“Sorrow, terror, anguish, despair itself are often the chosen expressions of an approximation in the highest good. Our sympathy in tragic fiction depends on this principle; tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure which exists in pain. This is the source alslo of the melancholy which is inseparable from the sweetest melody. The pleasure that is in sorrow is sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself … The exertions of Locke, Hume, Gibbon, Voltaire, Rousseau, and their disciples, in favour of opressed and deluded humanity, are entitled to the gratitude of mankind.”
Shelley, Percy B. “A Defence of Poetry.” The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. By David H. Richter. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007. 359. Print.