Mutability by Percy Shelley Analysis

  • Category: Literature, Poems,
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 906
  • Published: 21 April 2021
  • Copied: 113


It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are different standards of beauty depending on every culture, class, and a multitude of opinions. In “Mutability”, by Percy Shelley, he speaks of emotions like happiness and despair that he expresses through different forms of imagery. Many different poems use imagery along with a rhyme scheme to show the audience exactly the point they are trying to make. It is easy to see just how much emotion they can convey within a single line. Mr. Shelley brings up that nothing in life is permanent and uses that throughout his poem. This poem is written in a stanzaic form, with a literary device such as anaphora, euphony, personification, and cacophony used. 

Percy Shelley, a conspicuous and compelling artist of the Romantic era, composed numerous sonnets that depict the idea of the human condition. Like other Romantic writers, Shelley discovered peacefulness and harmony in nature, he was enamored by mists, clouds, streams, oceans. In his sonnets, Shelley utilizes these natural elements to examine certainties about the human condition. This poem shows us the unpredictability of life and everything in it. 

The title of this sonnet it the first thing that tells you what it is going to be about. The definition of Mutability is, “Disposition to change; variableness, inconsistency; fickleness” (Oxford English Dictionary). After knowing what the title means it is clearer that the poem is about change. Change happens in everyday life whether people want it to or not. Knowing that things will change can make people happy or sad and that is just how life works. The rhyme scheme in this poem is one thing in this world that will probably never change. The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GHGH. 

““Mutability” by Percy Shelley first came into light in the Alastor 1816 collection” (Wikipedia). His wife’s novel Frankenstein has bits and pieces of this poem in it. The eight lines that are quoted from this poem are in chapter ten which is when Victor Frankenstein climbs Glacier Montanvert in the Swiss Alps and encounters the Creature. Shelley does a very good job at laying out the poem in a way that is easy for viewers to read and comprehend. “The flower that smiles to-day To-morrow dies;” (Lines 1-2) is such a deep line. It expresses how fast life goes and how much people take for granted. There is a certain type of beauty in every day and it takes a special type of person to recognize it.   

What we value throughout everyday life; love, kinship, prudence - all are casualties of their brief nature. Love submits to pride, kinship to its extraordinariness, and ethicalness to human shortcomings.  However, this is momentary, and there is by all accounts no preferred decision over to safeguard our convictions, despite the fact that they may not keep going long, similar to a fantasy. The outcome would obviously be the possible awakening and understanding the valid and fleeting nature of this world. In the event that we appreciate the pleasures with genuine importance, the end need not be an awakening to brutal reality. It might fill us with a warm, however dismal sensation of having had great occasions, and having carried on with a decent life.

People wish for certain things in life to stay forever but most things are only temporary. “All that we wish to stay, Tempts and the flies” (Lines 3-4) No one can determine how long something will last no can they control when things come and go such as friendships or love mentioned in lines nine and ten. People do not realize what they have until they have lost it. The lines “Whilst eyes that change ere night, Make Glad the day” (Lines 17-18) alludes to two common idioms. The two idioms are “in the blink of an eye” and “stop and smell the roses.” Night is usually thought of as passing by quickly since we sleep at that time and the day passes slower so that we can enjoy the moments in life we choose to. 

It is about the temporary idea of human existence, human feelings, and activities. He starts this piece by taking ordinary components of human existence and contrasting them with human instinct itself. He talks on the magnificence of "Lightning that mocks the night" (Line 6), how rapidly they travel through the sky and afterward are gone. Similarly, as human existence and the delights we experience are transitory. 

This sonnet talks straightforwardly on human feeling and activity, how these feelings may seem, by all accounts, to appear as something else, like distress and delight, yet as a general rule, they are all very similar. Every method of carrying on with one's life, regardless of whether through embracing or projecting out burdens, will end similarly. The sonnet finishes up by offering the expression that nothing on the planet keeps going forever aside from alterability.

Throughout “Mutability”, Shelley presents different angles to the idea of progress in human existence. Utilizing different analogies for mankind, Shelley effectively leaves the reader scrutinizing the meaning of human state. Regardless of whether we surrender to the pressing factors of the evening and vanish like a cloud or simply a friendship, this mutability will in every case reliably unfold. The truth of time, just as the mortality of people, are factors that show people are essentially too frail to even consider combatting impermanence. The lone genuine consistency on the planet is this change, which totally debilitates people and makes one inquiry their journey throughout everyday life. Shelley realizes it is impossible for people to "Survive their joy," (Line 13) as nobody would support disasters or dismiss their own necessities. This sonnet looks for a solution to mankind's battle to fight change and time, uncovering that the solitary alternative left is to acknowledge these certainties into our lives and embrace them with everything we can.