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Short Biography of Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was a English lyric poet, a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Expelled from Oxford for atheism, he fought all his life against religion and for political freedom. This is reflected in his early poems such as Queen Mab 1813. He later wrote tragedies including The Cenci in 1818, lyric dramas such as Prometheus Unbound in 1820, and lyrical poems such as "Ode to the West Wind". He drowned while sailing in Italy.

Born near Horsham, Sussex, he was educated at Eton school and University College, Oxford, where his collaboration in a pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism in 1811 caused his expulsion. While living in London he fell in love with 16-year-old Harriet Westbrook, whom he married in 1811. He visited Ireland and Wales writing pamphlets defending veget arianism and political freedom, and in 1813 published privately Queen Mab, a poem with political freedom as its theme. Meanwhile he had become estranged from his wife and in 1814 left England with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, whom he married after Harriet had drowned herself in 1816. Alastor, written in 1815, was followed by the epic The Revolt of Islam, and by 1818 Shelley was living in Italy.

Here he produced the tragedy The Cenci; the satire on Wordsworth, Peter Bell the Third in 1819; and the lyric drama Prometheus Unbound in 1820. Other works of the period are "Ode to the West Wind" in 1819; "The Cloud" and "The Skylark", both in 1820; 'The Sensitive Plant' and "The Witch of Atlas"; "Epipsychidion" and, on the death of the poet Keats, "Adonais" 1821; the lyric drama Hellas in 1822; and the prose Defence of Poetry in 1821. In July 1822 Shelley was drowned while sailing near La Spezia, and his ashes were buried in Rome.

Tags: poet, atheism, tragedies, pamphlets

Category: Others  - ( Others Archive)

Date Added: 18 June '12

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