Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Cloud and the Romantic Theme of Deity in Nature

Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Cloud and the Romantic Theme of Deity in Nature

Length: 1802 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 but this feature is the least of its norm breaking properties. In "The Cloud," Shelley expresses the Romantic theme of man finding deity in nature.

In the first stanza, Shelley reveals the cloud's deity by expressing the multiple functions of the cloud. In the same way the Christian God has multiple functions like Creator, Redeemer, and Comforter, the cloud has many functions. First, Shelley portrays the cloud as a gardener. He brings water to the thirsty flowers. This is a picture of a nurturer. Second, Shelley personifies the leaves as Mother Nature's children. The cloud is a shade bearer for the leaves who take a noonday nap. In addition, Shelley personifies the buds as Mother Nature's children. Each night Mother Nature rocks the buds to rest at her breast, a symbol of nurture. Moreover, Shelley gives Mother Nature human characteristics by saying she dances around the moon. This is simply Shelley's symbolism for the rotation of the Earth. In addition, the wind showers forth hail as a sign of judgement. Then he shows his power over the hail by dissolving it in rain. Finally, Shelley gives the cloud the ability to laugh like a human being. The cloud's laughing is his thunder. This is the laughing of a boastful arrogant deity as he shows his power. Shelley believes nature to be a more be...


... middle of paper ...


...ase after an immortal Spirit. This is a highly figurative expression of science with a double meaning. Furthermore, Shelley continues to describe the cloud in terms of bird imagery. Like a bird, the cloud soars on the wind. In addition the cloud boastfully exclaims his deity. He does this by inferring he is not mortal. In this same stanza Shelley gives an intense reflection on the activity of the cloud during the night. Then Shelley displays a glowing representation of nature by alluding to biblical images. The devout Anglican would easily pick up on this reflection and relate the likeness in his head. Finally, the last stanza displays the life cycle of a cloud. Shelley does this by describing the precipitation cycle in poetic language.

 

Works Cited:

MacEachen, Dougald. Cliffs Notes on Keats and Shelley. Lincoln, Nebraska: Cliffs Notes Incorporated, 1996.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Cloud By Percy Bysshe Shelley

- In the poem “The Cloud” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Shelley exposes the power of nature and it’s relation to the human condition. Typically when we examine the concept of life, we think of our lives as being linear and sequential. However, through “The Cloud” we see how nature directly correlates to the cycle of life and the connecting themes of life, death, and rebirth. Shelley uses figurative language in a multitude of ways throughout the entirety the poem in order to entice and captivate the reader....   [tags: Poetry, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Rhyme, Emotion]

Powerful Essays
925 words (2.6 pages)

Ode Of The West Wind By Percy Shelley Essay

- Ode to the West Wind In his writings, Percy Shelley strays away from neoclassical writing and writes some of the greatest Romantic Literature of his time. Using this new style of writing he uses metaphors, especially negative ones to further the message he’s trying to convey and to make to poem more readable and draws on the wind from the poem for inspiration in an unconventional way. 0 Percy Shelley was born in 1792. He studied at Oxford, where he was later kicked out for writing an insulting pamphlet about Atheism that was directed towards the people in charge....   [tags: Romanticism, John Keats, Mary Shelley, Literature]

Powerful Essays
1377 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Poetry that Exemplifies the Characteristics of The Romantic Movement

- The Romantic Movement was largely a response to the emergence of The Enlightenment in Europe, which had prized objectivity and rationality in the human endeavor. However, as the revolutions to topple the aristocracy in Europe gained traction, the Romantic Movement began to turn to emotions more than reason as the true essence of man. The Romantics looked back to the medieval concept of the sublime, the feeling of awe and fear at something transcendent. Thus, the Romantic Movement prioritized feelings and emotions over reason or intellect....   [tags: emotion, nature, beauty]

Powerful Essays
643 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on The Personification of Nature in Percy Shelley's Poetry

- 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....   [tags: images, spirit, beauty]

Powerful Essays
935 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Notable Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

- Percy Bysshe Shelley is a very influential Romantic poet, who is part of what is the second generation of Romantic poets, the “young hellions”. He is catagorized with Lord Byron and John Keats, who are also important poets during their times. Shelley, like his other two comrades, died at a young age, as they lived fast and hard. He had died in a boating accident, when he was 29 years old. Shelley had a few notable poems, such as Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, and To a Skylark. As a Romantic poet, Shelley often used connected nature to spirit, and did that using examples of personification in his poems Ode to the West Wind and To a Skylark....   [tags: poet, nature, personification]

Powerful Essays
622 words (1.8 pages)

Two Romantic poems concerning nature are To Autumn by John Keats Essay

- Two Romantic poems concerning nature are To Autumn by John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s To a Skylark. These two poems celebrate different aspects of nature: ‘Compare how nature is presented two Romantic poems’ Poets of the Romantic Era tried to express their feelings of beauty, nature and decay through poems and other means of literature. Two Romantic poems concerning nature are “To Autumn” by John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “To a Skylark”. These two poems celebrate different aspects of nature: as the title of the poem suggests “To Autumn” is about the season of autumn, whereas “To a Skylark” is about a skylark, a miniscule bird that is famous for its song....   [tags: English Literature]

Powerful Essays
1457 words (4.2 pages)

Shelley Percy Mutability Analysis Essay

- Shelley Percy was a prominent and influential poet of the Romantic era. Similar to other Romantic poets, Shelley found tranquility and peace in nature, he was captivated by clouds, mists, rivers, seas. In his poems he uses these natural elements to discuss truths about the human condition. Specifically, in his poem “Mutability” Shelley shows the fragility and unpredictability of the human condition. The poem starts by allowing the reader and Shelley to become the subjects of the poem by using the subject pronoun “we.” According to the Norton Anthology of English Literature, “this adaptation of the traditional Lyric poem draws specific attention to Shelley’s desire to educate, or speak direct...   [tags: Meaning of life, Romanticism, Human condition]

Powerful Essays
782 words (2.2 pages)

Romantic Expressions of Mutability and Mortality Essay

- Romantic expressions of Mutability and Mortality The Romantic movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was a direct reaction to the established cultural ideals of the European Enlightenment. The values of the Enlightenment were based upon scientific rationality, but eventually this movement culminated in the bloodthirsty French Revolution, which, in turn, spawned violent upheaval throughout Europe. Many of the Romantic poets were greatly disenchanted by the barbarity displayed by their fellow man, and as a result, began to reject the logic-based, `enlightened' mindset of the times, aspiring instead to emotional ideals....   [tags: Poetry]

Powerful Essays
870 words (2.5 pages)

Nature of the Mind Essay

- William Blake, a poet that strongly believed in the power of mind, once wrote, "if we see with imagination, we see all things in the infinite." The Romantic poets use their imagination when gazing at nature, and therefore see and feel the infinite through their poetry. William Wordsworth expresses the serene beauty that nature possesses and its calming effects on the mind. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the poetic geniuses of the age, uses nature and his imagination to create surreal atmospheres....   [tags: Poetry]

Powerful Essays
809 words (2.3 pages)

Romanticism and Shelley's Ode to the West Wind Essay

- Romanticism and Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind"     M.H. Abrams wrote, "The Romantic period was eminently an age obsessed with fact of violent change" ("Revolution" 659). And Percy Shelley is often thought of as the quintessential Romantic poet (Appelbaum x). The "Ode to the West Wind" expresses perfectly the aims and views of the Romantic period. Shelley's poem expresses the yearning for Genius. In the Romantic era, it was common to associate genius with an attendant spirit or force of nature from which the genius came; the Romantics perceived the artist as a vessel through which the genius flows....   [tags: Ode West Wind]

Powerful Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)