Shelley is my favoutite poet!
I feel as if he were a real presence in my life - he's my companion, my confidant, my mentor. I'm really fond of him despite the fact that he didn't have the time to find himself in his short life; it's plain to me that he longed to find himself through his poetry.
But when I read some of his works I can have a look at what he would have become if he hadn't died before he turned thirty...And I think that 'Julian and Maddalo' is one of them.
He started writing this long poem in Este in 1818 when he paid a visit to his friend and rival Lord Byron, who lived in Venice - in this poem we find a lot of references to this event. Shelley planned to write three other poems like this setting the scene in other Italian cities but he didn't manage to carry out his plan.
this piece of writing mingles POERTY, NARRATIVE AND PHILOSOPHY, Friendship and life together. Julian(Shelley - an English man of good family, an infidel, serious but with some good qualities) and Count Maddalo(Lord Byron-Venetian nobleman, proud, charming, fascinating speaker and great traveller)are the protagonists - well, there's also the Maniac that represents Tasso, a martyr of love emprisoned by the established power, transported in Venice in the 19th century.
I read it three times and analysed it thoroughly before I wholly understood it and to me it was like a sort of revelation, it was like reading Shelley's soul and mine too!
It is our will
That thus enchains us to permitted ill.
We might be otherwise, we might be all
We dream of happy, high, majestical.
Where is the love, beauty and truth we seek,
But in our mind? and if we were not weak,
Should we be less in deed than in desire?