Shelley short - a cave, a canoo - Mary Shelley - Wikipedia


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The banker and political writer Horace Smith spent the Christmas season of 1817–1818 with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley . At this time, members of Shelley's literary circle would sometimes challenge each other to write competing sonnets on a common subject--Shelley, John Keats and Leigh Hunt wrote competing sonnets on the Nile around the same time. Shelley and Smith both chose a passage from the writings of the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus , which described a massive Egyptian statue and quoted its inscription: "King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work." In the poem Diodorus becomes "a traveller from an antique land." [7]

This quote comes from Walton’s first letter to his sister in England. It encapsulates one of the main themes of Frankenstein —that of light as a symbol of knowledge and discovery. Walton’s quest to reach the northernmost part of the earth is similar in spirit to Victor’s quest for the secret of life: both seek ultimate knowledge, and both sacrifice the comfort of the realm of known knowledge in their respective pursuits. Additionally, the beauty and simplicity of the phrasing epitomize the eighteenth-century scientific rationalists’ optimism about, and trust in, knowledge as a pure good.


Shelley Short - A Cave, A CanooShelley Short - A Cave, A CanooShelley Short - A Cave, A CanooShelley Short - A Cave, A Canoo

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