The Romantic Era: Lord Byron Essay

1502 words - 6 pages

Lord Byron, one of the most significant poets during the Romantic Era, influenced literature by impacting not only poetry at the time, but also by changing the opinions and values in society and how they viewed the meaning of love, life and death. Lord Byron and his poems reflected the time period and were transformed from his struggles and challenges during his childhood. Each one of Lord Byron’s poem’s link to not only his life but also the Romantic Era. Three of his most inspiring poems are “The Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”, “Darkness” and “On This Day I Complete My Thirty Sixth Year”.
Lord Byron’s life from the beginning was unlike most other childhoods growing up. He was born on the 22nd of January 1788 in London. Born with a unique clubfoot he moved with his mother to Scotland. Having this disability made Lord Byron view himself as different resulting him to have a fragile self-esteem, making him sensitive to criticism (Noel). When he was 10, he was given an estate called Newstead Abbey and decided to go to Trinity College, but this quickly led him to debt. That summer, he fell in love with his distant cousin Mary Chaworth but she grew tired of him. Byron was greatly affected by the breakup and it led to him writing melancholy poetry with her as a symbol of idealized and unattainable love for him (Moore). He quickly became one of the most well known English Romantic poets gaining friends with other poets e.g. Percy Shelley and John Keats. Lord Byron was a satirist and was able to use poetry and his personality to capture the imagination of Europe (Sherwood). Some of his most famous work includes “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” (1812-18) and “Don Juan” (1819-24) (Poetry Foundation). After a successful life writing literature and poetry, he died of fever while helping the Greek’s gain independence on the 19th of April 1824.
Many of Lord Byron’s poems are based of struggles he faced not only during his childhood but also the relationships he was in with women (Moore). He not only changed poetry but also helped create a diverse atmosphere and opinion on literature during the time period (Rutherford). This is because his poetry was considered controversial because it often involved wanting change that most people were not used too. Even though society critized his ideas he never gave up his freedom and ability to choose his destiny in life. Most people focus on his life rather than his work though calling him ‘Byron the man’ instead of ‘Byron the poet’ (Rutherford). Byron has not been given the most critical analysis he deserves.
In the late 17th century the Romantic Era movement began to take over with leading poets like Lord Byron. This era not only influenced Europe but it spread across the world and continued through until the mid 19th century. During this time poets began to express individualism, reverence to the natural world around them, idealism, physical and emotional passion and their interest in supernatural aspects of life...

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