Shelley’s neoclassicism in his Defence of Poetry

Dr Morillo

English 496



Beigns with 2 classes of mental action. Classify, name, categorize 288

On the manner in which imagination is  expressed. 289

Begins with classes of mimetic representation 289

On Greek tragedy as about human error divested of willfulness 296

Categories of pleasure, durable and transitory 296

How tragedy delights 304


Overall focus on ideas as ideals, the true, the good , the beautiful. Eg. Highest pleasure is an approximation to the beautiful 289

Poetry acts in a diviner manner (as divine madness in Ion) 293

Plato as himself a poet 301

**whole argument is against that of Republic. Poetry is the highest knowledge, truth, beauty


Grouping the beautiful, the invisible, and religion 290

Poetry acts in a divine manner 293

Record of classical learning shows fragments stamped with the image of divinity in man 295

First uses term sublime 295

Poetry is a sword of lightning 297

Poets participate in the divine 297

Money corrupts art 304

Labor, study, craft vs. inspired moments 306

Interpenetration of diviner nature, visitations of divinity in man 307