Essay about One of the Writers of the Romantic Movement: Percy Shelley

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Writers of the Romantic Movement often expressed a spontaneous outpouring of feelings through nature-related symbols and imagery. In “Mutability”, Percy Shelley was no exception to other Romantic writers; he used these impulses of powerful feelings to express the inevitable change that everything in the universe undergoes. Ironically, Shelley claims that the only thing that will remain the same forever is mutability itself. While Shelley claims that everything is changing, he focuses on the mutability of the human species and its individuals. To illustrate humans as mutable, Shelley makes use of poetic elements such as imagery and specified diction. Therefore, “Mutability” ironically shows that the universe, specifically mankind, is…show more content…
In this case, the clouds are connected to the notion that humans will eventually disappear and that none of their actions will last. Percy Shelley in the next stanza compares humans to lyres; each time the lyre is struck, it plays a dissonant and unmelodious note. Just like the notes played, humans will always give differing responses at different times because they will have changed emotionally. The melodious tunes have been forgotten and unmelodious ones have taken their place; in comparison, the previous unity and harmony have been replaced by disunity and tension in human minds and mankind. Shelley compares man to clouds and lyres in order to express his powerful reasoning that humans are undergoing change at all times. Shelley’s presentation of specific and powerful diction helps illuminate his strong thoughts about the mutability of humans. Shelley’s use of the two words “poison” and “pollutes” in the third stanza of the poem alludes to his thoughts about the human mind mentioned in his biography, “We rest.---A dream has power to poison sleep; / We rise.---One wandering thought pollutes the day; / We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep; / Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:” (Shelley, 1734). Shelley was frequently bullied as a child and was expelled from school for being an alleged atheist; thus, he had notions before writing the poem about man’s corruption and “man’s general
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