Ode to the West Wind
Ode to the West Wind
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ode to the West Wind Theme of Transformation

As the speaker of "Ode to the West Wind" feels himself waning and decaying, he begs the wind to use him as an instrument, inhabit him, distribute his ideas, or prophesy through his mouth. He hopes to transform himself by uniting his own spirit with the larger "Spirit" of the West Wind and of Nature itself.

Questions About Transformation

  1. How is the natural world being transformed in "Ode to the West Wind"? How is the speaker being transformed?
  2. What additional transformation does the speaker hope will happen in this poem? How does the speaker want the West Wind to transform him?
  3. Is transformation a positive experience in this poem? Is it necessary? If so, why? If not, then why does it happen?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Because the speaker in "Ode to the West Wind" is experiencing one kind of transformation, his own gradual decline, he desires another kind of transformation, a fusion with the powers of nature.

Next Page: Mortality
Previous Page: Man and the Natural World

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