Percy Busshe Shelleys Hymn to Intellectual Beauty is a good example of a Romantic poem, because it is specific in focusing in on the Romantic genre of poetry that elevates the common mans experience to the sublime. (6) The relevance produced by this poetry, whether it is an abundance of emotion expressed by Wordsworth, a philosophical initiative presented by Coleridge, or a spiritual awakening depicted by Shelley, is sparked by the tenor of social and political circumstances at the time. A few of the characteristics of the Romantic period are 1.) Emphasis on the individual, 2.) Belief in the sublime, 3.) Emphasis on nature, 4.) Organicism, 5.) Supernaturalism, 6.) Spirit of Revolution 7.) Reverence for the imagination. (9-13)Shelley, influenced by Plato, was noted for being a great lyric poet of the sublime idealism, which is one of the characteristics of Romanticism. Shelley idealized humanity in the spiritual sense of being pure and having true beauty. This beauty of truth is found in Hymn of Intellectual Beauty, which is an ode. Shelley uses the word intellectual to mean nonsensible, which is part of mans experience to experience the natural world through his consciousness. This ode uses the imagination man has to sense the unseen. For example, in the first line of Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Shelley introduces the mysterious: The awful shadow of some unseen Power. (723) From the very beginning, the poem features one of the aspects of a Romantic poem. The unseen Power creates awe in the readers mind. The word awful means in awe of to this unseen Power. He uses concrete language to emphasize that this unseen visitor is of great power since he capitalizes the word power in this poem. In the third line, Shelley uses a simile to describe this invisible visitor: As summer winds that creep from flower to flower./ His reference in using the wind is to let his reader know that just like the wind that is unseen but is known to be there because its presence can be...
Cited: brams, M. H. and Stillinger, Editors. The Romantic Period Vol. 2. Hymn toIntellectual Beauty New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Seventh Edition. 2000.
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