Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

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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 complex and intricate combination of a challenge to…

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Citation: Callaghan, Madeleine. "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2012 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

34178 Hymn to Intellectual Beauty 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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