Percy Shelley: Poems

comment on the atmosphere of mourning in the poem " Adonais" ?

" Adonais" ?

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Shelley is mourning the death of his good friend, the young English poet John Keats. The persona has entered a state of dejection, calling everyone to mourn with him, and announcing that Keats should be remembered forever. To do so, Shelley assigns to Keats’ identity Adonis, a Greek god who was loved by Venus and died at a very young age, being torn apart by wild boars.

The overarching form of the poem is a pastoral elegy, meaning that a shepherd of sorts is mourning the death of another. Literarily speaking, the function of pastoral poetry is reflexive in that it uses older traditions to make complex emotions seem simpler.