The mask of anarchy

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Analisi dettagliata e testo dell' opera "The mask of anarchy" di Shelley. Scritto in lingua inglese. (3 pagine formato doc)

The Mask of Anarchy, as its subtitle announces, was “Written on the Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester” in St The Mask of Anarchy, as its subtitle announces, was “Written on the Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester” in St.
Peter's Field on 16 August 1819. The event, popularly known as the Peterloo Massacre, occurred when mounted local militia mistakenly charged a crowd of men, women, and children, who were peaceably campaigning for Parliamentary reform, and incited a riot. A number of people lost their lives and a good many more were seriously injured as a result of the violence that ensued. Having taken up residence in Italy by this time, Shelley did not learn of this terrible event until he received copies of the Examiner for 22 and 29 of August from Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866) on 5 September.
Shelley's response to the news was almost immediate. He completed The Mask of Anarchy before the end of the month and dispatched a copy to Leigh Hunt for publication, on 23 September, in his radical periodical, the Examiner. In light of revolutionary fervour in England and increased legal restrictions on the radical press, Hunt deferred publication until 1832, the year in which the Great Reform Bill was passed. Shelley's final version of The Mask of Anarchy comprised ninety-one stanzas, written in tetrameter couplets and triplets with each stanza consisting of either four or five lines. The 'Mask' of Shelley's title alludes to both the concealed deceits of corrupt authority and the medieval concept of a processional triumph or masquerade. Conforming to the conventions of visionary dream poetry, The Mask of Anarchy opens with a sleeping narrator, whose reverie gives way to “the visions of poesy” (4) and an encounter with “a ghastly masquerade” (27). This dire procession is Shelley's depiction of Lord Liverpool's ministry as a series of grotesque and vitriolic caricatures: I met Murder on the way -He had a mask like Castlereagh -Very smooth he looked, yet grim;Seven bloodhounds followed him:All were fat; and well they mightBe in admirable plight,For one by one, and two by two,He tossed them human hearts to chewWhich from his cloak he drew [...]Next came Fraud, and he had on,Like Eldon, an ermined gown;His big tears, for he wept well,Turned to mill-stones as they fell. (1-17) Shelley presents each of these allegorical figures as pointedly correlating with either political statesmen or events in England. It is no accident that Shelley aligns Lord Chancellor Eldon with Fraud and Viscount Castlereagh with Murder. Foreign Secretary since 1812, Castlereagh (1769-1822) had a long-standing reputation, earned in Ireland, the Napoleonic Wars, and at home, as a warmonger and political oppressor among radicals. Eldon's capacity for hypocrisy, on the other hand, can be gauged from his notorious reputation for public displays of weeping and his many heartless rulings in the Chancery court (he had ruled against Sh