The Nature of Love in Percy Bysshe Shelley's Love's Philosophy

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The theme of “Love’s Philosophy” by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a mixture of love, nature and disappointment. The author puts himself out there by suggesting him and his beloved should become one by contrasting how natural it would be for them to kiss. While using metaphors of how nature so innocently “mingles”, he compares their actions of love to something as innocent as nature in he pursuit of his beloved. He creates a sort of philosophy that love is all throughout the earth in nature and should thus be recreated by them by forming a union.

To figure out Shelley’s intent, I first identified who he was talking to, which was a lover whom; he has not yet to declare a official relationship with. The poem has standard rhyme called a trochee where there is a unstressed end rhyme in a meter followed by a stressed end rhyme in the following meter. The poem as a whole is split into two stanza’s that repeat themselves in pattern from metaphor to comparison to a hypothetical situation finally, follow with a rhetorical question at the end of both stanzas that is meant for his lover he is trying to get together with.

In his first meter in the whole poem, he talks about nature “mingling” with one another and this is how he compares how natural his situation with her is and that it is bound to happen like the “rivers with the ocean” “mingle”. This is an example of duality because he compares their whole situation of deciding to be together to nature. He wants his love to feel as natural around him and unstressed about their physical relationship as possible. He then uses nature to further his point by stating that “nothing in the world is single” making his beloved feel as though if they are not together she and he would be the only ones “single”. He believes that everything in nature has a “mix forever with a sweet emotion”, by stating that everything has another he influences how his beloved will respond to his proposal. In the middle of the both sections he uses hypothetical situations to make his lover hav empathy if she says no. “No sister-flower would be forgiven, If it disdain’d it’s brother:” he wants her to know that if she says no he will be upset. By using nature he is able to show the effect nature has on itself when it fails to “mingle”, and infer that will happen to him as well. Finally, he ends both stanza’s with a rhetorical question for his beloved, “If thou kiss not me?”, this puts her in a vulnerable place where she must decide knowing full well she could upset him deeply if she says no.

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