While Shelley was in Naples, he experienced one of the emotional lows of his life. His daughter Clara died, and his wife Mary blamed him indirectly, it is claimed, for insisting on moving the family to Naples when Clara was sick. His poetry was not accepted during this period, and his children with his first wife were taken from him by the courts. Some even claim that Shelley attempted suicide while in Naples. With this background information about the poet, it is easy to see how "Stanzas Written in Dejection, near Naples" reflects a despair that permeates the speaker's life regardless of the natural beauty he finds himself in.
The speaker opens with breathtaking imagery capturing his setting. The sky is blue as he sits by fast-dancing waves, a light breeze touches him, and the sounds of nature are a soft voice. The tone starts to shift with images of the speaker's "solitude" and as he notes that he "[sits] upon the sands alone."
Although he is surrounded by a serene landscape, the speaker...
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