I need a critical analysis of the poem "The Moon" by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
A good place to look for a critical analysis of any literature or poem is in literary journals and scholarly websites. Enotes also has great commentary on many of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poems, and that might give you some background information that will be helpful. I provided links below to those sources.
"The Moon," is a long, dedicatory poem written to the moon, in adoration and awe of her. Shelley had a penchant for writing poetry to different forces of nature; his more well-known counterparts to "The Moon" are his poems on the west wind ("Ode to the West Wind"), clouds ("The Cloud"), and skylarks ("To the Skylark"). "The Moon" is another one of these poems; in it, he contemplates the moon, its significance, its beauty, its symbolism, and its impact on people looking up at it. The most heavily used poetic technique that Shelley applies is that of personification, where he gives the moon human-like traits, to make it seem like it is a human being, and not an inanimate object. This endows the moon with a definite personality, and layers of depth that enhance its beauty and profundity. For example, consider this stanza:
"AND, like a dying lady lean and pale,
Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The mood arose up in the murky east,
A white and shapeless mass."
In this stanza, Shelley compares the moon to a woman who is dying, losing her mind, and stumbling about in the dark. This makes the moon seem infinitely sad and pitiful, and gives it a complexity that just describing its beauty would have left out. He personifies it in many different ways other than a dying woman, and each new way adds depth.
Shelley also uses imagery, or the five senses, to describe the beauty of the moon. He also applies rhyming techniques to give it a flow and rhythm. There isn't enough room to discuss all of the poem or its techniques, but I hope this helps you to at least get started. Good luck!
check Approved by eNotes Editorial