Depiction of the liberation struggle in the poem “Child Harold's Pilgrimage” - Lord George Gordon Byron

Essays on literary works - 2023

Depiction of the liberation struggle in the poem “Child Harold's Pilgrimage”
Lord George Gordon Byron

The romantic poem "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" is one of the best achievements of the lyric-romantic trend in literature. The poem is based on the lyrical diary of the poet himself. The image of the hero, whom Byron at first wanted to call Buryun (a medieval form of the Byron surname), reflected almost undisguised autobiographical features. Childe Harold feels great disappointment in his surroundings, he is overcome by hopeless sadness, fatigue and satiety. His conflict with everything that exists is irreconcilable, but he does not interfere in the course of events, he is aware of himself as a victim of fate. Harold's pessimism and disappointment reflected the disposition of the bourgeois-democratic intelligentsia of Western Europe after the defeat of the French Revolution of 1789-1794.

This disappointment was due not only to political backlash. To a large extent, it was the result of a loss of faith in the possibility of the victory of the kingdom of the mind, about which the Enlighteners wrote and prophesied.

With the development of the poem, the ideological emphasis shifts from the image of Harold to the image of the peoples of Southwestern Europe. The real hero of the poem is the people of Spain, who suffer and struggle, as well as the enslaved people of Greece. Byron draws dramatic stanzas about the invasion of Spain by Napoleon's troops and the heroic struggle of the Spanish people against foreign invaders. The author shows the meanness of the Spanish aristocracy, which either stands on the side of the struggle, or betrays the interests of its people. With the development of the poem, the idea of freedom becomes leading. There is hope for a brighter future. The poet also puts his own thoughts about the struggle into the speech of the hero, which give the poem a new intonation - hopes and cheerfulness. Even the majestic beauty of nature is opposed to the ugliness and squalor of modern social life. The poet writes:

Oh, my God, what a paradise around here! How heaven has bestowed

a happy land !