What is the source of Shelley’s hope and idealism in the essay and in the poems? Does his hope have a practical basis?
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Shelly argues that language propels humanity to higher levels of articulation and expression. Music, poetry, and the written language give humanity the ability to reflect on themselves, both their shortcomings and their potential. Poets offer hope and idealism to the workings of life in general. For Shelley, "poets ... are not only the authors of language and of music, of the dance, and architecture, and statuary, and painting; they are the institutors of laws, and the founders of civil society..."