“On this day I complete my thirty-sixth year” - Lord Byron and the Byronic hero
On this day I complete my thirty-sixth year, was the last poem that Lord Byron wrote before he died at the age of 36, in Missolonghi.
He thinks it’s time to die because, even thought he always feels himself the same, he understands that isn’t worth living regretting youth. He’s like a volcanic island: all the fire, the passions, imprisoned in his person cannot longer be expressed as a time. He wants an honourable and memorable death, like a warrior so he decided to die as a hero fighting for the independence of Greek people (actually he died because of a disease).
The Byronic hero is at the same time the protagonist of the Byron’s poem and the “persona” (in the greek sense of the term), the mask that Byron created himself. The “Byronic Hero” is, the typical romantic hero, a young man fighting for lost causes (he already knows he will be defeated). Like Byron, he is a very handsome man, noble and
mysterious: there is a secret in his past (a horrible sin, a fatal mistake, something unforgivable) but he never unveils it.
He is an outcast, solitary, inaccessible, a rebel (he didn’t care the conventions). Everyone can feel the presence of a shade in his past and it’s just this sense of melancholy which makes him so fascinating. No woman can resist him, while men either give him friendship or extreme hostility.
Destiny runs after him, and he becomes destiny for anyone he meets.