Lord George Gordon Byron. 1788-1824. Teaser.
Lord George Gordon Byron 1788-1824
Teaser • Lord George Gordon Byron, was born in London, England in 1788 and died in Greece, in 1824. George was born with a clubbed foot, which caused him to suffer throughout his life. He was a cynical romantic poet, who liked to use sarcasm to show his doubt of freedom and goodness behind human motives. Some of his poetic elements that he used were rhyme and metaphors.
Achievements • Considered the most notorious of the major romantic poets. • He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential, both in the English-speaking world and beyond. • He attended many schools and colleges. • Had many famous/well known poems including, When We Two Parted, Darkness, The Eve of Waterloo and There Be None of Beauty’s Daughters.
Interesting Facts • It was alleged he had sex with over 250 women over the course of a year while in Venice. • He fell in love with a man named John Edleston while at school. • He fell ill a few days before he planned to attack a Turkish Fortress. He died before he could attack the Fortress. • He was born with a club foot and became extremely sensitive about his lameness.
More Interesting Facts • Byron was beaten as a child and this may have caused some of his crazy ways as an adult. • He owned a bear, fox, monkeys, parrot, eagle, crocodile, falcon, peacock, badger, and his favorite his Newfoundland dog named Boatswain. • He was accused of having sex with animals, but it was never proven. • He changed his name on more than one occasion. • He had many affairs throughout his entire life.
Lord Byron • Due to his crazy life his poetry is a little bit overlooked. • He was somewhat of a sex addict because he would have sex with anything he could get his hands on. • He was a guy who based everything in his life off of sex, meaning everything he did was about sex or for sex.
Early Life • His first loves were for two of his distant cousins. • He changed his name multiple times in order to claim his wife’s estate, his mother- in- law’s estate and to become a noble. • At the age of 10 Lord George Byron inherited the title and estates of his great-uncle the “wicked” Lord Byron. • When he was in Harrow, where his friendships with younger boys fostered a romantic attachment to the school. This is thought to be what began a love of sex for Byron.
Middle Life • After a term at Trinity College Byron ended up going extremely broke. • In November of 1806 he got some of his early poems privately published with the title Fugitive Pieces. • The next June his first public collection of poetry was Hours of Idleness, and it received bad reviews. • Joined the House Of Lords and made his first speech in February of 1812. • He was ionized in the Whig Society being called “the handsome poet with the club foot”.
Later Life • In 1815 he decided to marry a girl by the name of Annabella Milbank and had a daughter with her, named Augusta Ada. In 1816 though, she left him because he was abusive toward her and he never saw her or his daughter again. • His wife left him and never came back so Byron got separation papers. • After a long creative period Byron became to feel that action was more important than poetry. • He then sailed to Greece so he could support them in their battle.
His Death • Lord George Gordon Byron died of a fever on April 19, 1824. • This happened while he was in Missolonghi, Greece supporting their troops in battle. • He died before he could see any action in battle. • Their were memorial services held all over the land to celebrate Byron’s life. • Finally Byron’s coffin was placed in the family vault at HucknallTorkard.
Romantic Poetry • Emphasized intuition over reason. They preferred more naturalistic things rather than new and contemporary things. • Many were lengthy narratives called Epic Poems.
Bryon’s Poetry • Byron wrote his poems in the form of cantos. • The canto was a popular form of division in long poems and epics during the romantic period. • Byron’s most favored rhyme scheme was of a basic ABAB type. • He wrote his poems in stanzas of differing lengths: Anywhere from 4 to 12 line stanzas.
More About Byron’s Poetry • He wrote a lot, producing many poems over short periods of time. • He wrote his major poems from 1806 to 1823.
Poetry • Byron’s poetry connected to his life in a major way. • His life was all about sex and his poetry was all about sex. • It is hard to connect his poetry to the time period because even though he is considered to be part of the Romantic time period, many of his poems were more closely linked with Satire.
Romanticism • Byron was one of the “Big Six” figures who supposedly formed the core of the Romantic Poetry movement. They were: • William Blake • William Wordsworth • Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Lord Byron • Percy Bysshe Shelley • John Keats
She Walks in Beauty 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. One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half the 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. 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 days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!
“She Walks In Beauty” • Written in 1814. It was made into a Jewish Song in 1815. • Written after Byron had seen a lady in a black dress in a ball room. • But it was really referring to his half sister Augusta! • One of Byron’s most famous poems.
“She Walks in Beauty” Rhyme Scheme, Syllable Count, and Theme • Rhyme Scheme: ABABABCDCDCD EFEFEF • Syllable Count: Each line had 8 syllables. • Themes: Physical and Inner Beauty; Admiration for the woman’s innocence
“She Walks In Beauty” • Words the Matter: soft, calm, glow- these words symbolize how the woman has a serenity and goodness to her that he finds attractive • Breakdown: It is about his love for his cousin. The poem is also about how he is trying to convince the woman into loving him. • The poem was received badly, most likely because he wrote it about his cousin.
She Walks in Beauty… “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.” This stanza explains her beauty. The narrator is comparing her beauty to the brightness of the day. It is explaining how her entire outfit and features, like her hair and eyes can be so dark, but brightly beautiful at the same time. Despite her black exterior, her beauty brings new light to any who look at her.
“One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half the 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.” This is the stanza that explains the light. He compares the woman's beauty to the sunlight, and states that the rays of the sun makes her face glow beautifully. It also states that even though the sun goes away, her face still glows beautifully.
“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 days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!” This is the volta of the stanza. In these lines, its says that her outer beauty is the same as her inner beauty. She is pure and good on the outside, so she is pure and good on the inside. Her morals are soft and gentle, while her looks are the same.
How is it connected? • Considering the fact that Lord George Gordon Byron doubted freedom and goodness in people’s motives, this poem was strikingly different from what he normally wrote. • This poem is about a beautiful woman who is the same on the inside. In this poem he is contradicting what he typically believed.