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Shelley's Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays$
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Madeleine Callaghan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940247

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940247.001.0001

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‘These transient meetings’

‘These transient meetings’

Alastor and Laon and Cythna

(p.45) Chapter Two ‘These transient meetings’
Shelley's Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays

Madeleine Callaghan

Liverpool University Press

In Alastor and Laon and Cythna, Shelley translates his ‘feelings and opinions’ into poetry that draws strongly on his personal experiences without resorting to crude confession. Reading Shelley’s letter to Thomas Jefferson Hogg at the end of August 1815 in the light of Alastor, and Shelley’s letter to Mary Godwin on 28 October 1814 in the context of Laon and Cythna, this chapter traces how the pressure of biography, the role of the poet, and how the letters might inform the poetry, become vitally important to Alastor and Laon and Cythna as Shelley seeks to refigure his life in his poetry.

Keywords:   Alastor Laon Cythna Mary Godwin Hogg Epic Quest Wordsworth

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