Politics and Revolutions versus Authority and Oppression in L ...

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Abstract

English Romantic poets make it clear that Romanticism does not deal only with nature, the self’s affective dimension, and the imagination; rather, the literature also reflects a great interest in politics. Generally, Romantic poets are rebellious. They revolt against the social and moral edicts of their societies, in addition to norms, customs, and habits. Both Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley are among those British Romantics who dwell on not only nature and its beauty, as well as the sublime, but also the political issues of their time. Through their poetry, they demonstrate that liberty, politics, and revolutions are deeply embedded in their works. This study seeks to highlight some of the key ideas of Lord Byron’s poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and Shelley’s poem Prometheus Unbound, focusing on how the two poets employ their poetry to reflect their views on politics and criticize oppressive and authoritarian systems. The approach that this article makes use of is New Historicism because it relates the meaning in the poems to the historical and political context in which they were written. In this regard, this article argues that Byron and Shelley are at once rebellious and reformist. They speak, both explicitly and implicitly, against tyranny and advocate love and peace, as well as nonviolent resistance. They also emphasize the importance of confronting tyranny and having courageous individuals who are willing to stand against injustice. Additionally, the study suggests how political Romantic literature can contribute to increasing contemporary readers’ awareness of Romanticism’s political discourse and its relevance today.