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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Lord Byron - 1616 words
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George Gordon Byron a Natural Born Poet Their are many different opinions on the written works of George Gordon Byron which could include one very big question. Was he a natural born poet or simply a product of abuse and mental illness. His writings may have been more a way to ease his paand suffering rather than a natural talent. Perhaps his writings were a form of self therapy? Throughout his writings and life history there is much evidence to suggest that his poetry was being greatly influenced by his mental instability. I have lrned much on this great poet and I too believe that his writings were influenced greatly because of the pain and abuse he suffered in his youth. I will attempt to point out the many possibilities to this.
George Gordon Byron was known as Lord Byron during his lifetime. Byron was born in 1788 and died at the early age of thirty-six in the year 1824. His handsome face, riotous living and many love affairs made Byron the most talked-of man of his day. Hwas known as a romantic, fascinating figure to his fellow Englishmen. In our current century his reputation has dwindled to merely being known as a poet
His childhood was colorful to say the least. There is much evidence to suggest mental instabilitwas inherent in his family. Byron was born on Jan.22, 1788 in London. His great-uncle from whom he inherited the title, was known as 'wicked Lord Byron'; his father army officer, was called 'mad Jack' Byron. This wealth and the nick names of the Byronen went back to at least as far a Lord Byron's' Grandfather, a Vice Admiral, known as 'Foul Weather Jack'.
He was giving this name as he had a reputation of attracting storms. These titles given to his family only adds to the evidence of mental instality. Here's an interesting note: (His family had a long tradition of marrying its cousins, consequently, there were some oddities among their ancestors. Byron's grandfather 'Foul Weather Jack' hated his sons and spent a great deal of time trying to destroy their estate, Newstead. He hoped to leave nothing for his sons, so he encouraged swarms of cricketso run throughout the house.) (His Life www.edenpr.k12.mn.usephs/ArcadiaWeb) Born with a clubfoot, he was sensitive about it all his life.
When he was just three his father died, leaving the family with nearly nothing to survive on. His parents, Catherine Gordon Byron (of the old and violent line of Scottish Gordons) and John ron, had been hiding in France from their creditors, but Catherine wanted their child born in England, so John stayed in France, living in his sister's house, and died in 1791, possibly a suicide. However, at ten was left a small inheritance along withis title. (George'Don Juan'Gordon www.incompetech.com). His mother then proudly moved from the meager lodging in Aberdeen, Scotland to England.
The boy fell in love with the ghostly halls and spacious grounds of Newstead Abbey, which had been presented to the Byron's by Henry VIII, and he and his mother lid in the run down estate for a while. While in England growing up his was sent to a private school in Nottingham, where his clubfoot was doctored by a quack named Lavender. He suffered abuse while there, from both the painful tortures of Dr. Lavender d the unnatural affection of the school nurse by the name of May Grey. He was subjected to mistreatment by her through drunkenness, beatings, neglect, and sexual liberties.
This abuse was not stopped early enough to protect the boy from the psychologil injury in the premature initiation into sex-play. (His Life P.1 www.edenpr.k12.mnus/ehs/ArcadiaWeb/Byron) Byron's mother had a bad temper that he was constantly being exposed to as well. John Hanson, Mrs. Byron's attorney, rescued him from the unnaral affections of May Grey the school nurse, the tortures of Lavender, and the uneven temper of his mother. John Hanson then took him to London, where a reputable doctor prescribed a special brace.
That next autumn of 1799 Hanson entered him into a school at Dulwich. At seventeen he entered Cambridge University. Determined to overcome his physical handicap, Byron became a good rider, swimmer, boxer, and marksman. He enjoyed literature but cared little for other subjects. (Brianica P. 696,1989).
While staying at his mother's (something Byron did only when absolutely unavoidable( a neighbor of Mrs. Byron's encouraged Byron to publish his poems. In 1806, the book 'Fugitive Pieces' appeared. Byron sent copies to two of his friends, one of whom wte back to say that he thought the poem in the book 'To Mary' was far too shocking to read by the general public. Byron took this opinion very seriously, and ordered every copy of the volume burnt. The book was republished (minus the offending poem)inarch 1806 as 'Hours of Idleness'.
It sold well, but reviews were mixed, and Byron answered his detractors with the very successful satire 'English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. (George 'Don Juan' Gordon www.incompetech.com) Travels in Europe and the Middle East inspired his first long poem, 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'. The first two sections were published in 1812, and he became famous almost overnight. Women sought him out, and young men copied his open collar and flong cravat. In 1815 he married Anne Milbanke. They had one daughter, but soon separated.
Society and the public reacted unfavorable to Byron's often scandalous conduct, and in a fit of temper he left England for Italy. While in Italy he wrote additional cantos r 'Childe Harold'; 'Manfred', a verse play; and 'Don Juan', a half-romantic, half-humorous poetic version of the Spanish story. Byron became interested in Greece's struggle to free itself from Turkish rule. He went to Greece and began helping to organe the revolt. At Missolonghi he died of a fever on April 18, 1824. His doctors at the time believed he needed to be bled to cure the fever and that probably was the real cause of his death. (Compton's Encyclopedia P.533,1989).
The relationship between his mother and himself influenced Byron in his writings. He once wrote a short softer strain describing himself in his childhood a'A little curly-headed, good-for-nothing' 'And mischief-making monkey from his birth'.He inherited his uncontrollable temper from both sides of the family. His great-uncle had killed a man in a tavern brawl. Byron's mother, was a tigress in her own right. In her moments of fury she tore her bonnets and her dresses.
When Byron was up mischief she threw vases and fire shovels at his head and called him a 'lame brat.' This insult always made Byron blind with rage. For he felt extremely sensitive about his clubfoot. One day when his mother hurled this distasteful insult at him he rsed a knife to his throat, and it was only with difficulty that they saved him from slashing himself. In the course of another quarrel the mother and the son threatened each other's life, and each of them went privately to the apothecary's to be sure tother had not be there to a purchase poison. (Thomas P.
125-126) George Gordon Byron was haunted by his lame foot his entire days and it was apparent in his works. Once overhearing a girl he was infatuated with refer to him as 'that lame boy' certainly must have deepened his disappointment at being born with this dermity. A fragile self-esteem made Byron extremely sensitive to criticism, of himself or of his poetry, and he tended to make enemies rather quickly. His poetry, along with his lifestyle, was considered controversial in his time and often deemed 'perveed' or satanic,' among other things. The fact that he was often discontent and unhappy, combined with a constant desire for change meant that he created an unstable world for himself, though he never gave up his individual freedom to choose his own patand his own destiny. In 1811 Byron embarked on a Grand Tour through the Mediterranean, and the experience was to influence him greatly.
One attitude that he adopted from his travels was that he disliked sharing a meal with or watching a woman eat. (Neurotic Poets P. http://users.ids.net/~bdragon/poets/byron.html)Joh n Murray once descried Byron as 'Wild, audacious, rebellious, half mad by nature: a creature made to tempt and to be tempted, to seduce and to fall, about whom there was but one certainty, that he was irreclaimable.' John Murray wrote this in part bause of the extravagant lifestyle Byron led. While at Trinity College in Cambridge he ran up large debts and it was rumored he kept a pet bear in his room. Also while at Cambridge, he developed a great fondness for a choirboy named John Edlestone. Afr college, he resided at various places, including the family home at Newstead Abbey. It was here that the alleged 'wild parties' took place at which Byron would make toasts with and drink from a skull cup.
Legend has it that the skull, which Byron diovered at Newstead, was that of a monk. He polished it up and added silver plates. The cup was 'secretly buried' by a later owner of the property. Scrope Davies, Charles Matthews and John Cam Hobhouse were Byron's closest college friends. They took pt in the wild house parties that had established Byron's reputation as a living embodiment of the gothic ideal- a young and handsome Lord living in a decaying abbey who drank copiously from a silver cup made from the dull of a dead monk followed by sexuorgies with an in-house set of sex-slave servants.
They had dressed up as monks for these festivities. This behavior was patterned on the reput ...
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