“The Ruler of Our Thoughts” (based on the work of G. G. Byron)
Lord George Gordon Byron
And forever I will wage war with
Words - and it will happen, and with deeds! —
With the enemies of thought.
I'm not on my way
G. G. Byron
Defining the role of the poet in world literature, V. G. Belinsky wrote: “Every great poet is great because the roots of his suffering and bliss are deeply rooted in the soil of society and history he, therefore, is the organ and representative of society, time, humanity. All this is most true of the English poet George Gordon Byron, whom the great critic called "Prometheus of the 19th century."
Byron's entire life and work were associated with the national liberation and revolutionary movement. The first samples of his bold civil poetry, included in the collection Hours of Leisure, were met with extremely hostility. But this only inspired the author, and in response to unfair reproaches, he wrote a satirical poem "English Bards and Scottish Reviewers", in which he gave a worthy rebuke to his critics. A few years after the release of Leisure Hours, Byron traveled around the Mediterranean countries. The impressions of this afternoon he later reflected in his poem "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage".
Byron's freedom-loving poetry, his defense of
masses provoked the wrath of the aristocratic nobility. The poet was subjected to ruthless criticism and slander, which forced him to leave his homeland - and already forever. In Switzerland, he wrote the third
song of "Pilgrimage ...", and two years later, in Italy, he completed
the whole poem. The work shows the author's reflections on the fate of various countries, which are expressed in the form of reflections, calls to throw off the yoke of tyranny. Defending the freedom of peoples, their right to the national liberation struggle, the poet did not depart from reality, but passionately called for intervening in the course of history. Coming to the defense of man from humiliation and violence, he strove for the spiritual emancipation of people, appealed to their sense of justice, patriotism, and human dignity. The author did not hide his contemptuous attitude towards those who submitted to the oppressors, bowed his head before the tyrant.
The image of the hero-rebel runs through all the work of the poet. In the cycle of his oriental poems: "Gyaur", "Bride of Abydos", "Corsair", "Lara", "Siege of Corinth", "Partisan" - this hero is presented as more active and purposeful. He joins in a decisive struggle against a society based on oppression and deceit. And behind the bold deeds of individual characters in these works lies the "fury of the people" and the indestructible will to new exploits. The hymn to freedom and the fighters for it is also heard in the lyrical poems included in the collection "Jewish Melodies", in which the author, using and rethinking biblical images, responds to contemporary phenomena.
During the Swiss period of creativity, Byron created the poem "The Prisoner of Chillon" - about a folk hero who was defeated in the fight against oppressors and imprisoned. However, even in harsh prison conditions, Bonivar does not lose his presence of mind and desire for freedom. The hero of the drama "Manfred" is presented somewhat differently. He has much in common with Goethe's Faust, but, unlike the latter, does not find application for his knowledge and abilities. Dissatisfied with life, he desires only oblivion.
Once in Italy, the poet joined the active struggle on the side of the Italian revolutionaries, describing his aspirations and actions as follows:
Who cannot fight for his own will,
can defend someone else's.
For the Greeks and Romans in a distant land,
He will lay down a violent head.
In Italy, he created many works that became the best examples of his political lyrics.
The pinnacle of Byron's work is rightfully considered his novel Don Juan, in which, through the clash of his hero with many people and events, the author severely criticized contemporary society. He revealed the true, hypocritical and sanctimonious nature of the British aristocracy, brought to light the lies and
vices hidden behind the veneer of the secular world. In addition, the poet sharply condemned the wars of conquest, as he was firmly convinced that the
War is sacred only for freedom,
When it is only the fruit of ambition,
Who would not call it a massacre?
As a talented poet and active fighter for freedom, Byron, in the words of Pushkin, was the "ruler of thoughts" of his time. But his work has not lost its relevance and freshness in subsequent years. His progressive ideas enriched world poetry, and his traditions were continued and developed by poets of subsequent generations. And to this day, Byron's poetry, imbued with the spirit of freedom and justice, rich in deep thoughts, developing noble feelings, excites the minds of people, leads them along the path of life.