Percy Bysshe Shelley's Poetic Science: His Visionary Enterprise and the Crisis of Self-Consciousness

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An epistemologically oriented analysis of Shelley’s verse explores the poet’s visionary enterprise and the emergence of the Shelleyan self. Shelley, once a candidate to become a physician, gave scientifically sound descriptions of the workings of the eyes and nervous system.

The author, after surveying the literature, gives descriptions of Shelley’s psychological and physiological features recorded by the poet himself. The operations of the poet’s eyesight are seen to be linked to his imagery and use of language.


“The significance of the systematic study of the visionary enterprise and related consciousness crises in the Shelleyan process of poetry writing by Dr. Protopapas cannot be overstated.”

Prof. M. Byron Raizis
University of Athens,

“Shelley, arguably the most Grecian of the great English poets, is a congenial subject for Dr. Protopapas.”

-Prof. James Sambrook,
University of Southampton

“This long meditated, comprehensive study of Shelley’s work is unique in its reading of Shelley.”

-Prof. Isobel Armstrong,
University of London

Table of Contents

Foreword by Prof. Emeritus M. Byron Raizis

Chapter 1: Introduction: Criticism and Paradox
Chapter 2: The Structure of the Enterprise: The Epipsychidion in Visual Perspective
Chapter 3: The Medium of the Enterprise: “Ode to the West Wind” and the Solid Atmosphere
Chapter 4: The Animate Receptacle of the Enterprise: Adonais and the Vault of Heaven
Chapter 5: Major Variants: From “Mont Blanc” through “To Constantia”
Chapter 6: The Conspicuous Paradigm: Prometheus Unbound
Chapter 7: The Waning of the Enterprise Love: Julian Maddalo and “The Triumph of Love”

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