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My poem is Mutability by Shelley - Research Paper Example

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Name 4 November 2012 Literary Analysis Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote the poem entitled ‘Mutability’ in the year 1772 in the form of a lyrical poem withholding an indifferent tone. He was a poet of the romantic era and based his work in a similar fashion. If one begins to literally analyze the poem, a great deal of imagery, similes and metaphors may be extracted…
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Download file to see previous pages... (Wise, Louise) At its inception, the poet places both humans and nature on the same physical platform in the poem, by talking about humans as ‘clouds’, meaning human beings being a very ephemeral part of life as they disappear just like clouds do and thus the other words to describe the human race are words like darkness that fades away every now and then, and the night which is again a very temporary part of the day. Human agency thus is compared to something that does not last forever and even compared to a ‘forgotten lyre’ or an ancient Greek musical instrument that has long been forgotten. Shelley’s comparisons have been made in order to emphasize on the mutable condition of life or the evergreen and eternal human condition of change which can be understood as being mutable. As mentioned in a particular source, ‘this is both a natural condition, such as the clouds that are one minute here and the next minute there, “restlessly speeding, gleaming, quivering, and streaking across the dark night” only to be soon thereafter “lost forever,” on the one hand, and a human-caused phenomenon, such as a lyre, “whose strings give a various response to various blasts” and on which no new “modulation sounds like the last.” The point is that all things, natural or created, are always changing. Nothing is constant.’ (Percy Shelley: Poems Summary and Analysis) It may be understood quite early on by reading the poem that the poetic technique or form used to describe ‘mutability’, a poem that is “brief and discontinuous, emphasizing sound and pictorial imagery rather than narrative or dramatic movement” (Frye, Northrop, Joseph Adamson, and Jean Wilson). Most romantic poets make use of this very technique for example Keats, Wordsworth and Coleridge, apart from Shelley, in order to help the readers understand the stance of human beings in the universe with the use of natural similes and imagery. Understanding the analysis better, the dimension of human thoughts and emotions has been talked about in the third stanza of Shelley’s poem. Here he make a reference to the awake and sleeping state of mind of a human being and the times during which he visits the garden of his thoughts which decide the injection of positive and negative thoughts. He introduces the stanza by talking about the thoughts that occur in a person’s mind when he is asleep ‘we rest’ or when he is awake ‘we rise’ by describing their ever changing nature. Sometimes these thoughts may wander so much that they may pollute the entire mind by a process of making the individual over think and at other times, the thoughts of a person in his subconscious mind which may poison the person’s sleep by hosting a bad dream. (Lisa) Shelley thus states how a person’s thoughts have tremendous power to determine and ascertain his state of happiness at any given point of day. Thoughts can even help a person ‘laugh or cast our cares away’ (Shelley, P. B) thereby stating that a person has no control over the mutability of his mind which keeps changing and is never a constant. Furthermore, Shelley provides a political dimension to his poem by stating that thoughts of an individual could be ‘free’. Political examples like the backdrop of the French revolution may be used in order to understand the historical context in which the poem has been written. The revolution ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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