資料彙整   /   作家  /  Percy Bysshe  Shelley  沛爾希.畢西.雪萊
Percy Bysshe  Shelley
沛爾希.畢西.雪萊
圖片來源:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Bysshe_Shelley
主要文類:Poem
資料提供者:Kate Liu/劉紀雯;Ray Schulte/蕭笛雷; image credit - Wikipedia
關鍵字詞:Introduction to Literature 1998/1999 English Literature 19th Century Romantic Period Romantic Poetry

沛爾希畢西雪萊

1792-1822

 

 早年生活

A.     家庭背景

B.     教育背景

C.     交遊

  成年時期

A.     叛逆的年代

B.     自由戀愛主義

 殞落

 
 早年生活
  沛爾希畢西雪萊(Percy Bysshe Shelley,後稱雪萊)在短短二十九年的生命中有多采多姿的生活與精力充沛的創作動力。名聲及其作品直至今日仍受到反應兩極化的評價。

A.     家庭背景

雪萊出生於具有貴族血統的家庭,父親為提摩西雪萊爵士(Sir Timothy Shelley),政經背景皆顯要。身為長子的雪萊自幼集三千寵愛於一身,不僅父母親疼愛這財產繼承人,其下的五個弟妹皆敬慕長兄。

B.     教育背景

雪萊瘦小的身材並不善於逞兇鬥狠,然而他暴躁的脾氣卻在就學期間已經引起注意。在思揚貴族學院(Syon House Academy)就讀期間,雪萊只對科學等相關科目表現高度興趣。爾後在就讀伊藤學院(Eton College)期間結識擔任皇家醫師的詹姆士林得醫師(Dr. James Lind)並受到他的鼓舞,雪萊決定見賢思齊,期待自己擁有像林得醫師豐富的學識與想像力,開始廣泛涉獵哲學、文學等書籍,並開始寫作。十八歲的雪萊不僅獲准進入牛津大學,他的詩並獲得出版的機會。文采風華的雪萊卻在進入牛津一年之後,因為一篇〈無神論的必要性〉(”The Necessity of Atheism”)被校方勸誡不聽之後,勒令停學。

C.     交遊

雪萊交遊甚廣,著名的評論家雷夫杭特(Leigh Hunt)為其終生好友,因雪萊作品具爭議性,杭特並為其作品的捍衛者。除廣泛涉獵文史哲學名著,雪萊對政治的興趣及見解乃出自威廉•高文(William Godwin)的啟發。高文的政黨的正義(Political Justice)為雪萊一生闡述政治、宗教自由,甚至支持希臘獨立運動等立場都有顯著的影響。

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 成年時期
 

A.     叛逆的年代

自牛津退學以來,雪萊便積極從事文學創作。其創作的靈感多來自所結交的朋友,針對特殊的政治議題,如反對君主政體、貴族體制等問題,或者是對大自然、宗教自由平等、人權言論平等之類議題。雪萊的詩、小說等創作泰半具有不同的評價。即使至今日,針對他的詩文,仍有許多兩極化的評論。

B.     自由戀愛主義

許多雪萊的詩文靈感來自於他所仰慕的女性。在他短暫的一生中,雪萊深信並履行高文所提倡的自由戀愛說,也因此多位女性在其生命中佔有極重要的地位,也因為這些風花雪月使得雪萊的作品展現不同的風貌。雪萊的初戀為其表妹,後因雙方家長的極力反對而深感挫折,這樣的挫折感直到他與表妹同名的海莉兒衛斯布魯克(Harriet Westbrook)私奔結婚之後才逐漸轉移。1812年雪萊成為高文家座上客並經常拜訪高文及其女兒。高文家的姊妹對雪萊皆有好感,但雪萊獨鍾瑪莉,並在1814年再度計畫與瑪莉(Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin)私奔。海莉兒與高文家的小女兒爾後可能因雪萊與瑪莉的婚姻,而選擇走上絕路。雪萊夫婦後與威廉斯夫婦熟識(Edward and Jane Williams),雪萊與珍也曾譜出戀曲。

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 殞落
  雖曾與濟慈短暫交會,與濟慈的社會階級以及其生活方式不同,雪萊並未與濟慈有太多的交集。儘管如此,1821年,當雪萊接到濟慈病逝的噩號時,他還是義不容辭的為濟慈撰寫著名的輓歌〈天主〉(Adonais”)。1822年,雪萊與拜倫與杭特相約在義大利共商協助杭特籌畫新刊事宜,兩人將妻子留置比薩(Pisa),由雪萊與威廉斯單獨乘坐遊艇前往約定地,途中卻因暴風雨而發生船難身亡,享年二十九歲。

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Percy Bysshe Shelley

1792-1822

 

 Early Life   

A.     Family Background   

B.     Education   

C.     Circle of Friends   

 Adulthood   

A.     Rebellious Spirit and Political Stance   

B.     Experimental Free Love   

 Abrupt End of Life   

 
 Early Life
 

Within the short twenty-nine years, Percy Bysshe Shelley left the world with numerous prestigious but controversial works which even nowadays evoke voices of extreme differences.

 

A.     Family Background

Born on August 4, 1792 in Horsham, Sussex, Shelley was the eldest among five children of Elizabeth and Sir Timothy Shelley.  Shelley’s first interest appeared to be in scientific realm, but after being acquainted with philosophy, he completely devoted himself to immense reading of philosophy and literature.  Sir Timothy Shelley encouraged and was proud of his son, and further introduced his son’s work to publishers.  

 

B.     Education

In 1802, Shelley attended Syon House Academy.  As a naughty and notorious ill-tempered child, Shelley was enlightened by Adam Walker, whom Shelley admired for the imagination concealed in his speeches.  From the age of twelve to eighteen, Shelley received education at Eton College.  There was one prominent figure who remained influential to Shelley throughout Shelley’s short life: the physician.  Dr. Lind’s learnedness and free spirits deeply shook Shelley.  On the point of leaving Eton College, Shelley had long been starting to write poems, and Victor and Cazire published some of his poems afterward in Original Poetry.  Later he attended University College, Oxford, in 1810.  It was one year after enrolling to Oxford that Shelley was kicked out of school because of his creation: Necessity of Atheism, which irritated the school authority.

 

C.     Circle of Friends

1.      Hogg – Thomas Jefferson Hogg, a friend who later proved to be a life-long friend of Shelley and inspired him in writing Necessity of Atheism and other early poems.  Hogg and Shelley learned together and shared their mutual understanding in the realm of literature, and even collaborated to compose and publish poetry later.  Although the two young men enjoyed their life, living freely and joyously in Oxford and London, Hogg was forced to return to his father and studied law whereas Shelley remained in London. 

2.      Captain Pilfold – When facing the difficulty of financial shortage, Shelley turned to his uncle, Captain Pilfold, who aided him and persuaded Sir Timothy Shelley to continue his financial help of his son.

3.      Harriet Westbrook – In the days of being rejected by his own father, Shelley turned to his sisters for help.  Harriet Westbrook, a schoolmate of Shelley’s sisters, who initially was a correspondent of Shelley and her sisters, then fell in love with Shelley and eloped with him.  Bearing him two children, Westbrook dramatically drowned herself in 1816, after learning about Shelley’s elopement with Mary Godwin. 

4.      Leigh Hunt – A publisher, editor and critic who remained a faithful defender of Shelley throughout his life.  Hunt published a few of Shelley’s controversial poems and lyrics, and also introduced Keats to Shelley. 

5.      William Godwin – William Godwin’s Political Justice first caught Shelley’s attention and then the three daughters of Godwin household.  Despite Godwin’s influential work and opinions on politics for him, Shelley eloped with Mary, the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, a revolutionary woman figure and a writer.  Godwin became a financial burden to the Shelleys afterward. 

 

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 Adulthood 
 

A.     Rebellious Spirit and Political Stance

Throughout his life, Shelley dedicated his poems to batter on aristocracy, monarchy and religious hypocrisy.  Though himself an heir of aristocracy, Shelley’s poems and lyrics were regarded a strand of liberated spirit of his time.  His political views were mostly derived from William Godwin’s influence.  His good friend, Leigh Hunt, had been imprisoned for a while.  A few years before the accident, Shelley contributed himself to the war of independence in Greece.  In his short lifetime, quite a few poems and lyrics first appeared in pamphlets propagandizing to the public about issues of free speech, equality in religions and etc.

 

B.     Experimental Free Love

Shelley’s first love with his cousin, Harriet Grove, was suppressed by both households of Shelley and Grove.  Shelley eloped with Harriet Westbrook when he was nineteen, Harriet sixteen. Later in 1814, after encountering with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, he eloped with her shortly to Switzerland.  There was a time Shelley’s faithful friend concealed a secret admiration toward Mary, and once Shelley realized that, he convinced Mary to experience free love; only that Mary regretted and declined the idea later.  Claire Clairmont, daughter of Godwin’s second wife and her previous American lover, first started as an admirer of Shelley, accompanied him and Mary to Italy, and later became Lord Byron’s mistress.  Mary’s half sister, Fannie Imlay, also once an admirer of Shelley, committed suicide in the same year of 1816 when Harriot Westbrook committed suicide.  In Shelley’s friendship with Edward and Jane Williams, he cherished the precious relationship with both of them, but retained his adoration toward Jane Williams as platonic love.

 

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 Abrupt End of Life
  Shelley strived to aid Hunt with his new magazine along with Lord Byron’s help at the time in Pisa, Itatly, in 1822.  In July 7, Shelley and Edward Williams sailing in the new boat, lost contact with Hunt in Leghorn, and their wives in Casa Magni.  In July 18, the two reappeared, only in the form of corpses.
 

Reference

Coleman, Elliott.  Ed.  Poems of Byron, Keats, and Shelley.  The Programmed Classics, 1967.

Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography, Vol. 3: Writers of the Romantic Period, 1789-1832.  Gale Research, 1992.

 

 
     
 
   

 

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