A critique and summary of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

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In “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”, Shelley describes his realisation of the power of human intellect. In seven carefully-constructed stanzas, he outlines the qualities of this power and the e ect it has had on him, using the essential themes of Romantic poetry with references to nature and the self. In the first stanza, the concept of the “unseen Power” – the mind – is put forward, and Shelley states his position on the subject. Throughout the stanza, …

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…journey into his thoughts and experiences of what he calls the Power, or the human mind. He makes use of figurative language, especially similes in the early stanzas. Nature, the individual, and imagination (in the sense of intellect) are all core concepts to this poem. “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” is a Romantic work that details Shelley’s belief in the power of the human intellect, and his life of finding and then worshipping this power.