28 pages 56 minutes read

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Queen Mab: A Philosophical Poem

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1813

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Related Poems

 “Paradise Lost” by John Milton (1667)

Milton’s incredibly influential epic poem focuses of several key elements of Christian mythology, most notably, the War in Heaven that creates Hell and the fallen angels who become devils there. Its sympathetic portrayal of Lucifer’s desire for freedom rather than subservience to God connects with Shelley’s views of organized religion’s vision of the Christian God as a tyrant.

Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1818)

Shelley’s poem explores the themes of ruin, decay, and beauty through the image of a shattered sculpture of King Ozymandias—the only thing left of this former ruler’s empire. This short poem condenses many of the ideas that Shelley wrote about more expansively in “Queen Mab,” including mortality and the subjection of all humans, even kings, to death’s oppressive power.

Auguries of Innocence” by William Blake (1863)

English Romantic poet William Blake was viewed as an eccentric for his radical views on society, politics, and religion. In this poem, Blake expresses his view that nature can inspire transcendence and contemplation.

Further Literary Resources

The Later Romantics” by Melvyn Bragg (2004)

In this BBC broadcast of “In Our Time,” host Melvyn Bragg discusses the life of Percy Bysshe Shelley, exploring his similarities with his fellow Romantic poets, including Lord Byron and John Keats.