Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of those English Romantic poets who lived with high passion. His idea of idealism and the activity of a dreamer surfaced through the words in his poems. The scope of living during and post-era of the French Revolution bestowed him the opportunity to embrace the impacts of the French uprising. And because of this, readers of his age and the modern time entitle him as the revolutionary poet Shelley.
Yes, Percy Bysshe Shelley emerged as the revolutionary poet of the most discussed second generation. His poems uncovered the sense of “revolutionary idealism” with a touch of utter excellence. A majority of experts identify him as “the poet of future.” Shelley always lived in a world of ideas and future visions that seemed to him a lot more reasonable, sensible, and realistic. He never possessed a liking for the so-called or presumed tangible realities of the universe.
The famous English poet explicates the causes behind humankind’s regeneration. His words in the poems deal with the liberating of humanity. In truth, he advocated three main pillars of the French Revolution, i.e., equality, liberty, and fraternity. He possessed profound hatred for priests, kings, and many other tyrants and oppressors. The great poet even had resentment at the tyrant God originated from custom and fear. The famous ode “Ode to the West Wind” shows his belief in mending and restoring humankind.
The lyrics of this ode set him apart from other lyrical poets. “Ode to the West Wind” displays his skill in manifesting powerful poetic subject matter. It shows how an approach towards a storm stirs a strong emotion that awakens other important sleeping emotions in the poet’s heart. The whole illustration demonstrates how the existence “burst into flame” surrounding the ‘first strong’ emotion. And with this, the union of a human being, the poet, with nature takes place. In addition, that man comes to know nature’s stormy and peaceful characters.
This realization helps him to mingle wholeheartedly with nature to sing for promoting “the restoration of mankind.” It is tough to find any other song so passionate in English literature like the one in the famous ode, “Ode to the West Wind.” Even the lyrics of this song seem so penetrating that it unlocks a robust force that unites the poetic idea and vision into a sole creation. And this proves why the revolutionary poet Shelley is both a realist and an idealist with revolutionary idealism.
As a rebel, Percy Bysshe Shelley retained great disliking for his time’s social, economic, and political institutions. He had massive scorn for the stringent laws obstructing the required growth and progress of man’s personality. According to him, love must be the fundamental quality for human development instead of oppression and despotism.
Shelley’s continuous advocating for the upliftment of humanity unfolded his eagerness to ignite in the heart of the readers an ethical enthusiasm for the principles of justice and liberty. In a word, he stood in favour of faith and optimism in creating something meaningful and good. The means the eminent English poet always stood against violence and prejudice. However, he was also aware that the said negative features could never get extinguished entirely among humankind.
His words, ideas, and visions uncover his belief that “authority without love” creates great distress in life. The reason behind this reliance is human soul always covets the “freedom to love.” Yes, it desires the freedom to accompany that quality of growth, which appears reasonable, decent, and virtuous in human life. In addition, the soul also possesses the willingness to take that quality as the rule of life.
It is an unquestionable truth that love always gets considered all around as the one and only rule. At the same time, there is a strong opinion that it should lead the entire moral world. Furthermore, it is, no doubt, obvious that ‘love’ is a spontaneous affection of human nature. But it can perish under restriction because its only lifeblood is liberty. Shelley is aware of this truth.
Therefore to save and nurture the significant ‘spontaneous affection,’ he wanted to abolish the insignificantly rigid and barren social laws. He successfully identified the way by which a stringent social order forced morality to wear artificial apparel. In short, as one idealist and moralist, the poet emerged with the “quest for love” to unlock the “quest for freedom.”
One big reality about Percy Bysshe Shelley is he remained a rebel his entire life and raised his voice for freedom all the time. This trait most probably helped him to realize the actual value of “freedom.” In addition, being a true humanitarian, he never hesitated to sing about human sorrows and woes. And, for sure, this is the reason why even the readers of today dare to call him the revolutionary poet Shelley.
The British man believed that love was the ultimate remedy to treat injustice, oppression, and tyranny. He expressed his view with full potency in all his poems. His famous poem, “The World’s Great Age Begins Anew,” points out his optimistic outlook regarding the regeneration of humankind. Being the staunch apostle of revolutionary dogma, Shelley appeared, for the contemporaries, as the oracle of the coming golden era.
His robust optimism rekindled the dying hope for a new bright future. Yes, a shining future for humans. He was sure that it would come when love and freedom would reign after wiping out the venom of evil, including injustice, prejudice, lust, and tyranny. Several literary experts have already opined that Percy Bysshe Shelley will remain as the living force forever. Why? Because his poetic inventions will never stop from igniting the prophetic fire leading to inspiration.