Images of Women in the Poetry of Percy B. Shelley And Walt Whitman: A Comparative Study
Mohd Mokhtar, Hanita (2003) Images of Women in the Poetry of Percy B. Shelley And Walt Whitman: A Comparative Study. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
This comparative study illustrates the depiction of images of women in the selected poems of Percy B. Shelley and Walt Whitman. Analysis of the poems looks into poetical matters that include the themes of the respective texts and how the images of women are presented in the framework of the selected poems. It is also another contribution to the continuing tradition and fascination with neo-platonic thought among the Romantics. It also explores the fundamental aesthetic differences between Shelley and Whitman, and shows another facet in the comparative studies of English and American Romantic poems. Analysis of the respective poets' depictions of women shows that Shelley and Whitman can indeed be linked in relation to their roles as poets and as philosophers. Both poets highlight the significant role of women in their treatment of the images. However, their individual approaches in presenting the circumstances in which the images are depicted are different, and the images presented are primarily connected to the poets' respective worldviews. Shelley is individual, passionate and concrete in his presentation of women as specific female characters are the subjects in the selected poems. Whitman, however, is more abstract and universal in his presentation of women as they are presented as mother, sister or lover, and unlike Shelley's women, these characters are interspersed throughout Leaves of Grass, amidst the crowds and the great amount of space that is characteristic of Whitman's poems. The ideas suggested by both poets in their presentation of women, although governed by their respective philosophies, are undoubtedly revolutionary. Ultimately, this study illustrates the vast scope of image interpretation in the study of literary works in general and encourages more studies on the images of women, particularly, in the works of other Romantic and Transcendental poets.
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