Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2020

Department 1



As a Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley bristled at rationalistic attempts to definitively categorize the human condition. Taking Edmund Burke’s treatise “On the Sublime and Beautiful” as his chief foil, Shelley explored aesthetic categories that certain strains of Enlightenment thought had held apart from one another. In my brief exegesis of his “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” from 1816, I build on Rudolf Otto’s concept of the numinous and the work of intellectual historian Frank Ankersmit to argue that Shelley presents a holistic account of experience with the ineffable.


Written for ENG 230: Topics in 19th Century Literature

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.