Summary Of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Mutability

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Son of Timothy and Elizabeth Shelley; Percy Bysshe Shelley was the oldest amongst his four sisters, and only brother, John. Shelley was adored by his family and applaud by his servants who stood by him in his early ruling as lord of Field Place, a family home close to a historic town in England known as Horsham. Attentive and whimsical, he would spend his time entertaining his sisters with spooky ghost stories and preparing games to play with them. However, the bucolic life he cherished in the Field Place did not equip him for the orderly world of Syon House Academy which he enrolled in 1802. Here Shelley would soon be ridiculed and tormented by the boys from school. Despite this, Shelley took a wild interest in astronomy, chemistry, and the…show more content…
It wasn’t until he entered Eton College in 1804 that his interest for writing would sky rocket. During his time at Eton he began writing poems. In 1816, shelley published a volume called Alastor. This marked a notable advance in poetry writing compared to his early efforts. Alastor contains some of his best work. One of the poems being "Mutability", Shelley here introduces a topic of the never-ending change that humans beings struggle with in their daily lives. He presents this idea by comparing clouds to humans and to the lyres present. Shelley explores the many emotions that humans hold with the inescapability of change absorbing the human race. He demonstrates that human life is a small speck in the universe and has little to no significance, unlike change. Regardless of how hard humans endeavor to prevent change, it is just not possible. Leaving…show more content…
This shows the reader the way in which Shelley sees the "We," (Line 1) human beings. He sees the moon as an object of mutability and proposes that in a similar fashion, humans attempt to mask or bury change like clouds do with the moon. This becomes obvious as Shelley states in the lines, "Night closes round, and they are lost forever" (Lines 3-4). The image of the night engulfing us indicates human mortality. It conveys the continuation of change in spite of our attempts to obscure it. Shelley's imagery of the clouds in the night is his portrayal of the brief lives of humans on Earth. Shelley describes the cloud's behavior as a metaphor for the actions of humans, "How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver, / streaking the darkness radiantly!" (Lines 2-3). Shelley believes that humans roam through life without passion for our surroundings, one does not stop to think, but instead goes through life with speed, not taking time to rest. Like the clouds in the night, we do not last for eternity. The first stanza describes the fact that humans aren’t immortal and regardless of how much we radiantly shine, we are overshadowed like the clouds in the
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