Analysis Of The Poem ' England ' By Percy Bysshe Shelley

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In “England in 1819” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, he utilizes allusions, diction, symbolism, and metaphors to show disdain for King George the Third. These literary devices are important to the poem as a whole to convey the hatred Shelley had because it allows the reader to see where this disdain derives from. Shelley uses allusions to indirectly call something familiar to mind. First and foremost, he calls out “an old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King” (Shelley 790). Though he doesn’t mention anyone by name, he is referring to King George the Third who was the patriarch at the time. This allusion helps to decode the dark and angry theme of the poem which is for a heroic poet to criticize and question the power of King George the Third and his Princes. King George isn’t mentioned by name directly because of the strict libel laws that were being implemented, and even without directly calling out King George the Third, the poem wasn’t published until after the King died. This allusion is important because it gives the whole sonnet meaning by providing a subject. Without it, Shelley could have been criticizing anyone. The next major allusion Shelley makes alludes to the Bible. In lines 10 and 11 it mentions “golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay; religion Christless, Godless- a book sealed” (Shelley 790). Not only is it ironic because laws are supposed to be implemented to protect and help others instead of causing harm, Shelley is also referring to the Bible being
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