Monday, January 3, 2011

Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Moon

ND, like a dying lady lean and pale,
Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The moon arose up in the murky east
A white and shapeless mass.

II.
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

This video clip explains a little bit about Percy Shelley’s life and some of his greatest accomplishments. It also gives examples of his best work, such as "To a Skylark", "Ozymandias", and "The Revolt of Islam". The poem is comparing the moon's characteristics to an old dying woman. Shelley compares the moon's pale coloring to the color of the old woman’s skin tone. Stanza one says; who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil.” Stanza three states; “And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,”A gauzy veil is representing a cloudy night. The veil is covering over the moon, making it unclear. Just like the woman’s brain is fading and is becoming uncertain. The moon is arising from the murky east. I believe that the murky East is representing the woman’s insanity. Murky is a good example to explain an unclear situation. I think that Shelley is trying to portray the moon in a human related way. Every night millions of human beings see the moon; large and bright in the sky. They do not know the moons true emotions. It lies in the starry night, with the other stars, but they all have different births, different destinies and a different purpose for why there were created. The poem mentions that that moon is lonely and companion less. The woman who is dying may be joyful because she is going on to a better life, but she is doing it alone. The fragile woman is talking on a new afterlife alone without her family. The feeling of loneliness is taking over. The moon is having the same emotions way every night. He is surrounded by his familiar stars, but they are not facing the same struggles. The moon is become weary and pale while it sits lonely in the million starry night. He can either gaze the beauties of heaven above, or view the hells of earth below him. His joyless eye is watching the changes of earth and the faithfulness of heaven. The moon and the dying women are extremely similar. Shelley is showing that even something so well known and strong, such as the moon, can feel as lonely and weak as a dying woman.


-Lauryn Hartung

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