Justin Lizik MA Critical Studies Thesis 2021

"Mont Blanc" and the Secular Sublime

This paper examines the poem “Mont Blanc” by Percy Shelley through investigation of Shelley’s religious and political views. Analysis provides a clear understanding of the text and what an interested reader can encounter through engagement with the text. Although early analysis of the poem has led to discussions focused on Shelley’s theory of mind, my analysis will move beyond early scholarship toward a reading of “Mont Blanc” that is more wholly invested in Shelley. While analysis is historically focused within the text and Shelley’s philosophy, this paper will argue that Shelley’s politics and experiences are also useful tools for analyzing his poetry. By engaging Shelley’s intentions more fully, I read “Mont Blanc” to be a political poem, one that is asking the reader to reexamine their own feelings and politics.

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