Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Mini History Blogs: Percy Bysshe Shelley


Percy Bysshe Shelley was born this day in 1792, he was one of a group of poets, along with the likes of Keats, Bryon and Blake who came to be known as The Romantics.


The Shelley's were a wealthy Sussex family, it would have been Percy Shelley who would eventually inherit his parents money and that of his grandfathers, but his expulsion from Eton in 1811, for writing about atheism, upset his father who later disinherited him. 

Shelly married, at nineteen, Harriet Westbrook, three years later he left for Europe with Mary Godwin who he would later marry. 

The life Shelley lead was unconventional and tragic, but it did inspire him to create some of the most significant and beautiful writings in English literature. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley was idealistic and radical, it is said that his poem Ozymandias, the Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II, is about how the ravages of time destroy even the mighty.

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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