Lord Byron Essay, Research Paper
Lord Byron wrote a long poem, published in cantos, about a pilgrim named
Childe Harold who he modeled after himself. The journeys he goes on are
similar to the ones Lord Byron encounters in his lifetime. The speaker in
Lord Byron?s ?Childe Harold?s Pilgrimage? is Childe Harold. In Canto IV,
he begins by discussing his love for nature and goes on to apostrophize the
In the first stanza, Childe Harold discusses the beauty he sees in
nature. He finds pleasure and rapture in nature which he compares to a
?society, where none intrudes.? He states that he ?love not man the less,
but nature more? meaning that he does not hate man and turns to nature
for comfort but instead prefers nature to man. He talks about the feelings
he experiences when he is with nature and explains that he does not know
how to express them but at the same time, he cannot conceal his feelings.
Childe Harold begins his apostrophe of the ocean in the second and
third stanzas. The second stanza focuses on how man is unable to control
the ocean. He remarks that ?ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain?
and yet man?s ?control stops with the shore.? Childe Harold uses a simile,
comparing man ?like a drop of rain? falling into the ocean?s depth after the
ocean decides to wreck him. The imagery in this stanza conveys the idea
of a vast endless ocean. Byron chooses his language carefully, using words
like ?watery plain,? ?drop of rain,? and ?bubbling groan.? In the third
stanza, he looks back on his childhood and how he has always viewed the
ocean with joy and glee. He has never feared the ocean and trusts it
wholly. He describes playing in its bubbles and delighting in the ocean?s
breakers and billows.
Byron changes his tone in the fourth stanza and draws back his
earlier emotions. In this stanza, he switches from watery images to fiery
images. He mentions a ?torch,? ?my midnight lamp,? and ?the glow which
in my spirit dwelt.? Childe Harold saddens as he comments on how his
spirit is fading away. The language in this stanza gives the reader a sense
of retraction. The speaker in the poem dies in the last lines while stating
that ?the glow which in my spirit dwelt is fluttering, faint, and low.?
A different narrator takes charge in the last stanza and exclaims a
farewell to the pilgrim Childe Harold. The narrator repeats the word
?farewell? several times and remarks that if the reader must remember
anything, remember not the pilgrim but the moral of his poem. Childe
Harold chose to die in the ocean, which he respected and cherished the
most. He uses the poem to convey the beauty he finds in nature and how
important it is to keep it untouched by man?s ruinous influences.
There are many characteristics of Romanticism that can be found in
Lord Byron?s ?Chile Harold?s Pilgrimage.? He assumes the role of a
Romantic poet by taking the stance of ?a man speaking to men? when he
tells everyone about his love for nature and the ocean. Lord Byron uses a
creative and imaginative way to write his poem beginning with Childe
Harold speaking and then having a different narrator end the poem after
Childe Harold dies. Lord Byron also views nature in a psychological sense
by observing its mysterious forces and how it caused changes. There was a
definite relationship between Childe Harold?s mind and the nature that
surrounded him. Another way this poem resembles others of the Romantic
Period is that it involved a fascination with Childe Harold?s youth and
innocence. He played in the ocean as a child and learned to not fear it.
The poem ?Childe Harold?s Pilgrimage? written by Lord Byron
deserves a rightful place among the other Romantic poems. It expresses
the tie between man, his mind, and nature. The ideas and thoughts man
stumbles across can be obtained through both what is out there in nature
and what is inside his mind. Both of those factors sum up the whole of
Romantic thinking. The moral of Lord Byron?s poem is to leave nature as
unmarked as possible to preserve its beauty and to not fear it but take
pleasure in it.
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