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Percy Bysshe Shelley


-A Tempestuous Life-


Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in Sussex in 1792.
He was radical and atheist and wrote a radical pamphlet, ‘The Necessity of Atheism’, challenging the existence of God.
Shelley moved to Ireland, where he made revolutionary propaganda against Catholicism and English government.
In that period the idealistic drive of the French Revolution was finished and was followed by a nationalistic wave both in France and in other European countries.
Shelley lived in an atmosphere of conservatism.
He rebelled against religions, laws and customs; he also became a republican.
Shelley was married with Mary Godwin, they went living in Switzerland, where they met Byron.
In 1818 Shelley left definitively England and went to live in Italy; during his period in Italy he wrote his best works.
He died in 1822 because of an accident happened while he was sailing near Livorno.

-His Main Themes: Freedom and Love-


Almost all works by Shelley show his restless spirit, his refusal of social conventions, political oppression, any form of tyranny, and his faith in a better future.
Shelley believed strongly in the principles of freedom and love, which where seen as remedies for the faults and evils of society.

-The Poet’s Task-


The poet, for Shelley, is a prophet and a Titan challenging the cosmos; his task is to help man to reach an ideal world, where freedom, love and beauty are delivered from their enemies, like tyranny, destruction and alienation.
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