Abstract

This essay examines Percy Shelley’s uses of the rhetorical and prosodic period, including the pauses that define it, in his revolutionary epics Queen Mab and Laon and Cythna. Relating the microcosmic verbal structures deployed by the poems’ speakers to Shelley’s macrocosmic understanding of the period as a historical or astronomical interval involving incremental change, the essay presents Shelley’s periods as emblems and agents of what in A Defence of Poetry he calls “revolutions in opinion”: not stable transmissions of ideology but the perpetual re-making of readers’ cognitive universes.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 1105-1133
Launched on MUSE
2016-12-08
Open Access
No
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