A Blupete Biography Page

Final words, Part 8 to the Life & Works of
Lord Byron

What we come away with, from a study of Byron's life, is that he was governed by no law but the impulses of his own will. He was a lord, as well as a poet and he considered "his brother authors as a Grub-street crew"; he thought himself alone to be all-accomplished; he had an "insufferable pride and self-sufficiency."103 The great Macaulay, wrote that the 19th century romantics drew from Byron's poetry "a system of ethics compounded of misanthropy and voluptuousness a system in which the two great commandments were to hate your neighbor and to love your neighbor's wife."104 That such might be drawn from Byron's poetry105, maybe so -- I have made no study of it -- that such a conclusion may come from a study of Byron's life, most certainly. Macaulay's description is as apt a description of the "Byronic Hero" as may be found anywhere.

Macaulay continues:

"He was naturally a man of great sensibility; he had been ill-educated; his feelings had been early exposed to sharp trials; he had been crossed in his boyish love; he had been mortified by the failure of his first literary efforts; he was straitened in pecuniary circumstances; he was unfortunate in his domesticated relations; the public treated him with cruel injustice; his health and spirits suffered from his dissipated habits of life; he was, on the whole, an unhappy man. He early discovered that, by parading his unhappiness before the multitude, he produced an immense sensation. The world gave him every encouragement to talk about his mental sufferings. The interest which his first confessions excited induced him to affect much that he did not feel; and the affection probably reacted on his feelings. How far the character in which he exhibited himself was genuine, and how far theatrical, it would probably have puzzled himself to say."106
There has developed any number of theories, I suppose, as to what drove Byron, the man; but none could explain the mythological mystery of Byron.107 "Byron was not, to the imagination of most of England, a man; he was a miracle. He was lightning and thunder, he was love and beauty, he was a dynast; and of course he was only following the Olympian traditions when in his glorious way he made female loveliness bow at his feet, or exercised his caprice at the cost of petty men."108


A featured sketch in a book


The English Romantics


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Peter Landry
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