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The Poetry of Percy Shelley - Attitudes and Values

             What attitudes and values are apparent in Percy Bysshe Shelley's poetry and how are they expressed?.
             Throughout his whole poetry collection, Percy Bysshe Shelley emphasises the power of seen and unseen nature to describe his beliefs and philosophical approaches to life, religion, love, power, oppression, narcissism, revolution, mutability, immorality and morality. The poet uses references to nature as tools to indirectly discuss these topics in every single one of his poems, so not to fully expose his religious doubt, but masking it with references to mythologies, biblical absurdity and even through self-admitted ignorance regarding the world's mysteries and secrets. The poet has a deep, mystic appreciation for nature which is strongly evident in works such as "Mutability", "Ozymandias" and "Hymn of Intellectual Beauty." .
             For instance, in her poem, "Mutability," published in 1821, Shelley explores the concept of constant change and mutation of life through the comparison of naturally created, animate creatures versus artificial and inanimate objects. For example, the poem opens with, "We are as clouds" which immediately familiarizes humans with the physical realm of nature, but then follows with, "like forgotten lyres," allowing the comparison of humans to artificial objects, therefore emphasising the eternal human condition of constant change and incapability of staying the same. This theme of revolution and mutation reoccurs constantly all throughout the poem as Shelley continues to use similes to portray the ever changing state in which we are in, to stress his belief that all things natural or created are always changing and that nothing is constant. In "Mutability," Shelley also indirectly refers to his political attitude; The French Revolution influenced him to understand that this significant event changed the way of thinking of many societies in Europe, and so Shelley concludes that humans are free to alter, modify and mutate towards the better.

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