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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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‘In a style very different’

‘In a style very different’

Prometheus Unbound and The Cenci

(p.144) Chapter Five ‘In a style very different’
Shelley's Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays

Madeleine Callaghan

Liverpool University Press

Shelley’s preoccupation with embodying power struggle in language remains constant in The Cenci and Prometheus Unbound. This chapter argues that instead of reading Prometheus Unbound and The Cenci as antinomies, there is a difficult doubling between the poetical dramas. Shelley’s letter to Thomas Love Peacock of 6 November 1818 offers a suggestive perspective on the dramas through its fascination with the poet’s response to tyranny. The corruption of poets by a tyrannical society in Shelley’s Defence of Poetry is Beatrice’s destruction at her father’s hands writ large, and in Prometheus Unbound, Prometheus combines poetic with political power as he grows into his role as poet. This chapter reads experimentation as not merely formal but as ethical. Embodiment rather than description becomes the hallmark of Shelleyan drama

Keywords:   Cenci Prometheus Unbound Play Lyrical Drama Tyranny Tasso Tyranny

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