Hymn to intellectual beauty analysis line by line. Percy Shelley: Poems “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” Summary and Analysis 2022-10-28
Hymn to intellectual beauty analysis line by line Rating:
"Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" is a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1816. It is a tribute to the power and majesty of the human mind, and the beauty and inspiration that it can bring to the world.
The first line of the poem, "The awful shadow of some unseen Power," immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The word "awful" suggests a sense of reverence and awe, while the phrase "unseen Power" hints at a mysterious and unknowable force. This could be interpreted as a reference to the power of the human mind and its ability to understand and comprehend the mysteries of the world.
The second line, "Whose unseen presence, moving where it will," further emphasizes the concept of an unseen, yet powerful force. The phrase "moving where it will" suggests that this force has agency and is not bound by physical constraints.
In the third line, "Is as a tempestuous ocean driven," Shelley compares the power of the mind to a turbulent ocean, suggesting that it is vast and uncontroll. The metaphor of the ocean is also evocative of the idea of an unseen, mysterious force, as the depths of the ocean are largely unexplored and unknowable.
The fourth line, "By the breath of the most mighty wind," further develops the metaphor of the mind as an ocean, with the "most mighty wind" representing the forces that shape and influence it. The image of the wind blowing across the surface of the ocean is also suggestive of the way in which ideas and knowledge can spread and be transmitted from one person to another.
In the fifth line, "That awakens the soul to eternal things," Shelley suggests that the power of the mind has the ability to awaken the soul and bring it in contact with eternal truths and ideas. This line could be interpreted as a reference to the way in which the human mind is able to understand and contemplate abstract concepts and ideas that are beyond the physical world.
The sixth line, "That are the breath of the Invisible World," further develops the theme of the mind's ability to understand and contemplate eternal truths. The phrase "Invisible World" could be interpreted as a reference to the realm of ideas and abstract concepts that are beyond the physical world.
The seventh line, "To which the material world is but a shadow," suggests that the material world is only a fleeting, ephemeral reflection of the eternal truths and ideas that exist in the invisible world of the mind. This line highlights the idea that the mind is capable of grasping concepts that are beyond the physical world, and that these concepts are more enduring and meaningful than the physical world itself.
The final line of the poem, "Which are exemplified in all great works of art and science," suggests that the beauty and majesty of the mind are reflected in the great works of art and science that have been created throughout human history. This line implies that the human mind has the capacity to create works of great beauty and meaning that reflect the eternal truths and ideas that it is capable of comprehending.
Overall, "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" is a tribute to the power and majesty of the human mind, and the beauty and inspiration that it can bring to the world. Through vivid imagery and evocative language, Shelley celebrates the ability of the mind to grasp eternal truths and ideas, and to create works of art and science that reflect these eternal truths.
Percy Shelley: Poems “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” Summary and Analysis
The syllable pattern for each stanza, then, is 555564444445. A well-researched life of Shelley, going back to his ancestry, with emphasis on the ways his outward life affected his thinking. If we consider as an example the first Stanza of the poem, we find how the useless repetition of unseen and inconstant, the ambiguous shower, and the set of vague presences—awful shadow, unseen Power, various world and inconstant glance—all are suggesting that Shelley is composing painfully, as if strangled at the outset by the intricacies of the rhyming, and weighed down by the gravity of his subject. It is a temporary visitation and people suffer its loss once it disappears. The "Spirit fair" has stimulated the poet to "love all human kind. Intellectual Beauty, which is invisible, pervades this whole universe.
Rather than being caught up with beauty as viewed in the natural world, however, Shelley chooses to focus on the aesthetic of knowledge of the natural world, a deeper kind of beauty. It is like anything that is sweet because it is beautiful, but has an even more tender appeal on account of its mysterious and indefinable character. Thus let thy power, which like the truth Of nature on my passive youth Descended, to my onward life supply Its calm, to one who worships thee, And every form containing thee, Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind To fear himself, and love all human kind. The citation above will include either 2 or 3 dates. If his fears come true, Death and Life will indeed be a reality, and Eternity only a myth. Grace is an ambiguous quality, a quality of both the observed and the observer.
Faults: In this poem, Shelley seems to be groping for the right way of treating a theme which is new to him. His vision includes the whole of human history, aeons of civilization, the high peaks of man's efforts over which this eagle of Intellectual Beauty alights for a moment in the light of its golden wings, instead of being confined to separate objects which don and take off their transient raiment of beauty at fixed intervals. Shelley has retained this bond with intellectual beauty into adulthood, and spent many hours in communion with it, as a way of holding back the night. However, as you read The Anthem, it becomes clear that things are not so simple. He wants readers to experience the poem, not just simply read it. Cite this page as follows: "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty - Summary" Critical Survey of Literature for Students Ed.
He did not receive any response. For the poet, too, the hour of his noon has passed, and the season of his summer is over. Moreover, I often cannot pick out the significant pieces of evidence. The poet finds intellectual beauty to be unfamiliar, unknown, and fearsome which is felt by human beings for only some uncertain moment as if it is something given on loan and taken back. It casts a shifting glance and appears temporarily in human hearts and on their faces.
Shelley’s Poetry “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” Summary & Analysis
The period from the early eighteenth century up to 1820 witnesses a fundamental shift in the conception of the human. This shift is most clearly reflected in the soul's decline from being the essence of human life to a metaphor for the mind. He is acutely sensitive to its fitful inconstancy, its sudden, surprising ebb and flow. Only the Spirit of Intellectual Beauty, like the fog driven over the mountains or like the night-wind blowing against some still instrument which vibrates with music in the silence of night, or like the moonbeam of the midnight, lends some charm and glimpses of truth to our dreary and uncertain existence. Man were immortal and omnipotent, Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art, Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.
When a poet carries abstraction so far he is quite likely to lose credibility in the eyes of the readers. He would now like Intellectual Beauty to exert its power upon him and to make the coming years of his life peaceful. The entire poem seems to be the result of a laborious effort. The second is the date of publication online or last modification online. He has a constant dread that somehow this glorious train of Beauty—Hope, Love, and Self-esteem will not take its firm state in the heart of man.
This means that beauty entails death. But it is also determined by the alternation of sense and absence, sound and silence. There is no definite answer. He visited empty halls, caves, ruins, and forests in star-light in order to find ghosts and spirits, and to hold communication with them, but it was all in vain. Platonic Philosophy: The poem is based on an ideal borrowed from Plato's philosophy. Why dost thou pass away and leave our state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate? This contrast was also reflected in the composition: the whole poem is built on the antithesis.
Analysis of Shelley’s The Hymn to Intellectual Beauty
This is a queer kind of Platonism. Each line has an iambic rhythm; the first four lines of each stanza are written in pentameter, the fifth line in hexameter, the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh lines in tetrameter, and the twelfth line in pentameter. In the final stanza, he adds that he has worshiped knowledge of nature, which provides calm love and conquers fear. The second date is today's date — the date you are citing the material. Download the SparkNote In PDF and ebook format on BN.
This beauty is 'intellectual' because it can only be apprehended by an intuition that is mainly philosophical in character. It is also an avowal of his hopes for humanity. The thought is by no means so coherent or well-ordered as in his later Odes, and the poem compares badly in this respect to such a poem as the Ode to the West Wind. Only with the help of Intellectual Beauty, he can hope for a better world. The magic of Intellectual Beauty has a deep hold on him. The figurative representation of intemperance is associated with Shelley's representation of tyranny and injustice, and his intervention in debates about famine is dealt with in relation to his poetic inscription of this theme. He moved through rooms, caves, ruins of buildings and starlit forests with fear in his heart in the hope of seeing the dead and to talk on great subjects with them.