Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley (/ˈpɜrsi ˈbɪʃ ˈʃɛli/; 4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. A radical in his poetry as well as his political and social views, Shelley did not achieve fame during his lifetime, but recognition for his poetry grew steadily following his death. Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron; Leigh Hunt; Thomas Love Peacock; and his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Shelley is perhaps best known for such classic poems as Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, Music, When Soft Voices Die, The Cloud and The Masque of Anarchy. His other major works include long, visionary poems such as Queen Mab (later reworked as The Daemon of the World), Alastor, The Revolt of Islam, Adonaïs, the unfinished work The Triumph of Life; and the visionary verse dramas The Cenci (1819) and Prometheus Unbound (1820).

His close circle of admirers, however, included some progressive thinkers of the day, including his future father-in-law, the philosopher William Godwin. Though Shelley's poetry and prose output remained steady throughout his life, most publishers and journals declined to publish his work for fear of being arrested themselves for blasphemy or sedition. Shelley did not live to see success and influence, although these reach down to the present day not only in literature, but in major movements in social and political thought.

Shelley became an idol of the next three or four generations of poets, including important Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets such as Robert Browning and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He was admired by Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, W. B. Yeats, Karl Marx, Upton Sinclair and Isadora Duncan. Henry David Thoreau's civil disobedience was apparently influenced by Shelley's non-violence in protest and political action.

Read more about Percy Bysshe Shelley:  Shelley's Heart, Idealism, Legacy, Major Works, Short Prose Works, Essays, Collaborations With Mary Shelley, See Also, References

Famous quotes by percy bysshe shelley:

    Thou Paradise of exiles, Italy!
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number,
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you—
    Ye are many—they are few.
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

    Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality.
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

    O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
    Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
    Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
    Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
    Pestilence-stricken multitudes.
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

    Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
    I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)