Title of Project

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Unmasked Indignation

Researcher Information

Deborah Z. Greenbaum

Project Type


Start Date

7-4-2006 12:00 AM

End Date

7-4-2006 12:00 AM

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Apr 7th, 12:00 AM Apr 7th, 12:00 AM

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Unmasked Indignation

This paper analyzes Percy Bysshe Shelley’s unique application of the philosophy and characteristics of the Romantic British poets in his masterpiece, The Mask of Anarchy. Shelley’s use of language is examined within the context of Wordsworth’s definition of a poet as “a man speaking to men” through “a selection of language really used by men.” Additionally, Shelley’s appeal to the common man, his unusual use of nature as instructive and his manipulation of the imagination are reviewed and compared to the Romantic standard. Shelley’s divergence from the Romantics regarding personification and passionate feeling is demonstrated. The Mask of Anarchy is revealed as a timeless call to action against injustice as well as a blueprint for passive resistance.