First Advisor

DeeAnne Westbrook

Term of Graduation

Spring 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in English






Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822 Julian and Maddalo



Physical Description

1 online resource (63 pages)


Most of the critical readings to date of Shelley's Julian and Maddalo have relied on the biographical elements of the poem. No doubt valid, these readings might have diverted attention from other elements of what might well be one of Shelley's most important poems.

Julian and Maddalo is the first of a projected series of four poems which Shelley never completed. lt does, however, participate in a group of poems linked thematically- if not consciously. These poems consist of Julian and Maddalo, "Ode to the West Wind," and "To a Sky-Lark." Each of these poems explores the notion of the poet as prophet which Shelley finally develops in prose in the "Defence of Poetry." Each poem revolves around a prophetic figure, but, in Julian and Maddalo--chronologically the first of the three--this prophetic figure is obscured by a compelling primary narrative.

By examining Shelley's use of masking, his collapse of time, and his use of language, the present project seeks to provide a new reading of the poem. This inquiry summarizes the prior criticism of Julian and Maddalo before attempting to demonstrate the relationships among the Maniac of Julian and Maddalo, the sentient wind of "Ode to the West Wind" and the prophetic skylark of "To a Sky-Lark," and then applied Shelley's own theory from the "Defence of Poetry" to that relationship.


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