Ode to the West Wind Questions and Answers
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ode to the West Wind book cover
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What message does Shelley want to convey in "Ode to the West Wind"?

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In "Ode to the West Wind," Shelley conveys the message that he would like the words he writes on leaves of paper to be scattered as far and wide as the West Wind scatters the leaves that fall from the trees in autumn. He is punning on leaves of paper and leaves on a tree. He also wishes he himself could have a spirit as fierce and robust as the West Wind and powerfully blow his ideas around the world.

In this poem, Shelley, a radical, is feeling some despair. He believed in the ideals of the French Revolution, but that revolution had been defeated. England, too, seemed further away than ever from going in radical direction. In fact, a few months before he wrote this poem in October of 1819, the Peterloo Massacre took place when cavalry officers charged a mass group of protesters demanding more representation in Parliament, killing 18. The message of equality and brotherhood Shelley believed in seemed not to be reaching the world.

In the last stanza of the poem, Shelley calls on the West...

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