Archivio testo: England in 1819

Analisi in inglese England in 1819

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

ENGLAND IN 1819

– THE POETICAL WORKS OF P. B. SHELEY –


– ANALISI IN INGLESE –
– con VERSIONE IN ITALIANO –



Analisi in inglese


England in 1819 is a political sonnet written by the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1819, and published in 1839, in the collection The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The sonnet provides a kind of journalistic report passionate and critical: Shelley, exiled in Italy but following the news from England, summarizes his nation’s ills and shows his indignation in regard to the condition of his Country.

The poem is certainly one of Shelley’s most vigorous political statements. The speaker shows that he has no faith in the leading institutions in England and expresses his disgust with the state of the nation through a list of harsh and violent metaphors.

In the matter of the form, England in 1819 is a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem metered in iambic pentameter. Shelley uses an AB AB AB rhyme scheme in the first six lines, followed by a CD CD CC DD rhyme scheme in the final octet.

The style of the sonnet is deliberately “unpoetic”: the phrasing is often short and curt, giving the poem the air of a telegraphic report; the language is vivid and emphatic, and shows how deeply Shelley’s feelings is involved; also the structure is unusual as far as rhyme scheme and meter. These abnormalities are used by Shelley to illustrate the disorder of England.

The first stanza contains accuses to the monarchy and to the entire English governing class. The king to whom Shelley refers is George III: in 1819, he was an old man, insane, blind, and deaf. He died the following year and was succeeded by George IV, the oldest of George III’s dissolute sons condemned in the second line.

The government officials to which Shelley refers in line 4 are the prime Minister Lord Liverpool, and his conservative cabinet. The poet harshly condemns the nobles rulers for their disinterest, and through the metaphor of the blood-sucking leeches, represents them as parasites on the people.

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The second stanza opens with an allusion: Shelley calls the people – stabbed in an untilled field – in reference to the Peterloo massacre on August 16, 1819. In this day a large number of people in favor of parliamentary reform had gathered in Manchester to hear a speech by Henry Hunt, a reformer. When troops came to arrest Hunt, there were riots and conflicts which caused deaths and injuries among the common people.

In reference to the army – which liberticide and prey makes as a two-edged sword … – Shelley highlights the use of troops by the government to quell disturbances and repress liberty, and together the misuse by the troops of their power.

About the laws – golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay – the poet highlights the harshness and the uselessness of the laws approved by the establishment only in their interests, without considering the privations of the people.

Shelley criticizes also the Anglican Church which is defined – Religion Christless, Godless -. Through his severe judgment, the poet denounces the indolent state of the English Church, devoid of morality, inward-looking, self-referential.

The last lines of the list are dedicated to the English Parliament, which is defined through an hyperbole like a – Time’s worst statute unrepealed -.

In the final couplet, surprisingly, Shelley concludes with an overturning, a note of passionate optimism, and says that precisely from the listed ills of England – referenced through the metaphor of the graves – could derive a revolution as the one occurred in France – the glorious Phantom at line 13 – so that those same corrupt establishments which are the current ills of England could provide the needed incentives for a revitalizing future change in the Country.

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Analisi in inglese con traduzione interlineare


Per comodità di utilizzo dell’analisi di “England in 1819” di Percy Bysshe Shelley, forniamo qui di seguito una traduzione letterale, periodo per periodo, del testo dell’analisi in inglese.


England in 1819 is a political sonnet written by the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1819, and published in 1839, in the collection The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

England in 1819 (ossia: “L’Inghilterra nel 1819”) è un sonetto di argomento politico composto dal poeta romantico inglese Percy Bysshe Shelley nel 1819, e pubblicato nel 1839, all’interno della raccolta The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley (ossia: “Le opere in versi di Percy Bysshe Shelley”).


The sonnet provides a kind of journalistic report passionate and critical: Shelley, exiled in Italy but following the news from England, summarizes his nation’s ills and shows his indignation in regard to the condition of his Country.

Il sonetto offre una sorta di bollettino giornalistico dai toni accesi e polemici: Shelley, esule in Italia, ma aggiornato sulle notizie provenienti dall’Inghilterra, riassume i mali della sua nazione e manifesta la sua indignazione per le condizioni del suo Paese.


The poem is certainly one of Shelley’s most vigorous political statements. The speaker shows that he has no faith in the leading institutions in England and expresses his disgust with the state of the nation through a list of harsh and violent metaphors.

La poesia è certamente una delle prese di posizione politiche più vigorose di Shelley. La voce che parla nei versi dimostra di non avere alcuna fiducia nelle istituzioni alla guida dell’Inghilterra ed esprime il suo disgusto per lo stato della nazione attraverso un’enumerazione di metafore inclementi ed aspre.


In the matter of the form, England in 1819 is a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem metered in iambic pentameter. Shelley uses an AB AB AB rhyme scheme in the first six lines, followed by a CD CD CC DD rhyme scheme in the final octet.

Per quel che riguarda la struttura, England in 1819 è un sonetto, una poesia di quattordici versi pentametri giambici. Shelley utilizza uno schema di rime ABABAB nei primi sei versi, seguito da uno schema di rime CD CD CC DD nell’ottetto finale.


The style of the sonnet is deliberately “unpoetic”: the phrasing is often short and curt, giving the poem the air of a telegraphic report; the language is vivid and emphatic, and shows how deeply Shelley’s feelings is involved; also the structure is unusual as far as rhyme scheme and meter. These abnormalities are used by Shelley to illustrate the disorder of England.

Lo stile del sonetto è volutamente “antipoetico”: il fraseggio è spesso breve e secco (curt: “brusco, sbrigativo”), e dà alla poesia il tono di un rapporto telegrafico; il linguaggio è vivido ed enfatico, e riflette fino a che punto Shelley sia coinvolto sul piano emotivo; anche la struttura metrica è insolita, sia per quanto riguarda le rime, sia per quanto riguarda il ritmo. Queste “anomalie” vengono adottate da Shelley allo scopo di veicolare l’idea del disordine che regna in Inghilterra.


The first stanza contains accuses to the monarchy and to the entire English governing class. The king to whom Shelley refers is George III: in 1819, he was an old man, insane, blind, and deaf. He died the following year and was succeeded by George IV, the oldest of George III’s dissolute sons condemned in the second line.

La prima strofa contiene accuse alla monarchia e all’intera classe di governo inglese. Il re al quale Shelley si riferisce è Giorgio III: nel 1819 egli era un uomo vecchio, folle, cieco e sordo. Morì l’anno successivo e fu sostituito da Giorgio IV, il più anziano tra i dissoluti figli di Giorgio III biasimati nel secondo verso.


The government officials to which Shelley refers in line 4 are the prime Minister Lord Liverpool, and his conservative cabinet. The poet harshly condemns the nobles rulers for their disinterest, and through the metaphor of the blood-sucking leeches, represents them as parasites on the people.

Le cariche governative a cui Shelley allude al verso 4 sono il primo ministro Lord Liverpool e il suo gabinetto conservatore. Il poeta condanna severamente gli aristocratici al governo per la loro indifferenza, e attraverso la metafora delle sanguisughe che succhiano il sangue, li rappresenta come parassiti sulle spalle del popolo.

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The second stanza opens with an allusion: Shelley calls the people – stabbed in an untilled field – in reference to the Peterloo massacre on August 16, 1819. In this day a large number of people in favor of parliamentary reform had gathered in Manchester to hear a speech by Henry Hunt, a reformer. When troops came to arrest Hunt, there were riots and conflicts which caused deaths and injuries among the common people.

La seconda strofa si apre con una “allusione” (→ l’allusione è una tra le figures of speech – ossia le figure retoriche – canoniche della letteratura inglese): Shelley dice del popolo “accoltellato in un campo incolto” (verso 7)  in riferimento alla strage di Peterloo, del 16 agosto 1819. In quel giorno, un gran numero di persone a favore della riforma parlamentare si erano riunite a Manchester per ascoltare un discorso di Henry Hunt, un riformatore. Quando giunsero le truppe per arrestare Hunt, ci furono scontri e combattimenti, che provocarono morti e ferimenti tra il popolo.


In reference to the army – which liberticide and prey makes as a two-edged sword … – Shelley highlights the use of troops by the government to quell disturbances and repress liberty, and together the misuse by the troops of their power.

In riferimento all’esercito – che il liberticidio e il saccheggio rendono come una spada a due lame … – Shelley mette in risalto l’uso di truppe da parte del governo per sedare disordini e reprimere la libertà, e contemporaneamente l’abuso, da parte delle truppe, del loro potere.


About the laws – golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay – the poet highlights the harshness and the uselessness of the laws approved by the establishment only in their interests, without considering the privations of the people.

In merito alle leggi – dorate e sanguigne che mettono alla prova e uccidono – il poeta fa risaltare l’inefficacia e l’asprezza delle leggi approvate dalla classe al potere nel proprio esclusivo interesse, senza considerare le privazioni del popolo.


Shelley criticizes also the Anglican Church which is defined – Religion Christless, Godless -. Through his severe judgment, the poet denounces the indolent state of the English Church, devoid of morality, inward-looking, self-referential.

Shelley attacca anche la Chiesa anglicana definendola una “religione senza Cristo, senza Dio”. Attraverso il suo giudizio severo, il poeta denuncia lo stato stagnante della Chiesa inglese, svuotata della moralità, ripiegata su se stessa e autoreferenziale.


The last lines of the list are dedicated to the English Parliament, which is defined through an hyperbole like a – Time’s worst statute unrepealed -.

Gli ultimi versi dell’enumerazione sono dedicati al Parlamento inglese, che è definito tramite iperbole come “l’istituzione peggiore dell’epoca, ancora intatta”.


In the final couplet, surprisingly, Shelley concludes with an overturning, a note of passionate optimism, and says that precisely from the listed ills of England – referenced through the metaphor of the graves – could derive a revolution as the one occurred in France – the glorious Phantom at line 13 – so that those same corrupt establishments which are the current ills of England could provide the needed incentives for a revitalizing future change in the Country.

Nel distico finale Shelley conclude a sorpresa con un ribaltamento, una nota di ottimismo appassionato, e dice che proprio dai mali dell’Inghilterra elencati – richiamati con l’immagine metaforica delle tombe – potrebbe scaturire una rivoluzione come quella prodottasi in Francia – il fantasma glorioso al verso 13 – cosicché quelle medesime istituzioni corrotte che sono i mali dell’Inghilterra attuale potrebbero fornire le spinte indispensabili per un futuro cambiamento rivitalizzante nel Paese.