Essays on literary works - 2023
Lord Byron man legend
Lord George Gordon Byron
“My dawn was dark…”, the poet said about his own childhood, poisoned by strife between a pious mother and a depraved father… George Noel Gordon Byron was born in London on January 22, 1788 in a family of impoverished aristocrats. The words of A. S. Pushkin “heir to all his relatives” refer not only to Onegin, but also to Byron. The Byron family was considered cursed, since its representatives actively participated in the pogroms of monasteries in the 16th century, when Henry VIII removed the country from the power of the Vatican. The predatory Byrons then seized one of the greatest monastic complexes under their own estate. He was inherited by a ten-year-old, handsome but lame boy, surrounded by a large number of relatives.
In Newstead, ghosts wandered along the corridors, and bats chose most of the medieval fortress for themselves. Throughout his life, Byron was tormented by the question of a curse from birth, and he constantly asked God: is this fair? It is interesting that the poet, who is considered one of the central figures of world romanticism, treated most of those who were called “romantics” with contempt. He considered himself a modern politician, not a melancholic dreamer, and considered the Enlightenment as his literary teachers. J. Swift, Fielding, Voltaire, Montesquieu, J. J. Rousseau, Pope. And the revolutionary poetry of J. Milton aroused great respect from him. In the youthful poem "Farewell to Newstead Abbey" Byron expressed his life credo, which he never betrayed. Its main content is to be a zealot of knightly traditions. Of course,
A descendant of paladins and desperate travelers, he could not live an ordinary life and adapt to bourgeois Britain. Byron considered himself a modern poet, but in fact he lived in the past, strove for exploits, tried to protect the offended, and all his life he was looking for courtly beauty in women. Civilization with its technological progress disgusted him. He was looking for a real life, making pilgrimages to "wild" countries and finding entertainment in deadly sea crossings.
Heritage. When Byron came to the forefront of British literature, W. Scott stopped writing poetry, believing that next to such talent there was no point in doing it. Indeed, the poetic talent of the young lord inspired awe in his contemporaries. His talent for speaking, writing articles and letters in verse seemed supernatural. But Byron's reputation at home is much more controversial than in the rest of the world. The British do not consider him a national poet because of his negative attitude towards England, which the eternal rebel never liked, subjected British society to sharp sarcastic ridicule and even contempt. As a student at the University of Cambridge, Byron published a collection of poetry, which he ironically called Leisure Hours (1807).
By the way, the title of this book can also be translated as “Hours of Idleness”. The fact is that Byron never considered poetry the main business of his life. He scorned the "Leukists" for their indifferent social position. The lord considered the struggle, and, above all, the political struggle, to be the main business of his life. Byron's controversial nature terrified British society. But such a conservative as Walter Scott, with deep understanding, reacted to the rebellious poet, who could not find his place in life, and considered the persecution of Byron in Britain unfair. Scott was also supported by J.V. Goethe, who saw in the face of the poet an ideal heroic character. He even made Byron one of the heroes of Faust, deducing him under the name of Eufurion, the son of Faust and Helen the Beautiful. Eufurion was not born for real life,And he threw himself into the “real life” and died, because the truth of this world turned out to be very terrible for him. Byron considered himself primarily a politician and constantly touched upon painful social problems in his work. Having inherited a seat in the House of Lords, he spoke in defense of the Luddites (participants in the first spontaneous protests of workers against the use of machines during the industrial revolution). While living in Italy, he maintained close ties with the Carbonari (members of a secret society who fought for national liberation and constitutional order). He helped the Greek patriots who rebelled against the Turkish yoke. But his struggle can be judged differently. Here is the opinion of the modern writer and literary critic E. Burgess from English Literature: “His poetry is essentially egocentric - he is the hero of Childe Harold, the wonderful Cain,
Exiled from England because of a scandal that interfered with his private life, he later became a great mocker of the laws and customs of his country ... a youthful mind, a mind impatient for everything, even for the demands of poetic skill ... Byron is a young spoiled darling of fate, who ... smiles contemptuously if something does not coincide with his ideas about life. He died heroically… but even his struggle for Greece against the Turks was a youthful attempt to make himself a Homeric hero - he lived in ancient epic Greece, which existed only in his imagination, and not in real, modern Greece. There is a lot of truth in this statement. The political struggle that Byron waged all his life is much closer to a noble war against monsters than to modern political activity.
He categorically did not perceive reality and its objective laws, he looked at the world from a subjective point of view, and in this he always remained a romantic. Already in Leisure Hours, in the poem “Farewell to Newstead Abbey” (1803), we see that the 15-year-old poet feels first of all a part of an old and famous family and is ready to devote his life to knightly service. Newstead, the parent nest of the Byrons, is no longer as majestic as it once was. The aging of Newstead is the completion of the feudal era and its values. The lyrical hero resists time, declaring loyalty to the traditions of his noble family. Later, Byron will in every possible way approve the French Revolution and give poetic honors to the "People's Emperor" Napoleon Bonaparte. But still he was and remains a lord,
The first collection of the poet is characterized by “world sorrow” or extreme pessimism, called “cosmic” because of the poet’s disagreement not only with individual shortcomings of the surrounding world, but with the entire universe in general. "End! Everything was just a dream ... ”- the 18-year-old poet wrote in 1806 in a poem dedicated to unhappy love for Mary Chaworth. The girl was skeptical about the deification by the lame boy, and this burned Byron for life.
It is interesting that the people who met on the poet's life path brought him suffering, encouraged him to loneliness and anger. But they themselves were pursued by rock - they either committed suicide or went crazy (as happened with Mary Chaworth). Therefore, in Western literary criticism, a mystical halo hovers over the personality of Byron.