Shelley's ‘Familiar Style’

Anthony Howe

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

Shelley's ‘Familiar Style’

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



This chapter focuses on Shelley's writing style. ‘Familiarity’ was something he struggled with as a poet and political writer. Given Shelley's view of poetry as a positive force for defamiliarizing the world, any attempt to write a ‘familiar’ poetry would risk compromising the writer's capacity to effect change. However, as a poet with political aspirations, Shelley also knew that his potential success was linked to his ability to find a publicly appealing voice. The chapter examines three of his works: Rosalind and Helen, Julian and Maddalo, and Letter to Maria Gisborne.

Keywords: Percy Bysshe Shelley; English poets; Romantic poets; poetic style; writing style

Article.  7883 words. 

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

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