In spirit Shelley was perhaps the most essentially romantic of the poets of his age. Intense, idealistic, personal, his is the poetry of youth. His brief, impetuous life aroused great controversy and, like Byron, he lives on outside his verse. Shelley's work has been criticized for its didacticism and undisciplined emotionalism. But essentially he was a poet of ideas and his search for truth and original human perfection, Shelley was inspired as much by the Greek poets and philosophers, particularly Plato, as by the radicalism of his own age. Above all, his great gift was his lyricism and his verse comes as near to music as poetry can.
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