Ode to the West Wind_Shelley

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Lecture notes ppt for the Ode by Percy B. Shelley.

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Ode to the West Wind_Shelley

  1. 1. Structure of the poemODE TO THE WEST WIND <br />Ode - a “rhymed lyric”<br /> - in the form of an address <br /> - dignified in subject, feeling and style <br /> - elaborately structured poem <br /> - musicality (repetition,alliteration; rhetorical device)<br /> - divided into five stanzas<br /> - each is sonnet, made up of 14 lines <br /> - all stanzas have same rhyme scheme : <br />aba bcb cdc ded ee<br />
  2. 2. The poet <br />Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) <br /> - highly imaginative<br /> - intellectually active - <br /> - strong presence in his works <br />The Cenci (poetic drama) <br />Ode to Liberty <br />Adonis <br />To a Skylark Ozymandias <br />
  3. 3. Shelley’s Idealism in the west wind<br />Poet - a revolutionary in nature, <br /><ul><li> Shelley was dissatisfied with the existing order
  4. 4. Rebelled against political tyranny, orthodox religion war - made the life of mankind unhappy and miserable
  5. 5. Shelley sought to liberate mankind from the shackles of political, religious, and intellectual slavery:</li></ul>(clear in “Ode to the West Wind)<br /><ul><li> Shelley believed in the perfectibility of human nature Ode to the West Wind - shape and expression of this ideal </li></li></ul><li>The poem <br />Introduction- <br />“Ode to the West Wind” <br />conceives a world as seen in a forest at the edge of wild, boisterous waters<br />the stormy West wind was collecting the vapors of the Autumnal rains<br />The poet imagines an ideal dialogue with the Natural elements: The wind (personification)<br />
  6. 6. Summary<br />Stanza-1:<br />activities of the WW on the land are described. <br />The WW drives the dead leaves of various colours – yellow, black, pale and red- <br />scatters the winged seeds far and wide <br />buries leaves and seeds under the earth - like dead bodies in their graves, until spring <br />Then they sprout and bear flowers to fill the valley with sweet fragrance<br />The WW depicted as <br />destroyer(of dead leaves)<br />preserver(of seeds buried under ground) <br />
  7. 7. Stanza-2:<br />west wind active in the air<br />carries loose clouds as the dead leaves<br />clouds floating with the WW are messengers of rain and lightning (symbolism – quench,regeneration,activity,turbulence from whence new life comes forth) <br />the approaching storm – civil awareness<br />The stanza also describes WW as the harbinger of the end - song of the dying year, a new era preannounced<br />stanza illustrates the abstract qualities of Shelley’s poetry. <br />
  8. 8. Stanza-3:<br />WW in action on water<br />awakens the blue Mediterranean from a long torpor/sleep – inaction as in a dream - of ruined palaces and towers (now submerged in water), once they stood majestically on its shores. <br />On those ruins – marine vegetation, moss and plants with flowers now growing<br />The WW blows over the Atlantic in such a fury(rebelling spirit)<br />rising waves give way to the mighty “Wind” so the vegetation on the bottom of the ocean trembles with fear and is uprooted <br />
  9. 9. Stanza-4:<br />After describing the effects of WW on the earth, sky and sea,<br />the poet turns to himself and identifies his own personality(role) with that of the West Wind<br /> recalling his swift, energetic, and uncontrollable childhood (innocence to perceive more profoundly the state of matters as they truly are) <br />the poet feels like the WW and could accompany it on its wandering over the sky<br />
  10. 10. Stanza-4:<br />4. But adversities of life have crushed him (defeat of intent)<br />5. He is bleeding on the thorns of life <br />(Christ figure of salvation/sacrifice for the new order/beliefs)<br />6. Poet needs inspiration from WW for support<br />7. Powerless and helpless, he desperately appeals to WW to uplift him <br />(elevation to a new perceptive consciousness which he will share with the world)<br />
  11. 11. Stanza-5:<br />The poet appeals to WW to make him his acolyte - a lyre and blow/sing through him like it blows on the forest<br />Like the forest, he sees the autumn of our era<br />He entreats WW to become one with him and to scatter his thoughts over the world to be the harbinger of new period in human history<br />The present miserable condition must give place to a happier and brighter new order<br />The last line of the poem is a clear expression of Shelley's idealism - belief in the perfectibility of human nature. <br />
  12. 12. DIFFERENT ROLE OF WEST WIND<br /><ul><li>Destroyer
  13. 13. Preserver
  14. 14. Agent of Change
  15. 15. Wild, uncontrollable, swift and tameless
  16. 16. Musician
  17. 17. Harbinger (herald) of the Golden Age of mankind</li></li></ul><li>SYMBOLISM<br />The poem has several symbolic layers of meaning-<br />The west wind is symbolic of destruction (of the old order) and preservation (of new one).Thus a symbol of change/renewal.<br /> dead leaves and seeds – all material things are subject to change – as is the hope for a new world order<br />The west wind also embodies the poet himself.<br />West wind a symbol of the powerful influence and forces that will announce the new order of mankind. <br />
  18. 18. Similes and Metaphors<br />STANZA - I<br />Metaphors:<br />Breath of autumn’s being<br /> the winged seeds<br /> destroyer and preserver<br />Similes:<br />Like ghost from enchanter<br /> each like corpse <br /> STANZA - II<br />Metaphors:<br /> Angels of rains and lightning<br /> some fierce Maenad<br /> dome of a vast sepulture<br />Similes:<br /> clouds like earth’s decaying leaves <br /> like the bright hair uplifted<br />
  19. 19. STANZA - III<br />Metaphors:<br /> the coil of his crystalline streams<br /> Atlantic level powers<br />Similes:<br />Like ghost from enchanter<br /> each like corpse <br />STANZA - IV<br />Metaphors:<br /> thorns of life <br />The comrade of thy wandering <br />STANZA - V<br />Metaphors:<br /> the trumpet of prophecy<br /> winter<br /> spring <br />Similes:<br /> as from an unextinguished hearth ashes and sparks.<br />

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