George Gordon Byron
George Gordon Byron (1788-1824) is considered the symbol of the Romantic hero. His first collection of Poems, “Hours of Idleness”, was strongly attacked by a Scottish journal to which he answered with a famous satire. When he was young, he joined the Grand Tour and collected the impressions deriving from his journeys in his writing “Childe Harold’s pilgrimage”. After his Grand Tour he was accused of incest and so he left England, and his wife left him. During his exile, he met Shelley, who became one of his best friends, he visited Italy and fought for the Greek independence, incremented his fame as a Romantic hero who fights for the human freedom.
In fact, Byron never wrote a masterpiece, and he’s actually known for his life and for his main character, the “Byronic hero”: the “Byronic hero” is an handsome and mysterious man with a dark secret in his past, solitary, harsh but of noble birth; nobody is indifferent to him, women love him and men hate or love him too. The best example of this Byronic hero is Conrad, the main character of “Lara”, one of the “Oriental Tales”, which he wrote to please the public’s interest for the exotic, which was very common during the Romantic period. Byron is a typical Romantic writer for his rebelliousness and interest in freedom, “titanism” and melancholy, with a taste of Gothicism; sometimes in his writings there’s a sense of frustration, because of the collision between the reality and the idealistic world. Byron’s novels have also some classical characteristics, for example the irony, the ability in using the verse, and the vision of the man as a social being.