Percy Bysshe Shelley: Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

(2470 words)

Written in 1816 and published early in 1817, Shelley’s “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” is one of the poems composed during Shelley’s productive summer in Geneva. Tilottama Rajan argues that “Mont Blanc” (written shortly after “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”) and the “Hymn” “converge on the same problem: the mind’s need to transcend life by positing some transcendent, form-giving fiction” (Rajan 84). This insight suggests the seriousness of the poetic philosophy explored in the poem. Characterised by William Hazlitt as “a passionate dream, a straining after impossibilities, a record of fond conjectures, a confused embodying of vague abstractions” (quoted in Redpath 388), “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” offers a…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Callaghan, Madeleine. "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2012
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism