Originating in the late 18th Century in Europe, Romanticism prized intuition and emotion over rationalism, valued nature and imagination and elevated the heroic individual. Shelley critiques Romantic ideals.
The movement 1787-1799 that replaced the monarchy with the republic. The mob was frequently represented as a monster, a force out of control.
In 1791 Luigi Galvani suggested that animal tissue contained a vital life force that elecrtricity could release.Inspired by this Shelley imagines the possible reanimation of a corpse.
The Life Principle
By 1814, there was a rift between those scientists who saw life in purely material terms and those wanting to retain some metaphysical beliefs associated with the soul.
The search for the navigable sea across the North Pole was prompted by the desire to trade with the Orient and inspired Shelley's arctic framework.