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Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyric poets of the English language. He is perhaps most famous for such anthology pieces as Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, and The Masque of Anarchy. However, his major works were long visionary poems including Alastor, Adonais, The Revolt of Islam, Prometheus Unbound and the unfinished The Triumph of Life.Shelley's unconventional life and uncompromising idealism, combined with his strong skeptical voice, made him a authoritative and much denigrated figure during his life. He became the idol of the next two or three generations of poets, including the major Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets Robert Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, as well as William Butler Yeats and poets in other languages such as Jibanananda Das and Subramanya Bharathy. He was also admired by Karl Marx, Henry Stephens Salt, and Bertrand Russell. Famous for his association with his contemporaries John Keats and Lord Byron, he was also married to novelist Mary Shelley.

Quotes

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and that which is worst; that he should be put to torture for the amusement of those whom he may have injured, or may seem to have injured
302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted15 days ago
name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer. As yet, I have had no takers. (Whereas, oddly enough, if you ask an audience to name a wicked statement or action directly attributable to religious faith, nobody has any difficulty in finding an example.)
302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted15 days ago
Nonetheless, the working assumption is that we should have no moral compass if we were not somehow in thrall to an unalterable and unchallengeable celestial dictatorship. What a repulsive idea! As well as taking the axe to the root of everything that we have learned about evolutionary biology (societies that tolerate murder and theft and perjury will not last long, and those that violate the taboos on incest and cannibalism do in fact simply die out), it constitutes a radical attack on the very concept of human self-respect. It does so by suggesting that one could not do a right action or avoid a wrong one, except for the hope of a divine reward or the fear of divine retribution. Many of us, even the less unselfish, might hope to do better than that on our own.

Impressions

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    Selected Essays by Percy Bysshe Shelley
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