Byron, George Gordon - Don Juan
George Gordon Byron was born in 1788 in London. He lived a dissolute life.
A collection of his poems apperead in 1807, which was called "Hours of Idleness".
He travelled for Europe and he wrote a semi-autobiographical poem. He was married but very late he devorced because of his scandalous life. He left Britain and he began travelling to Italy. In 1818 he began writting his masterpiece which is called "Don Juan" but its first pubblication was denounced as immoral and impious. Moreover he continued to write it. In 1823 he renounced to write poetry: he went to Greece where he formed a small army to fight against the freedom of Greece from the Turks, but he shouldn't see their action military, because he died before, in 1824. Byron became more known for his life than for his poetry: he represented the archetypical Romantic hero who dominated the imaginary of the literature of the early 19th century.
He didn't reject classicism. In his poetry there was the influence of poets of the 18th century, because of the concise wit evidency. There was a romantic irony in his masterpiece (he was inspired by Shelley) because the romantic irony is able to master the transcendental idea.
There was an oscillating between lyrical expansion and comic irony.
"Don Juan" narrated the adventures of an hero whom was sent abroad by his mother after a scandalous affair with Donna Julia and the principal character was shipwrecked on a Greek island. In the last cantos of the poem there was a satirical description of English conditions. The poem began with a witty demolition of Robert Southey and Lake poets as Wordsworth and Coleridge.
"Don Juan" is a charming man who enjoys scarming and being by the beautiful women he meets. It wasn't the first time that a writer used the figure of Don Juan in his work: in a Spanish play, written by Tirso de Molina whom gave Don Juan his character of Libertine adventurer, for example, and in other different countries as well, but the most famous play was written by Molière, and then by Mozart.
Don Juan is an hero with a demonic idea of man. What is Important is that Byron rejcted Wordsworth's view of nature, because he thought that nature and historical events were indifferent to the fate of human beings. In Byron's opinion the most important thing for anyone is freedom. The main elements were libertinism and sexual lincense which symbolised the freedom for anyone.