Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. (1792 - 1822).

W o r k

- a radical nonconformist in every aspect of his life and thought: loved philosophy, scorned orthodoxy, and fought against injustice and oppression

P o e t r y :

- associated with the ‘Satanic School’

Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem (1813):

- an allegorical poem describing the journey through space of the disembodied soul of the mortal maiden Ianthe and the fairy queen Mab

- Mab reveals to Ianthe the woeful past, corrupted present, and the utopian future of the world

Alastor; or, The Spirit of Solitude (1816):

- on a young idealist poet discovering the human love too late

The Revolt of Islam (1818):

- on the heroic struggle for liberation of a brother and sister against the despotic oppressions of the Ottoman Empire

- condemns oriental despotism, but reflects also on the failure of the French Revolution and on the present state of Britain

The Mask of Anarchy (1819):

- a visionary poem calling for the revolution against the British repression

Epipsychidion (1820):

- a rhapsodic vision of love as a spiritual union beyond earthly limits

Adonais (1821):

- an elegiac tribute to the dead John Keats, the triumphing hero even in the face of death

D r a m a :

- ‘lyrical drama’: minimises theatrical action in favour of a dramatic representation of imaginative motivation

The Cenci (1819):

- a tragedy based on a true story of the Italian Renaissance: a monstrous father violates his daughter, she murders him

Prometheus Unbound (1820):

- a ‘lyrical drama’, on Prometheus's battle against arbitrary tyranny

- Prometheus achieves a heightened state of consciousness and a liberation of both body/spirit from enemies both internal/external

- conclusion: Jupiter is overthrown and Prometheus is reunited with Asia

Hellas (1822):

- a ‘lyrical drama’ inspired by the Greek rebellion against the Ottoman oppressors


(Picture: Amelia Curran. Source: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Percy Bysshe Shelley. (1792 - 1822). British.
  • Work

    Poet. Playwright. Author of Prometheus Unbound (1820).
  • Genres

    Romanticism. Poetry and drama.


Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.

Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.

Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.

Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


"To know nor faith, nor love, nor law, to be / Omnipotent but friendless, is to reign."

From Prometheus Unbound (1820).


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