George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Things to Consider:
- Byronic Hero
- History and Politics
- Narrator / Persona
- The Sublime
- Horatian satire
- Spenserian Stanza
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
- What are the characteristics of the Byronic Hero?
from Canto One (1812)
- Describe the language used in this excerpt. How does it
compare to that used by Wordsworth or Coleridge?
- What literary technique(s) is (are) being used in the first
- How is Harold described in the second stanza?
from Canto Three (1816):
- What motivates Harold to depart his native land?
- Whom is the speaker addressing in the first stanza?
- Explain the simile at the end of the second stanza.
- Explain stanza 6 ("'Tis to create, and in creating
- Explain: "Life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim"
- Explain stanza 17 ("Stop!--for thy tread is on an Empire's
Other Discussion Questions:
- Why, according to the editors, did Byron's position within the
canon of English Romantic poetry become insecure during the
- Explain: "Byron cultivated a skepticism about established
systems of belief that, in its restlessness and defiance,
expressed the intellectual and social ferment of his era" (336).
- Explain: "Although Byronism was largely a fiction, ... the
fiction was historically more important than the actual
- Describe the circumstances
surrounding Byron's departure from England.
- Describe Byron's relationship with Teresa Guiccioli.
- Describe the Pisan circle.
- Explain how Harold has changed in stanza 10.
- Describe Harold's relationship with Nature in stanzas