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

Essays on literary works - 2023

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

The famous English poet George Gordon Byron became the personification of romanticism not only in his work, but also in his habits and behavior. A proud, lonely person, a pessimist, deeply unhappy with life and love, he became a role model for many European romantics.

The romantic poem "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" is one of the best achievements of the lyrical-romantic direction in literature. The poem is based on the lyrical diary of the poet himself. The image of the hero, whom Byron initially wanted to call Buryun (the medieval form of the Byron surname), also found almost undisguised autobiographical features.

Harold's psychological portrait reflects the mood of Byron himself. But this image is much more than a psychological portrait of the poet himself. Childe Harold feels great disappointment, hopeless sadness, fatigue and exhaustion. His conflict with the surrounding world is irreconcilable, but he does not interfere in the course of events, he is aware of himself as a victim of fate. In his loneliness, he does not seek support from anyone, sympathy for himself. Harold's pessimism and disappointment reflected the mood of the bourgeois-democratic intelligentsia of Western Europe after the failure of the French Revolution of 1789-1794 pp. This disappointment was caused not only by political reaction, but also by the loss of faith in the possibility of the realization of the kingdom of reason, about which the enlighteners wrote and preached.

At the beginning of the work, the poet describes the disappointed hero. Childe Harold is a young man, saturated with all the pleasures of life, carries a feeling of longing and loneliness, and sees a way out only in oblivion and even death.

With the development of the poem, the ideological emphasis shifts from the image of Harold to the image of the struggling peoples of Southeast 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 paints dramatic pictures of the invasion of Spain by Napoleon's troops and the heroic struggle of the Spanish people against foreign invaders. The author shows the vile role of the Spanish aristocracy, which either stands aside from the struggle or betrays the interests of its people.

Byron calls the Spanish people to an armed struggle for their national rights. The author welcomes the partisan movement in Albania. With the development of the poem, the idea of freedom becomes the leading one in it. There is hope for a bright future. In the language of the hero, the poet also puts his own thoughts about the struggle, which give the poem a new intonation of hope and cheerfulness. The author depicts the beauty of the nature of those countries where the hero visited. But these descriptions are closely related to the main topic. The majestic beauty of nature contrasts with the ugliness and squalor of modern social life. The poet writes:

Oh, my God, what a paradise around here! How the sky bestowed a happy land! Only a man with an ungodly hand Glad to spoil everything...

Byron speaks to his people in their national language, rejecting the conventions and mannerisms of the "poetic" language of the classicists.

The first songs of "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" were a huge success and became widely known in the poet's homeland and abroad.