Hymn To Intellectual Beauty by P. B. Shelley Essay

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In "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty", Shelley describes his realisation of the power of human intellect. In seven carefully-constructed stanzas, he outlines the qualities of this power and the e ect it has had on him, using the essential themes of Romantic poetry with references to nature and the self. In the first stanza, the concept of the "unseen Power" – the mind – is put forward, and Shelley states his position on the subject. Throughout the stanza, extensive use is made of profluent similes. "As summer winds… | Like moonbeams… | Like hues… | Like clouds… | Like memory…"; these intangible elements of nature and, significantly, memory (which here is a human quality) is aiming to…show more content…
Indeed, Shelley says that "the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven, | Remain the records of their vain endeavour", and that their "uttered charms" – referring to dogmata and religious documents – that amount to nothing without the proof of the living dead. The purpose of this, as well as an opportunity to attack organised religion, is to suggest why the force of human intellect (which we can all detect, manipulate, and recognise) is the true "religion". Shelley says that worshipping (and hence "Hymn" in the title) human intellect would give "truth to life’s unquiet dream". The fourth stanza consists of two principle ideas – that death would have no hold over us if humanity were to worship the Power, and that of further deifying and celebrating this intellecutal Power. The stanza opens with exceptionally transient concepts – "Love, hope, and Self-esteem" – with which Shelley associates clouds’ evanescence and reappearance. He suggests that, if the Power stayed firmly "within his [mankind’s] heart", then humanity would become "immortal and omnipotent". He implores the Power to stay within people, so that death may itself become as a "dying flame" – something without power, where the power instead lies with

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