Percy Bysshe Shelley

Comments & Themes

  • Analyze Shelley's utopian thought.

  • Analyze the vocabulary of Shelley's sonnet "England 1819". The poem refers to a particular time in history. What does the sonnet transmit regardless if one understands the details of the historical context.
    Look at the syntax. How many sentences are there? Analyze the structure of the sonnet. Is there a real division between the sestet and the octet?
    Which is the historical context? What institutions does Shelley attack? Who or what is the "glorious phantom" Shelley invokes? On what note does the sonnet end? The sonnet attacks elitism, but is it not based on another form of elitism?

  • How many voices are speaking in "Ozymandias"? What is the relationship between the artist sculptor and his patron Ozymandias? The sonnet can be interpreted as a statement on the relationship between artistic and political power. It also illustrates the classical statement ars longa, vita brevis, (art is long, life is short).
    How does "Ozymandias" relate to the historical period in which it was written?
    Like "Kubla Khan", "Ozymandias" also concerns a tyrant. Since the poem is set in the modern world, do you see any allusion to a historical figure?
    What is peculiar about the structure of this sonnet.