein
-1821: death of Keats – writes Adonais and A Defence of Poetry
-his feelings of alienation mirror the Romantic tradition where man, going outside of
society / retreats into nature, looks to both past and present
-echoes Medieval poemWanderer” we read earlier
-figures of self-sacrifice:
-Christ in wilderness
-Jubal (son of Cain) – creator of music, but wanders around in wilderness
-SHELLEY: Mutability
-looks at mutability NOT as a way of knowing God (Anglo-Saxon poetry) but rather, a
void” where man can use own powers to make sense of life
-Romantic poets: a comparison
-Wordsworth: success; poet can capturemoments /spots of time within the grand
scope of nature; and bc he captures, so everyone else can comprehend. – “moment of
-Shelley: focus on dynamic themes – action, endlessly moving things – mutability
SHELLEY: Mont Blanc (p. 762)
Part 1:
-“the everlasting universe of things -> sounds stable, fixed, but actuallyflows through
the mind, and rolls its rapid waves – contradiction
-outside world + inside human mind (“where from secret springs / The source of human
thought its tribute brings)
Part 2: energizes relationship btwn mind + outer world
-“secret throne of power” – personifies Power
-ravine = metaphor for the mind
-what is the nature of the Mind? DYNAMIC.
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