Philosophy in the Life of Percy Shelley

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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 ... ... middle of paper ... ...ume 2. London: Macmillan and Co., 1894. 205-252. Colvile, Derek. Victorian Poetry and the Romantic Religion. Albany, NY: State University of New York, 1970. 34-42. Gingerich, Solomon. Essays in Romantic Poets. New York: Octagon Books, 1969. 195-242. Isomaki, Richard. "Interpretation and Value in 'Mont Blanc' and 'Hymn to Intellectual Beauty." Studies in Romanticism. Volume 30 n1 (1991): 57-69. Karunaretne, R. S. "A Rebel with a Mad Streak." Colombo, Sri Lanka: Sunday Observer. August 8, 1999. 29. Kipperman, Mark. "Coleridge, Shelley, Davy, and Science's Millennium." Criticism. Volume 40 n3 (1998): 409-437. Roberts, Hugh. "Shelly Among the Post-Kantians." Studies in Romanticism. Volume 35 n2 (1996): 295-329. Shelley, Percy. Selected poems found in The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Volume 2, 7Th edition (2000): 698-798.

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