Shelley, a prominent Romantic poet and critic, defends poetry by stating that the poet imagines the forms that make the social and cultural order. Unlike Peacock, Shelley believes that each creative mind builds its own secret cosmos, and that poets are the world's unacknowledged legislators. Also unlike Peacock, Shelley thinks that poetry has an important educational function for both individuals and societies.
Shelley was a well-known English romantic poet whose poems exemplified passion, beauty, imagination, love, creativity, political liberty, and nature. Shelley, who was very sensitive and possessed special attributes of hope, love, joy, and imagination, was a firm believer in the attainment of human pleasure. His work expressed these beliefs through poems that were both serious and humorous.
Shelley's mother was only 18 when he was born, and his father was an ambitious but unfulfilled young man who died when Shelley was only 12 years old. From an early age, Percy had to take care of his sick mother and younger sister. He also wrote poetry from an early age and soon became known for his lyrical poems about nature, love, and politics. In 1795, at the age of 20, he married Mary Wollstonecraft. The couple had one son together but were divorced four years later. In 1816, at the age of 36, Shelley married Harriet Westbrook. They had three children together but were separated in 1836. In 1851, at the age of 47, he married Jane Clairmont. She was 16 years old and pregnant with her first child when they met. This marriage too was short lived and in 1854 she died giving birth to a daughter. In 1866, at the age of 54, Shelley married Clara Hoppner. They had two sons together but she died in 1877.
Shelley is often considered as a significant English Romantic poet. The concept that passion, rather than reason, should rule people was one of the most contentious literary figures of the early nineteenth century. His friend and mentor John Keats died at the age of 26 after writing only two years of formal education. No one else except Keats himself has ever been quoted as saying that he was an "infinite genius". Nevertheless, there are many similarities between them: both were passionate about poetry; both had severe health problems that prevented them from working for long periods of time; and finally, both were dead within three years of being born.
In addition to being a poet, Keats was also a successful medical practitioner who spent much of his time traveling around England treating patients. He also attended several meetings of the leading circle of London-based artists and writers known as the "Keats Circle", which included some of Shelley's closest friends. It has been suggested that this may have influenced Shelley to invite Keats to live with him and his wife at their country house in West Sussex, where they could have devoted themselves to art and literature without worrying about money or employment.
When you include Keats in its discussion of poets because he was his contemporary, it can be argued that the Romantic movement also includes him.