Percy Bysshe Shelley Philosophy Of Life

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Percy Bysshe Shelley’s writings and philosophy of life have been subjects of academic debates and a bourgeoning area of research. Critics of Shelley’s philosophical vision of life have generally been divided into two polarised camps. The one maintains that Shelley was “a falsetto screamer, a sentimental narcissus, a dream-ridden escapist, an immoral free-love cultist with a highly inflammable nature and particularly, in the present age, as the weakling author of the lyric called ‘The Indian serenade” (Carlos Baker, 11). Mathew Arnold(1865), for instance,opines that Shelley is an “ineffectual angel”. Francis Thompson’s view is that he was a “winsome child” and André Maurois (1923) thinks of him as an “impulsive Ariel”. George Santayana (1913)…show more content…
In the “Preface by Mrs Shelley to the First Collected Edition, 1839” of Hutchinson’s Shelley: Poetical Works1, she stresses that Shelley has been judged partially. She insists that if he were judged impartially by critics “his character would stand in fairer and brighter light than that of any of his contemporary”. She stresses that without the negative and partial criticism, the exalted nature of Shelley’s “soul would have raised him into something divine” (ix). It is on this account that Mary Shelley seeks to re-establish what she terms “the truth” about her husband’s poetic vision and philosophical thought. She draws her reasoning and argument from what she considers to be Shelley’s attachment to the cause of human happiness and improvement, the fervent eloquence with which he discussed his subjects and the happy abundance and beautiful language in which he clothed his poetic ideas. She concludes that the “ruling passion” of Shelley’s “soul” was to defecate life of its misery and evil. According to her, Shelley dedicated to this passion “every power of his mind, every pulsation of his soul”. She further contends that Shelley looked on political freedom “as the direct agent to effect the happiness of mankind”…show more content…
In spite of this “Edenic” loss, man still has the possibility through will as a necessity to go back to his past and lost glory. This movement is what we call in this study Dynamic organicism and what M.H Abrams(1973) in Natural Supernaturalism calls “the therapeutic

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