Presentation on theme: "The most notorious Romantic poet and satirist, Byron was famous in his lifetime for his love affairs with women. He created his own cult of personality,"— Presentation transcript:
The most notorious Romantic poet and satirist, Byron was famous in his lifetime for his love affairs with women. He created his own cult of personality, the concept of the 'Byronic hero' - a defiant, melancholy young man, brooding on some mysterious, unforgivable in his past. "There's not a joy the world can give that it takes away / When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay, / 'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone, which fades so fast, / But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself be past." (“Lord Byron”) Byron's influence on European poetry, music, novel, opera, and painting was immense, although the poet was widely condemned on moral grounds by his contemporaries.
In his works short and stout Byron glorified proud heroes, who overcome hardships. The poet himself was only 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall and his widely varying weight ranged from 137 to 202 pounds - he once said that everything he swallowed was instantly converted to tallow and deposited on his ribs. One of his friends noted that at the age of about 30 he looked 40 and "the knuckles of his hands were lost in fat." At the age of fifteen he fell in love with Mary Chaworth, his distant cousin, whom he wrote the poem 'To Emma'. George Gordon, Lord Byron, was the son of Captain John Byron, and Catherine Gordon of Gight, a self-indulgent, somewhat hysterical woman, who was his second wife. He was born with a club-foot and became extreme sensitivity about his lameness. His life did not become easier when he received painful treatments for his foot by a quack practitioner in 1799. Eventually he got a corrective boot. (“Lord Bryon”).
In 1807 appeared Byron's first collection of poetry, HOURS OF IDLENESS. It received bad reviews. The poet answered his critics with satire ENGLISH BARDS AND SCOTCH REVIEWS in 1808. Next year he took his seat in the House of Lords, and set out on his grand tour, visiting Spain, Albania, Greece, and the Aegean. Success came in 1812 when Byron published the first two cantos of CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE (1812-1818). "I awoke one morning and found myself famous," he later said. He became an adored character of London society, he spoke in the House of Lords effectively on liberal themes, and had a hectic love-affair with Lady Caroline Lamb. ''Mad - bad - and dangerous to know,'' she wrote in her journal on the evening she first saw him. During the summer of 1813 Byron apparently entered into a more than brotherly relationship with his half-sister Augusta Leigh, who was a mother of three daughters. In 1814 Augusta gave birth to Elizabeth Medora, who was generally supposed to be Byron's.
In the same year he wrote 'Lara,' a poem about a mystical hero, aloof and alien, whose identity is gradually revealed and who dies after a feud in the arms of his page. THE CORSAIR (1814), sold 10,000 copies on the first day of publication.. Byron married Anne Isabella Milbanke in 1815, and their daughter Ada was born in the same year. The marriage was unhappy, and they obtained legal separation next year. When the rumors started to rise of his incest and debts were accumulating, Byron left England in 1816, never to return. ''The only virtue they honor in England is hypocrisy,'' he once wrote a friend. Byron settled in Geneva with Mary Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, and Claire Clairmont, who became his mistress. There he wrote the two cantos of Childe Harold and THE PRISONER OF CHILLON. At the end of the summer Byron continued his travels, spending two years in Italy.
During the years in Italy, Byron wrote LAMENT OF TASSO, inspired by his visit in Tasso's cell in Rome, MAZEPPA, THE PROPHECY OF DANTE, and started DON JUAN, his satiric masterpiece. After a long creative period, Byron had come to feel that action was more important than poetry. With good wishes from Goethe, Byron armed a brig, the Hercules, and sailed to Greece to aid the Greek's, who had risen against their Ottoman overlords. He worked ceaselessly and joined Alexander Mavrocordato on the north shore of the Gulf of Patras.. However, before Byron saw any serious military action, he contracted the fever from which he died in Missolonghi on 19 April 1824. Before his death he had suffered a seizure, and his condition was worsened by a leeching procedure. Memorial services were held all over the land. The Greeks wished to bury him in Athens, but only his heart stayed in the country. Part of his skull and his internal organs had been removed for souvenirs. Byron's body was returned to England but refused by the deans of both Westminister and St Paul's. Finally Byron's coffin was placed in the family vault at Hucknall Torkard, near Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire
Characteristics of the Byronic Hero A Byronic hero exhibits several characteristic traits, and in many ways he can be considered a rebel. is a rebel (against convention, society, etc.) has a distaste for society and social institutions is isolated from society (a wanderer, an exile) is not impressed by rank and privilege (though he may possess it) is larger-than-life in his ability--and his pride has a hidden curse or crime suffers from titanic passions tends to be self-destructive One of the key connections to understanding the Byronic Hero is that he is, in some ways, like the Romantic conception of Satan in Paradise Lost--the rebel who fights against a tyrannical establishment but is destroyed by his own overwhelming pride. This figure is an unconventional hero--dangerous and destructive, but admirable because he is larger than life.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyrical poets of the English language. Lyrical poems are a form of poetry that does not attempt to tell a story but is of a more personal nature instead. He is perhaps most famous for such anthology pieces as Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, and The Masque of Anarchy. Shelley's unconventional life and uncompromising idealism, combined with his strong skeptical voice, made him a notorious and much denigrated figure during his life.
He became the idol of the next two or three generations of poets (including the major Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, as well as William Butler Yeats He is famous for his association with contemporaries John Keats and Lord Byron; an untimely death at a young age was common to all three. He was married to the famous novelist Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, and wrote the introduction to the 1818 edition of the novel. Mary Shelley In 1814 Shelley fell in love and eloped with Mary, the sixteen-year-old daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. For the next few years the couple travelled in Europe. Shelley continued to be involved in politics and in 1817 wrote the pamphlet A Proposal for Putting Reform to the Vote Throughout the United Kingdom. In the pamphlet Shelley suggested a national referendum on electoral reform and improvements in working class education.
In 1822 Shelley, moved to Italy with Leigh Hunt (friends with other young writers who favored political reform) and Lord Byron where they published the journal The Liberal. By publishing it in Italy the three men remained free from prosecution by the British authorities. The first edition of The Liberal sold 4,000 copies. Soon after its publication, Percy Bysshe Shelley was lost at sea on 8th July, 1822 while sailing to meet Leigh Hunt.
. John Keats was born in Finsbury Pavement near London on October 31st, 1795. The first son of a stable-keeper, he had a sister and three brothers, one of whom died in infancy. When John was eight years old, his father was killed in an accident. In the same year his mother married again, but little later separated from her husband and took her family to live with her mother.. John attended a good school where he became well acquainted with ancient and contemporary literature.
Under the guidance of his friend Cowden Clarke he devoted himself increasingly to literature. In 1814 Keats finally sacrificed his medical ambitions to a literary life. He soon got acquainted with celebrated artists of his time, like Leigh Hunt, Percy B. Shelley and Benjamin Robert Haydon. In 1810 his mother died of consumption, leaving the children to their grandmother. The old lady put them under the care of two guardians, to whom she made over a respectable amount of money for the benifit of the orphans. Under the authority of the guardians, he was taken from school to an be apprentice to a surgeon. In 1814, before completion of his apprenticeship, John left his master after a quarrel, becoming a hospital student in London. In May 1816, Hunt helped him publish his first poem in a magazine. A year later Keats published about thirty poems and sonnets printed in the volume "Poems".
After receiving scarce, negative feedback, Keats travelled to the Isle of Wight on his own in spring of 1817. In the late summer he went to Oxford together with a newly-made friend, Benjamin Bailey. In the following winter, George Keats married and emigrated to America, leaving the consumptuous brother Tom to the John's care. Apart from helping Tom against consumption, Keats worked on his poem "Endymion". Just before its publication, he went on a hiking tour to Scotland and Ireland with his friend Charles Brown. First signs of his own fatal disease forced him to return prematurely, where he found his brother seriously ill and his poem harshly critisized. In December 1818 Tom Keats died.
John moved to Hampstead Heath, were he lived in the house of Charles Brown. While in Scotland with Keats, Brown had lent his house to a Mrs Brawne and her sixteen-year-old daughter Fanny. Since the ladies where still living in London, Keats soon made their acquaintance and fell in love with the beautiful, fashionable girl. Absorbed in love and poetry, he exhausted himself mentally, and in autumn of 1819, he tried to gain some distance to literature through an ordinary occupation. An unmistakable sign of consumption in February 1820 however broke all his plans for the future, marking the beginning of what he called his "posthumous life". In the late summer of 1820, Keats was ordered by his doctors to avoid the English winter and move to Italy. His friend Joseph Severn accompanied him south - first to Naples, and then to Rome.
His health improved momentarily, only to collapse finally. Keats died in Rome on the 23rd of February, 1821. He was buried on the Protestant Cemetary, near the grave of Caius Cestius. On his desire, the following lines were engraved on his tombstone: "Here lies one whose name was writ in water." The inscription at the bottom is in Severn's hand, and reads (in partial shorthand): “28 Janry 3 o'clock mng. Drawn to keep me awake - a deadly sweat was on him all this night.” Keats passed away on Friday, 23 February 1821, around 11:00 pm. This is the last known portrait of the poet.
Works Cited “George Byron, 6th Baron Byron” Wikipedia, the free encylopedia. 21 Apr. 2007. Wikipedia Foundation,Inc. 21 Apr. 2007.. “Lord Byron (1788-1824) - Byron (of Rochdale), George (Gordon), 6th Baron.” 2007. Kuusankosken kaupunginkirjasto. 21 Apr. 2007.. Allen, Dr. Rosemary. “The Bryonic Hero.” English 213, Spring 2003. Georgetown University. 23 Apr. 2007.. ----. “Characteristics of Romanticism.” English 213, Spring 2003. Georgetown University. 23 Apr. 2007.. “Percy Bysshe Shelley.” Apr. 2007. Spartacus Educational. 21 Apr. 2007.. “Percy Bysshe Shelley” Wikipedia, the free encylopedia. 21 Apr. 2007. Wikipedia “Percy Bysshe Shelley.” Apr. 2007. Spartacus Educational. 21 Apr. 2007.. John Keats.com. “Biography.” 21 Apr. 2007. English History.Net. “The Final Months of John Keats.” 12 Jan. 2007. 21 Apr. 2007..