The 's The Intellectual Faculties Essay

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Due to Alastor anticipating A Defence of Poetry, clearly Shelley had been considering the role of the poet for quite some time. Shelley writes in the Preface to Alastor ‘The intellectual faculties, the imagination, the functions of sense, have their respective requisitions on the sympathy of corresponding powers in other human beings. The Poet is represented as uniting these requisitions, and attaching them to a single image’.[6] Furthermore, in A Defence of Poetry, he writes ‘Poets, according to the circumstances of the age and nation in which they appeared, were called in the earlier epochs of the world legislators or prophets: a poet essentially comprises and unites both these characters’.[7] This solidifies another step in defining the role of the poet: unifier. A poet unites the characteristics of humans with the beauty of the natural world; which is evident in Shelley’s use of lengthy scenery descriptions. The Poet’s role is to illustrate to the reader these connections in a way that ignites the mind and heightens the sense of identity. When the reader examines the ideas of the poet and observes the connections, they will begin to contemplate the awe of the universe and how it relates to humans. This is the poet’s role – to awaken the imaginations of readers. Shelley states poets ‘are the institutors of laws and the founders of civil society and the inventors of the arts of life and the teachers’.[8] This was also salient in romanticism, where the arts could feasibly
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