George Gordon Byron (1788-1824). Lecture Outline. General survey: Byron ’ s main works Poem appreciation: The Isles of Greece Analysis: Byronic hero Poem Appreciation: She Walks in Beauty Byron ’ s personal life and his literary career Byron ’ s position in Romanticism.
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Lecture Outline • General survey: Byron’s main works • Poem appreciation: The Isles of Greece • Analysis: Byronic hero • Poem Appreciation: She Walks in Beauty • Byron’s personal life and his literary career • Byron’s position in Romanticism
Byron’s main works • Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1809) • Oriented Tales (oriental settings and heroic heroes) • Don Juan----his masterpiece I awoke one morning to find myself famous Don Juan
Don Juan 1) a long but great epic: “epic satire”, “a satire on abuses of the present state of society”. 2) original characterization: a Spanish youth of noble birth; a great lover and seducer of women. 3) invests in Juan the moral positives like courage, generosity and frankness. (from immoral to moral) 4) presents a panoramic view of different types of society.
Poem Appreciation • The Isles of Greece
The Isles of Greece • The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece! • Where burning Sappho loved and sung, • Where grew the arts of war and peace, • Where Delos rose, and Phoebussprung! • Eternal summer gilds them yet, • But all, except their sun, is set. (Sappho: Greek lyric poet Delos: a name of island; Phoebus: Appollo)
Question 1 What does Greece mean to Europeans? Greek civilization is the fountainhead of the European culture.
Question 2 • Allusions are frequently used in this poem. Try to interpret the function of allusions in the stanza. burning Sappho the arts of war and peace Phoebus to set a sharp contrast between the past and the present of Greece. “but all, except the sun, is set”
2 • The Scian and the Teian muse, • The hero's harp, the lover's lute, • Have found the fame your shores refuse; • Their place of birth alone is mute • To sounds which echo further west • Than your sires' "Islands of the Blest.“ (Scian: of Scio, birthplace of Homer; Teian: of Teos, birthplace of Anacreon)
Analysis of the stanza 2 • allusion: The Scian and the Teian muse • synecdoche: The hero's harp, the lover's lute • glorious in the past while refusing the fame and being mute to the sounds at present.
Stanza 3 • The mountains look on Marathon -- • And Marathon looks on the sea; • And musing there an hour alone, • I dream'd that Greece might yet be free • For, standing on the Persians' grave, • I could not deem myself a slave.
Question 2 • What’s significance of Marathon in this stanza? allusion: war of Marathon, Greeks won victory over Persian troops by now, on Persians’ grave, Greeks turn into slave and were chained.
Stanza 4 • A king sate on the rocky brow • Which looks o’er sea-born Salamis; • And ships, by thousands, lay below, • And men in nations;—all were his! • He counted them at break of day— • And when the sun set, where were they? King: Persian king Allusion: martial war at Salamis to indicate the past glorious time
Stanza 5 • And where are they? and where art thou, • My country? On thy voiceless shore • The heroic lay is tuneless now— • The heroic bosom beats no more! • And must thy lyre, so long divine, • Degenerate into hands like mine? Encouragement and advocacy to point out the degeneration of the country
Stanza 6 • ’Tis something in the dearth of fame, • Though link’d among a fetter’d race, • To feel at least a patriot’s shame, • Even as I sing, suffuse my face; • For what is left the poet here? • For Greeks a blush—for Greece a tear. (dearth: be lack of)
Stanza 7 • Must we but weep o’er days more blest? • Must we but blush?—Our fathers bled. • Earth! render back from out thy breast • A remnant of our Spartan dead! • Of the three hundred grant but three, • To make a new Thermopyloe! (render: present)
Question 3-4 • What’s special effect in the line of “must we but blush?—Our fathers bled”? • What’s connotation of allusion of Thermopyloe?
Stanza 8 • What, silent still? and silent all? • Ah! no;—the voices of the dead • Sound like a distant torrent’s fall, • And answer, ‘Let one living head, • But one, arise,—we come, we come!’’ • Tis but the living who are dumb.
Question 5-6 • What are the main methods does the poet utilize to awaken contemporary Greek? abundant allusions sharp contrasts • Do the methods work? How do you know? move on to the stanza 9
Stanza 9 • In vain—in vain: strike other chords; • Fill high the cup with Samian wine! • Leave battles to the Turkish hordes, • And shed the blood of Scio’s vine! • Hark! rising to the ignoble call— • How answers each bold Bacchanal! (chords: tunes) (ignoble call: call for drinking wine)
Question 7-8-9 • Why dose the poet want to strike another chords? the previous methods are “in vain” • What kind of chord does he choose from the 9th stanza? fill high the cup anddrink wine • How does the poet self-evaluate his method in this stanza? ignoble call
Stanza 10 • You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet; • Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone? • Of two such lessons, why forget • The nobler and the manlier one? • You have the letters Cadmus gave— • Think ye he meant them for a slave? (Pyrrhic dance: a kind of dance during wartime) (Pyrrhic phalanx: 步兵方阵)
Stanza 11 • Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! • We will not think of themes like these! • It made Anacreon’s song divine: • He served—but served Polycrates— • A tyrant; but our masters then • Were still, at least, our countrymen. (themes: topics)
Stanza 12 • The tyrant of the Chersonese • Was freedom’s best and bravest friend; • That tyrant was Miltiades! • O that the present hour would lend • Another despot of the kind! • Such chains as his were sure to bind. (to bind: to control)
Question 11 • What does the poet hope in the stanza 12? to have a powerful national king with high hand to re-unity the country.
Stanza 13 • Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! • On Suli’s rock, and Parga’s shore, • Exists the remnant of a line • Such as the Doric mothers bore; • And there, perhaps, some seed is sown, • The Heracleidan blood might own. (Dorians built Sparta) (Heracleidan: of Hercules)
Stanza 14 • Trust not for freedom to the Franks— • They have a king who buys and sells; • In native swords and native ranks • The only hope of courage dwells: • But Turkish force and Latin fraud Would break your shield, however broad. (Franks: the Europeans) (Latin fraud: refers to Europeans)
Stanza 15 • Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! • Our virgins dance beneath the shade— • I see their glorious black eyes shine; • But gazing on each glowing maid, • My own the burning tear-drop laves, • To think such breasts must suckle slaves. (lave: wash)
Stanza 16 • Place me on Sunium’s marbled steep, • Where nothing, save the waves and I, • May hear our mutual murmurs sweep; • There, swan-like, let me sing and die: • A land of slaves shall ne’er be mine— • Dash down yon cup of Samian wine! (the Swan of Avon: Shakespeare) (samian: of Samos)
Question 12 • What kind of tone is conveyed in the last stanza? sad, melancholy
Question 13 • What’s the theme of the poem? calling for freedom and independence calling for revolts against tyranny
Question 14 • What is Byronic hero? Byron’s chief contribution to English poetry. Such a hero is a proud,rebellious figure of noble origin.Passionate and powerful, he is to right all the wrongs in a corrupt society, and he would fight single-handedly against all the misdoings. Thus this figure is a rebellious individual against outworn social systems and conventions.
Byronic heroes:heroic of noble birth passionaterebelliousindividual
Question 15 • What is ottava rima? a form of verse stanza consisting of eight lines rhyming abababcc, usually employed for narrative verse but sometimes used in lyric poems. Originally it was pioneered by Boccaccio in the 14th century and was introduced into English by Thomas Wyatt in the 16th century.
Reflections and summary writing • Compare Byron with Wordsworth and then state the differences between the elder and younger generation of British Romanticists.
Poem Appreciation She walks in beauty
1 She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. 她走在美的光影里，如夜空一般， 皎洁无云，星光灿烂， 白昼黑夜的色泽精粹， 在她的玉容秋波里交汇， 凝聚成一片柔雅情调， 浓艳的白昼也无法从上苍得到。
2 One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace. Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o’er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling place. 多一道阴影，少一抹光晕， 都会令她失却难言的风韵， 美涌动于她的每一缕秀发， 温柔地映照着她的脸颊， 甜蜜而安详的思绪在表达， 哦，那思想的寓所纯洁而高雅。
3 And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent; The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of the days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent! 那面容，那眉宇， 温柔，安详，似蕴涵千言万语， 那醉人的微笑，那生辉的容颜， 诉说着她在温馨中度过的芳年， 宁静的心境能容下人间万象， 圣洁的心灵里珍藏着爱的琼浆。
It was written in 1814, collected in the book Hebrew Melodies. It was inspired by Mrs. Wilmot, Byron’s cousin, when he saw her wearing a spangled dress. 宋玉在《登徒子好色赋》中写道：“增之一分太长， 减之一份太短，施朱则太赤，着粉则太白”； “One shade the more, one ray the less,” 拜伦巧妙运用绘画技巧，栩栩如生地塑造了一个 美丽动人的女性形象。她不仅外表明丽可人，而且还态浓意 远，胸境宽阔，心灵纯洁。
When we two parted 昔日依依别 When we two parted 昔日依依惜别， In silence and tears， 泪流默默无言； Half broken-hearted 离恨肝肠断， To sever for years， 此别又几年。 Pale grew thy cheek and cold， 冷颊向愕然， Colder thy kiss， 一吻寒更添； Truly that hour foretold日后伤心事， Sorrow to this！ 此刻已预言。
The dew of the morning 朝起寒露重， Sunk chill or my brow 凛冽凝眉间——— It felt like the warning 彼时已预告： Of what I feel now． 悲伤在今天。 Thy vows are all broken， 山盟今安在？ And light is thy fame； 汝名何轻贱！ I hear thy name spoken， 吾闻汝名传， And share in its shame． 羞愧在人前。
They name thee before me， 闻汝名声恶， A knell to mine ear； 犹如听丧钟。 A shudder comes o'er me 不禁心怵惕——— Why wert thou so dear？ 往昔情太浓。 Thy know not I knew thee 谁知旧日情， who knew thee too well： 斯人知太深。 Long，Long shall I rue thee 绵绵长怀恨， Too deeply to tell． 尽在不言中。
In secret we met— 昔日喜幽会， In silence I grieve 今朝恨无声。 That thy heart could forget， 旧情汝已忘， Thy spirit deceive． 痴心遇薄幸。 If I should meet thee 多年惜别后， After long years， 抑或再相逢， How should I greet thee ？ 相逢何所语？ With silence and tears． 泪流默无声。
Questions for next lecture • Questions for Shelley: • In what way is the West Wind both a destroyer and a preserver? • What is the relationship between the West Wind and the poet? • As "the trumpet of the prophecy", what does the West Wind predict in physical reality? How do you understand it symbolically? • What is the literary significance of Shelley's poem "Ode to the West Wind"?
On Keats and his Ode to Grecian Urn • Two students’ presentations and answer the following questions • Describe in your own words, the scenes on the Grecian urn. Who are they in these pictures? • Who is the speaker of the last two lines in the ode? • Comment on the epigram “beauty is truth, truth beauty”. • What are the similarities and differences among Byron, Shelley and Keats?