Shelly as a Revolutionary Poet
Revolution is a dominant spirit in almost all the Romantic Poets. Percy Bysshe Shelley, a Romantic poet, is also called rebel for his idea of revolution in his poetry. He was one of the major English Romantic poets, and was regarded by some as the finest lyric, as well as epic, poet in the English language. HE was born in 4 August 1792 in Horsham, England. As the French Revolution dominated all politics in those years, unlike Wordsworth and Coleridge, Shelly never appalled by the ideals of revolution, though he was appalled by the dictatorship of Napoleon. Shelley only experienced the revolution at second hand through the books of various writers. When he looked back, all he could see was the flame of revolution still flickering in spite of the terror and disease.
In Ode to the West Wind, Shelley is seen as a rebel and he wants revolution. He desires a social change and the West Wind act as a driving force for change and regeneration in the human and natural world and it is the symbol of revolution. It acts as a destroyer and preserver. According to Shelley, The revolutionary wind has the power to create music out of his heart and to inspire him to write great poetry, which may create revolution in the hearts of men. He wants the wind to scatter his revolutionary message in the sleeping world that if winter comes, spring cannot be far behind. After bad days good days will must come. So we must not give up hope.
In the poem Ozymandias, Shelley’s ridicule of the powerful Egyptian ruler and his arrogant boast on the pedestal was a veiled disapproval of the English government under King George III. Shelley hated oppressive monarchical government and favoured revolution to overthrow it. He was inspired by the ideas of Thomas Paine, author of two documents: Common Sense and Crisis. These works promoted the American Revolution. In Ozymandias, Shelley’s focus on the decay as the final destiny of dictatorship, was an indirect warning that Britain could expect the same if they did not change its ways.
In the concluding part, it can be said that Shelley is a true revolutionary poet whose radical messages and poetry bears the ideas of revolution.
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