Michael O'Neill

in The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199558360
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature


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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)



This introductory chapter discusses Percy Bysshe Shelley's position in English poetry and the changing perceptions about his work. Modern criticism has dispelled one-sided accounts of Shelley that make him into the embodiment of an essence: whether of self-delighting radical paradoxicality, pure lyricism, commitment to sloganizing revolutionary abstractions, or sentimentalizing and egotistical evaporation of a solid world of objects. In its place is a poet whose ‘workmanship of style’ has been recognized, and whose learning, allusiveness, and command of different generic possibilities have been praised. The chapter also presents an overview of the five parts of this Handbook.

Keywords: Percy Bysshe Shelley; English poetry; Romantic poets; English poets

Article.  5474 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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