Saggio breve sulla vita di Lord Byron

Saggio breve sulla vita e sulle caratteristiche della poetica del poeta Lord Byron (2 pagine formato doc)

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George Gordon, Lord Byron.

Together with Shelley and Keats, George Gordon Byron (1788-1824) is a representative of the second generation of English romantic poets. His was the life of the Romantic par excellence, as he was an aristocrat, a prolific and successful poet, but misunderstood by others, he liked to be considered a debauchee, even spreading false rumours about his life style, and he died heroically fighting for Greek independence. He can be considered romantic also in the features of his poetic, e.g.
because of his tendency to titanism (i.e. exaggeration of powerful feelings), and individualism (identification and self-personalisation with his main characters); also, he felt melancholic, both seeing the evident difference between reality and dream world and trusting Calvinistic design of human predestination, thinking he was thus bound to a sinful and condemned by others life. He was also interested in history, and especially in fallen empires and past ages in general, i.e. once more in images of decay and death; moreover, he had a strong nationalistic spirit, as he took part first in the Carbonari revolt against Austrian domination in Ravenna and then in the Greek national fight against Ottoman domination.

Lord Byron: vita e opere in inglese


Although Wordsworth and Coleridge too are considered romantics, Byron has a different idea of Nature, as it is seen by him as a reflection of his own mood, of his motus animi: because of this he prefers strong and even violent images of weather phenomena such as tempests, storms, procellous seas, high mountain ridges and so forth. He also showed a taste for Gothicism (The Prisoner of Chillon) and exoticism (Oriental Tales), typical romantic characteristics, together with a sense of restlessness, i.e. the urge of travelling (both compulsorily and voluntarily) throughout all Europe, as he visited, during his short life, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Albania, Turkey, Italy and, at last, Greece.
    Not secondly, then, we must consider among the romantic elements of Byron’s poetry the realization of the so-called “Byronic hero”, i.e. the creation of characters with similar features, derived mainly from Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost and, secondly, from Byron’s own personality (both real and self-made). Byronic hero is a dark and mysterious man, often pensive and brooding, full of blameworthy secrets of the past, but provided with bravery and eventually redeemed by his love for a woman.

Lord Byron: biografia e opere


There is in this, beyond a recall to John Milton, also a reminiscence of Shakespearean hero, but with a substantial difference: while in Shakespeare’s plays the hero is punished for what he (or she) has committed (let’s think, for instance, of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth), in Byron’s poems he is won by fatal doom and weird destiny, which cannot be controlled (a clearly visible link with the Calvinistic Grace of God theory, and thus once more a sense of closeness to Byron’s own experience of life).
    Apart from this, some critics speak of “Augustan Byron”, i.e. of another aspect of his poetry, devoted also to satire, to mock-heroic poem, and to naked truth of things. His critical and satirical attitude is evident in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (in satirical couplets, legacy of the admiration for Pope), written to respond to the attack launched by “The Edinburgh Review”, in which he ridicules and denounces the very best poets of the day furiously but uncritically. His sense of fun and deflation of romantic ideals can distinctly be found in his ottava rima poems, rich in mock-heroic situations and burlesque circumstances (all this was certainly in part drew from Pulci’s Morgante Maggiore and Casti’s works, which he had occasion to discover during his sojourn in Italy): The Vision of Judgement and Don Juan are the representative works of his Augustan facet.