Презентация "Revolutionary Romanticism. George Gordon Byron. Percy Bysshe Shelley"

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  • Lecture 19
  • Трякина Светлана Анатольевна,
  • ГОУ СОШ № 1232,г.Москва
  • Another trend of romanticism-the group of romantic poets distinguished themselves by the revolutionary spirit which they brought into poetry. They tried to look ahead and see the future. They kept an eye on all political events and sympathized with the national liberation movement in all oppressed countries.
  • The most outstanding Revolutionary Romanticists were George Gordon Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
George Gordon Byron (1788 – 1824)
  • Like all the romantic writers of the time, Byron was disappointed with the results of the French Revolution, but unlike the Lake Poets who condemned their former beliefs and tried to escape from reality into the world of dreams and mysticism, he remained true to the ideas of liberty and equality.
George Gordon Byron was born in London , on January 22, 1788 in an impoverished aristocratic family.
  • Having wasted his own and most of his wife’s fortune, Byron’s father, who was an army officer, died when the future poet was only three years old.
Byron’s mother, Catherin Gordon, was a Scottish lady of honourable birth .
  • George was very lonely from his childhood. His mother was a woman of quick feelings and strong passions. Now she kissed him, now she scolded him. In one of her fits of passion she called him “a lame brat”, and the boy could not forgive her this insult.
Byron was lame from birth and was sensitive about it all his life, yet, thanks to his strong will and regular training , he became an excellent rider, a champion swimmer, a boxer and an athlete.
  • He spent his first years in Scotland. He attended grammar school in Aberdeen. The boy was fond of reading books about travels, especially those related to the East.
  • These books greatly influenced his poetical development.
In 1798 George’s grand-uncle died and the boy inherited the title of baron and the family estate of the Byrons, Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire.
  • Together with his mother and nurse, to whom he was deeply attached, the boy moved to Newstead.
He was sent to Harrow School and after finishing it, at the age of seventeen he entered Cambridge University.
  • Harrow School
  • Cambridge University
George was sixteen when he fell in love with his distant relative Mary Chaworth.
  • He seemed to have found the ideal of womanly perfection. However, she did not return his affection. But he remembered his first love all his life and it coloured much of his writing. In “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” the poet says that Harold “sighed to many, though he loved but one”.
In the spring of 1808 Byron graduated from the University and received his Master of Arts degree.
  • In 1809 he took his hereditary seat in the House of Lords.
In 1809 he left England for a long journey which took two years.
  • He visited Portugal, Spain, Albania, Greece, Turkey , and during his travels wrote the first two cantos of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”. They were published in 1812. Byron became one of the most popular men in London.
Between 1813 and 1816 Byron composed his “Oriental Tales”, “The Giaour”, “The Corsair”, “Lara”, “Hebrew Melodies” a collection of lyrical verses.
  • All these poems embody the poet’s romantic individualism. The hero of his poems is a rebel against tyranny and injustice, he is a man of strong will and passion. He is proud and independent. However, his revolt is individualistic and that is why it is doomed to failure.
In 1815 Byron married Miss Isabella Milbanke. She was a religious woman, cold and pedantic. This was an unlucky match. Though Byron was fond of their only child Augusta Ada, separation was inevitable. The scandal around the divorce was enormous. In 1816 Byron left England forever. He went to Switzerland. There he got acquainted with Shelley, and the two poets became close friends.
  • While in Switzerland, Byron wrote the third canto of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”, “The Prisoner of Chillon”, ”Manfred” and many lyrical poems.
In 1817 Byron left for Italy. He visited Venice, Rovenna, Pisa, and Genoa.
  • In Italy he joined the secret organization of the Carbonari, engaged in the struggle against the Austrian oppressors.
  • This period is the summit of Byron’s poetical career.
He wrote “Beppo”, “Don Juan”, the fourth canto of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”, “The Prophecy of Dante”, the dramas “Marino Faliero”, “Cain”, his satirical masterpieces “The Vision of Judgement”, The Age of Bronze”.
  • He wrote “Beppo”, “Don Juan”, the fourth canto of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”, “The Prophecy of Dante”, the dramas “Marino Faliero”, “Cain”, his satirical masterpieces “The Vision of Judgement”, The Age of Bronze”.
  • The defeat of the Carbonari uprising was a great blow to Byron.
  • The war of Greeks against the Turks attracted his attention.
  • He went to Greece to take part in the struggle for national independence.
Soon after his arrival he was seized with fever and died at Missolongi on April 18, 1824, at the age of thirty-six. He was buried in Newstead in his ancestors’ burial place. Percy Bysshe Shelley. (1792 -1822)
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley combines in his poetry the romantic elements typical of the period with a revolutionary protest against the growing power of capitalism.
  • Like Byron, he came from an aristocratic family, and broke away from his class.
His father was a baronet, and a narrow-minded man. The boy felt ill at ease in the family and at Eton college, where he was sent to in 1804.
  • He was a shy, gentle, kind and sensitive boy by nature, but he had his own notions of justice, independence and freedom. At Eton the teachers disliked him for independent thinking.
In 1810 Shelley entered Oxford. A year later he wrote an antireligious pamphlet called “The Necessity of Atheism” , for which he was expelled from the University.
  • The same year he was disinherited by his father.
  • In 1813 he wrote his first poem “Queen Mab”, containing sharp criticism of human society, and expressed his ideals as to the happy future of mankind which could be achieved by peaceful means.
For his poems Shelley received the reputation of “a dangerous man”. Life in England became unbearable and the poet left his country which he was destined never to see again.
  • In 1818 he went to Italy and finally settled in Pisa. He found comfort in friendship with Byron, who enjoyed his verses.
  • In Italy Shelley wrote “The Cenci”, ‘The Song to the Men of England”, ”The Mask of Anarchy”, “England in 1819”, “Ode to Liberty” “Prometheus Unbound”, etc.
Shelley was also the author of lyrical poems, among which are: ” The Cloud”, “To a Skylark”, “Ode to the West Wind”. To Shelley poetry was a device for making immortal all that is good and beautiful in the world.
  • On July 8, 1822, while Shelley and his friend were sailing in a small boat across the Bay of Spezia, a sudden and violent storm broke out. Ten days later their bodies were found washed ashore. They were cremated, and according to some accounts, the poet’s wife Mary snatched her husband’s heart out of ashes.
  • His heart was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.
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