Madness in Nineteenth-Century Literature Poetry - Essay


(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

Ross Woodman (essay date 1983)

SOURCE: "Shelley's 'Void Circumference': The Aesthetic of Nihilism, " English Studies in Canada, Vol. IX, No. 3, September, 1983, pp. 272-93.

[In the following essay, Woodman analyzes Percy Bysshe Shelley's views regarding the relationship between artistic creativity and "divine insanity." Woodman demonstrates how Shelley's career reveals the poet's frustration with the inability of art to truly represent divinely inspired vision.]


Since Plato banished the poets from his Republic many have rushed to their defence in an attempt to reinstate them. Among the English poets, Shelley remains...

(The entire section is 40009 words.)