Lord George Gordon Byron

  1. Lord Byron
    1. The “face” of the Romantic Era
    2. Lifelong struggle with debt
    3. Bisexual tendency – strong relationships with both
    4. Fits of rage and irrational behavior
  2. “English Bards and Scotch Reviewers” – first satirical creation
    1. Not famous until the publication of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
  3. Byronic Hero archetype (Dual Nature)
    1. Moody, educated, pure love for gentle woman, sinful past, dark, handsome, mysterious, individual, honor and courage, physical disability, eloquent
    2. Resemble Milton’s Satan, sometimes even Shakespeare
      1. Faust, Jahann Wolfgang von Goethe
      2. Some suggests Hamlet to be the the Shakespearean Byronic Hero
    3. Reflective of the poets of the times
  4. Thorslev’s Spectrum of the Byronic Hero
    1. Pre-Romantic: Child of Nature/Gloomy Egoist/Man of Feeling (Pre-Byronic Gothic Villain)
      1. Foundationally rooted in Gothic values
      2. Difficult to sympathize with
    2. Romantic Period: The Noble Outlaw
      1. Separated from the society for his experience – very much a privilege??
      2. Innate heroic value
      3. Sympathizable, humanized villain?
  5. Byron’s Manfred
    1. Confusing for the hero himself and everyone else
      1. An internal struggle
      2. Refusing both sides of persuasion, much emphasize the individuality of thinking
      3. Unspeakable sin that he has committed – affair with the twin sister
      4. Too complex a character to be defined explicitly
  6. Don Juan
    1. Dedication
      1. Romantic Poetry: A conversation with self, private
      2. Not like the : Calling Bob Southey out in the first line
      3. The autonomy of the individual that resolves the dichonomy
      4. No answer to everything (unexplanable residue even after writing), no scientific
      5. Bob Southey = epic writer
      6. Coleridge = Metaphysics without good explanation: he would explain his explanation
      7. Best Poet = the only Blackbird in the dish
      8. Wordsworth:
        1. Long “excursion”
        2. Dealing with universals but containing the world inside few lines
        3. Local –> Universal
        4. “wish you’d change your lake / for Ocean”
        5. Thinking back to Beaching Head: all voyages coming back to there, from Local to the Universal
        6. Becoming increasingly conservative as he grew
        7. “They did it for money!” But none of them are aristocrat like Byron
      9. Starting off with rebel, ending up in conservatism
      10. Unexpected scornful tone
      11. Robert Southey: becoming the Poet Laureate, but not writing great poetry for the nature of his job
        1. Knowing he is the weakest, dullest of the Lakers
      1. “I want a hero” – every age has a hero, but they are dishonored: falling from the highest state
        1. The higer the state is, the worse it would fall
        2. An already fallen hero: an Anti-hero, who doesn’t pretend to be anything flawless
          1. Love affairs of Don Juan, he himself a very passive character
      2. “Begin with the Beginning” – there is no need to tell the story from the start
        1. Just tell the tale!
        2. Storytelling as a agency: begin with a hero – all about authorial choice
        3. Narrator not aware of the act of constructing the story
          1. Not aware of the narrating process
          2. Post-modernist Approach
          3. Pushing himself away from the character
          4. Byron, rejecting this character as an artifect
            1. Sensibly instead of emotionally
          5. Highly charged emotional push without identifying himself within
        4. In the very beginning of the 19th century
      3. “His mother….” Every great thing in the world
        1. A wave of praise, too perfect of a character that doesn’t leave any detailed impression
        2. Female faults are female faults, the one who doesn’t have any is the worst of all
        3. Icons of a Period: Though Problematic!!
        4. Scholarship on Byron praising him as a genius without acknowledging his wrongness of nature Canto 1
  1. The mark of Cain? The wandering Jew? Milton’s Satan: Paradise Lost→Paradise Regained; Faust who sells his soul to a devil, medival version of the Byronic Hero
    1. Both of these characters have some kind of marks on them
    2. Wandering Jew: The mark associated with appearance
    3. Criming himself in order to let Jesus save the world
  2. Satan: A mind making heaven out of hell, hell out of heaven
    1. Used to be part of God, closest to God
    2. Refused to bow before man: only regards the sovernrenty of God, not anything else
    3. Proving God’s judgement right but seem wrong
    4. Many people have celebrated these characters
    5. Extremely eloquent: the Truth is different
      1. Charater with complexity – villains stays in reader’s mind
  3. The “excess” associated with Gothic literature
    1. The excess of both qualities in the dual nature
      1. Excess of intellection
  4. Everyone born under a death sentence
    1. Is the punishment fair? Why are humans punished this way?
    2. A motivation of the creation of a Byronic Hero
  5. Milton writing Satan, not with the intention to create a character like this
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