May 25, 2024
Ghiasuddin Alizadeh

Ghiasuddin Alizadeh

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
Education: Ph.D in English Literature
Faculty: Literature and Human Sciences


Title The Spiritual Shelley: A Study of the Ideological Sublime in Percy B. Shelley's "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty"
Type Article
Shelley; “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”; Romanticism; Žižek; ideological sublime
Journal Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances
Researchers Ghiasuddin Alizadeh


Shelley’s “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” has suffered a critical overlook compared with the immense bulk of studies dedicated to his poetical and philosophical works. The reason behind the poem’s resistance to understanding is that it stands in stark contrast to Shelley’s theological and philosophical opinions which he held throughout his life. Shelley's poem is torn between the need for a transcendental signified which would bestow meaning on human existence and the tragic realization that no such an ultimate guarantee can ever exist, that the lack in the Other is ontological and, as such, can never be compensated for. Availing itself of the theories of Slavoj Žižek, the present article argues that Shelley’s illusion is twofold: besides his opinion that a full access to Beauty will eradicate uncertainty and inconstancy from the human life, he locates the roots of the present universal discontent and suffering in the absence of the Spirit, rather than seeking the causes of failure in the very essential defectiveness of the symbolic reality.