Percy Bysshe Shelley, Dynamic Organicism and Cosmic Harmony (Published)
This article examines Shelley’s philosophic and poetic visions of social and political mutations in the universe. It posits that Shelley’s Romantic Imagination is one that views the universe as a single organised mechanism (the Whole), and yet one that is corrupt by man through deviant social and political behaviours that are not commensurate with his being as at creation, thus leading to evils and divisions (the One). We further contend that Shelley’s vision is one that encourages “a therapeutic drive”, a movement that looks like a progression but which is actually a regression to an Edenic past, (the Whole), what Shelley calls the Golden Age. This Golden Age is an earthly paradise where, like in Genesis, both the animate and the inanimate, the flora and the fauna, the organic and the inorganic, the material and the immaterial brief, where man, hitherto considered as the “butcher of nature” is at one with himself, with other species and with Nature. This is what Pope calls “The Great Chain of Being”, Wordsworth’s “Cosmic Harmony” and Shelley’s “Millennial Future”, “Golden Age” or “Everlasting Spring”. It is the realisation of this finality that indeed is the crux of this study.
Keywords: Cosmic Carmony, Dynamic Organicism, Golden Age, Millennial Future, Philosophic Vision, Shelley