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How do the use of similies contribute to Percy Bysshe Shelley's, To A Skylark?

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kutub | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted June 29, 2013 at 5:39 PM via web

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How do the use of similies contribute to Percy Bysshe Shelley's, To A Skylark?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 29, 2013 at 6:45 PM (Answer #1)

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Percy Bysshe Shelley believed in reaching people through poetry and, by association, the world could be a better place. The simplicity of the life of the Skylark should not escape man who can engross himself in the beauty of its call. The mystery surrounding the bird as the poet hears its call but "Like a star of Heaven," cannot see it adds to the dimension to the poem.

Painting a very visual picture allows Shelly to remind us of the simple things in life but Shelly is not convinced that his words provide enough of a picture to ensure contentment as he tries to find something to understand and so express the bird's point of view of the world: "What is most like thee? "  Shelly points out that we can only grasp freedom and experience the thrill in terms of our capacity for strife "Like the poet.....Till the world is wrought..."

To get a better grasp on the real joy that comes from hearing the skylark, Shelley paints each scenario and each simile intensifies the previous one as we should consider all possibilities for happiness.  

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