## Enlightenment Vs. Romanticism;

or,

The Head Vs. The Heart

We are all familiar with the proverbial battle between and the heart, logic and emotion, science and art. Well, this struggle also epitomized the differences between the Enlightenment (or Neoclassical) Era and the Romantic Period. Now, I don't mean romantic period like the summer fling you might have had last year when you stayed out until ten o'clock ('those summer nights...") but rather capital "R" Romantic, designating the philosophy and time period, instead of an adjective you hope will apply to whomever you are crushing on.

Some of the differences between the schools are fairly obvious and can be related to variances in viewpoints today, as well. Following on the heels of the Renaissance, the rebirth of Western civilization after the Dark Ages, the Enlightenment valued science, logic, and reason as a means of conquering nature and progressing toward the more industrialized world we know today. Even the arts were concerned with intellectual, metaphysical subjects, rather than an outpouring of emotion. Architecture, engineering, and landscape design were heavily focused on symmetry, sharp angles, and neat patterns. In short, the Enlightenment wanted to overlay a grid on nature.

The Romantic movement, on the other hand, emerged as a sort of counter-culture to the ideals of the Enlightenment. In many ways, the Romantics were similar to the Beat generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s. Some the main concerns of the Romantics were the increasing pace of life, pollution, working conditions, and disconnect from nature resulting from the Industrial Revolution. And they expressed their discontent with the Enlightenment ideology primarily through poetry (although the pinnacle of Romantic literature is, arguably, a novel: Mary Shelley's

Source:

Here are a few videos delineating some of these differences in a little more detail:

Some of the differences between the schools are fairly obvious and can be related to variances in viewpoints today, as well. Following on the heels of the Renaissance, the rebirth of Western civilization after the Dark Ages, the Enlightenment valued science, logic, and reason as a means of conquering nature and progressing toward the more industrialized world we know today. Even the arts were concerned with intellectual, metaphysical subjects, rather than an outpouring of emotion. Architecture, engineering, and landscape design were heavily focused on symmetry, sharp angles, and neat patterns. In short, the Enlightenment wanted to overlay a grid on nature.

The Romantic movement, on the other hand, emerged as a sort of counter-culture to the ideals of the Enlightenment. In many ways, the Romantics were similar to the Beat generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s. Some the main concerns of the Romantics were the increasing pace of life, pollution, working conditions, and disconnect from nature resulting from the Industrial Revolution. And they expressed their discontent with the Enlightenment ideology primarily through poetry (although the pinnacle of Romantic literature is, arguably, a novel: Mary Shelley's

*Frankenstein*). The Romantics were also big on the individual experience, as opposed to the collective, experiencing awe in nature, and (not surprisingly) emotion. Rather than a neat and tidy English garden, they preferred ruins and less-manicured "wild" nature in their back yards, reflecting their resistance to the notion of "taming" or controlling the natural world.Source:

*The Language of Literature: British Literature.*McDougal Littell, 2008.Here are a few videos delineating some of these differences in a little more detail:

**Fermat's Last Theorem (Tori)**

In the 17th Century mathematician Pierre de Fermat created Fermat's Last Theorem while studying Arithmetica. While he was studying his book about Arithmetica it inspired him to make up the Last Theorem which discusses various aspects of Pythagoras' Theorem. His theorem states, “that no three positive integers a, b, and c satisfy the equation aⁿ + bⁿ = cⁿ for any integer value of n greater than 2”. Some examples used in this equation is x3 + y3 = z3, x4 + y4 = z4, x5 + y5 = z5, x6 + y6 = z6. According to Fermat, none of these can be solved and believed he could prove his theorem. Unfortunately he never wrote his proof down and shortly died after. Mathematicians across Europe found this equation and tried to rediscover the proof and that is how Fermat's Last Theorem was named.

Over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries no mathematician could find a counter-example. Proving that Fermat’s Last Theorem was true and inspired many other mathematicians to try and solve it. It soon became a popular challenge to all of those who are willing to die for it. The history of Fermat’s Last Theorem is a story of intrigue, rivalry, rich prizes, suicide and death, involving people who became obsessed by Fermat’s accidental challenge.

One of those stories was Paul Wolfskehl who became obsessed in solving it and before his death he put a prize for two million dollars on whoever solves it. This sparked another generation trying to find the solution. It was not until 1994, Andrew Wiles ultimately succeeded in proving Fermat's Last Theorem, as well as leading the way to a full proof by others of what is now the modularity theorem.

“The Whole Story.” Simon Singh, https://simonsingh.net/books/fermats-last-theorem/the-whole-story/. Accessed 24 October 2019.

Over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries no mathematician could find a counter-example. Proving that Fermat’s Last Theorem was true and inspired many other mathematicians to try and solve it. It soon became a popular challenge to all of those who are willing to die for it. The history of Fermat’s Last Theorem is a story of intrigue, rivalry, rich prizes, suicide and death, involving people who became obsessed by Fermat’s accidental challenge.

One of those stories was Paul Wolfskehl who became obsessed in solving it and before his death he put a prize for two million dollars on whoever solves it. This sparked another generation trying to find the solution. It was not until 1994, Andrew Wiles ultimately succeeded in proving Fermat's Last Theorem, as well as leading the way to a full proof by others of what is now the modularity theorem.

“The Whole Story.” Simon Singh, https://simonsingh.net/books/fermats-last-theorem/the-whole-story/. Accessed 24 October 2019.

**Iterated Algorithms (Andy)**

ITERATED ALGORITHMS

The idea of iterated algorithms applies to using numbers and points to describe nature. The numbers apply by taking a given set and plotting them on a graph or area. After plotting a number it is processed somehow (mathematically or randomly) to produce a new point which is then processed in the same way. By repeating this process hundreds or thousands of times, a pattern will appear. This can be used to describe almost anything in nature if the pattern is tweaked and repeated enough times. Essentially, iterated algorithms describe nature in its geometric forms.

For example, let’s plot three dots in a triangle shaped field. These will be points A, B, and C. Also, there is a starting point (the seed) in between two of the points. Next, using a pair of dice we would get a random set of numbers to use in this algorithm. Numbers 1-2 will coincide with point A, 3-4 will be with point B, and 5-6 will be with point C. When rolling the dice you would record both the numbers from each. For each number you make a dot halfway to the point it associates to. A number 1 would make a dot halfway to point A. Next, you continue off the newest number plotted and continue in this sequence. If the next number is 4, then it would be placed halfway between number 1 and point B.

When this pattern continues a geometric sequence will appear after doing it for a long time. For this specific model, a computer application makes a geometric figure that is called the Sierpinski Triangle (below). This triangle is made up of triangles that are exact replicas of the larger ones all the way down to the original plotted points. All iterated algorithms eventually reach what is known as a fractal. In simple terms, a fractal is a visible representation of iterated algorithms in large forms.

The idea of iterated algorithms applies to using numbers and points to describe nature. The numbers apply by taking a given set and plotting them on a graph or area. After plotting a number it is processed somehow (mathematically or randomly) to produce a new point which is then processed in the same way. By repeating this process hundreds or thousands of times, a pattern will appear. This can be used to describe almost anything in nature if the pattern is tweaked and repeated enough times. Essentially, iterated algorithms describe nature in its geometric forms.

For example, let’s plot three dots in a triangle shaped field. These will be points A, B, and C. Also, there is a starting point (the seed) in between two of the points. Next, using a pair of dice we would get a random set of numbers to use in this algorithm. Numbers 1-2 will coincide with point A, 3-4 will be with point B, and 5-6 will be with point C. When rolling the dice you would record both the numbers from each. For each number you make a dot halfway to the point it associates to. A number 1 would make a dot halfway to point A. Next, you continue off the newest number plotted and continue in this sequence. If the next number is 4, then it would be placed halfway between number 1 and point B.

When this pattern continues a geometric sequence will appear after doing it for a long time. For this specific model, a computer application makes a geometric figure that is called the Sierpinski Triangle (below). This triangle is made up of triangles that are exact replicas of the larger ones all the way down to the original plotted points. All iterated algorithms eventually reach what is known as a fractal. In simple terms, a fractal is a visible representation of iterated algorithms in large forms.

**Fractals (Paige)**

Fractals are geometric shapes that make up something whole. The patterns that make up a fractal are the same patterns that makes up the larger shape, just in smaller sizes. Fractals are created by a never ending, recurring process. In mathematics, fractals have fractional dimension. Fractional dimension is a ratio that measures the complexity of a fractal. This concept was first introduced in 1918 by Felix Hausdorff.

Fractals are different than any other shape. Through fractional dimension people are able to explain spontaneity in shapes, such as snowflakes and mountain ranges. An example of a fractional dimension, occurs in the snowflake curve. In order to calculate the ratio the equation in the image is used. Where D represents the fractional dimension, and n and s vary depending on the size of the fractal and points it contains. This equation was developed by Helge von Koch in 1904.

Sources:

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Fractal.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Sept. 2017, www.britannica.com/science/fractal. Accessed 24 October 2019.

“Fractal Explorer .” Chapter 4: Calculating Fractal Dimensions, www.wahl.org/fe/HTML_version/link/FE4W/c4.htm. Accessed 24 October 2019.

Fractals are different than any other shape. Through fractional dimension people are able to explain spontaneity in shapes, such as snowflakes and mountain ranges. An example of a fractional dimension, occurs in the snowflake curve. In order to calculate the ratio the equation in the image is used. Where D represents the fractional dimension, and n and s vary depending on the size of the fractal and points it contains. This equation was developed by Helge von Koch in 1904.

Sources:

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Fractal.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Sept. 2017, www.britannica.com/science/fractal. Accessed 24 October 2019.

“Fractal Explorer .” Chapter 4: Calculating Fractal Dimensions, www.wahl.org/fe/HTML_version/link/FE4W/c4.htm. Accessed 24 October 2019.

**Chaos Theory (Brax)**

Chaos Theory is a branch of mathematics that deals with a variety of systems that are extremely difficult to have long term predictions for. The reason for this is that a small change in a complex system will make it behave in a completely different manner. It explains that predicting long term outcomes for certain systems is impossible for two reasons. The first being that when a system’s outcome is dependent on every previous value in the system, it is too difficult to know all of the correct values. The second reason is when there is a small inaccuracy in even one of these values, then the wrong values will continue to multiply until the prediction is way off of the actual result.

This theory can be seen the most throughout nature such as planetary movement and the weather. Since the planets rely on each other’s positions to move it is too difficult to determine where they are going to end up due to different factors. This is the same for the weather. Since weather has multiple elements that control it, there is no accurate way to predict it for more than a week. Chaos theory essentially says a minuscule change will completely change the outcome of the system. The butterfly effect is a simple representation of this.

While chaos theory is an explanation for why most things cannot be predicted on a long term scale, study into the subject is allowing for more accurate predictions of future events. As of now it cannot say exactly what is going to happen, but it can be used to find which events are more probable to occur.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5mruabpGkU

**Entropy (Faith)**

In statistical mechanics, Entropy is the measurement in an isolated system that reaches equilibrium as time progresses, rather than beginning in equilibrium. Entropy itself is actually an extensive property in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It is also commonly defined as a measurement of disorder, but is a measurement of each energy configurations probability. A system’s energy percentage is defined differently, as a system with low entropy means that it is more concentrated, whereas a system with high entropy means it is spread out. How it changes also depends upon the size of the system and its bonds. As the energy moves within a system, it can move into neighboring bonds meaning that the energy level reconfigures itself entirely, changing its probability.

But who actually discovered this complicated process? In the 1950s, a German mathematician and physicist named Rudolf Clausius proposed the thermodynamic system, and continued his studies. Eventually, in 1965, Clausius introduced the term “Entropy”. He used this word to define the idea that if certain ratios were reversible, or ideal heat cycles, that the ratio exchanged was due to absolute temperature. The conserved ratio had to correspond to a real and physical quantity. Although Clausius's ideas weren't entirely true, the term is still used today.

Sources:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entropy

https://www.britannica.com/science/entropy-physics

https://youtu.be/YM-uykVfq_E

https://www.panspermia.org/seconlaw.htm

But who actually discovered this complicated process? In the 1950s, a German mathematician and physicist named Rudolf Clausius proposed the thermodynamic system, and continued his studies. Eventually, in 1965, Clausius introduced the term “Entropy”. He used this word to define the idea that if certain ratios were reversible, or ideal heat cycles, that the ratio exchanged was due to absolute temperature. The conserved ratio had to correspond to a real and physical quantity. Although Clausius's ideas weren't entirely true, the term is still used today.

Sources:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entropy

https://www.britannica.com/science/entropy-physics

https://youtu.be/YM-uykVfq_E

https://www.panspermia.org/seconlaw.htm

**The Second Law of Thermodynamics (Ezra)**

**Arcadia (Erykah)**

Arcadia is a region located in the mountainous peninsula of Greece. It also has importance in Greek mythology. Pan, a half-human, half-goat being, was the god of nature. He resided in Arcadia, which was known as a utopic place not created by man where creatures, such as nymphs and dryads, freely resided in its pure wilderness. It is said to be the first place of “The Golden Age”, a time of harmony, security, and prosperity. Arcadians lived as humble and peaceful shepherds, uncorrupted by civilization. Their land was the inspiration for some of the most beautiful classic poems and paintings in the world.
In art and literature, Arcadia is a prominent representation of a utopia. In Nicolas Poussin’s painting, Et in Arcadia Ego, he illustrates three men and a nymph surrounding a stone tomb. The words written on the tomb say, “Et in Arcadia Ego,” or “In Arcadia, there I am.” The painting leads to thoughts of order and balance with the shepherds placed in a triangle. Most interpreters believe “I” refers to death and Arcadia is “utopia”, which alludes to death among human prosperity. Sources: https://greekerthanthegreeks.com/2016/01/lost-in-translation-word-of-day-arcadia.html https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arcadia https://www.nicolas-poussin.com/en/works/arcadian-shepherds/ Et in Arcadia Ego by Nicolas Poussin Discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgsogHXtwyA |
The Greek God PanPoussin's Et in Arcadia Ego |

**The Picturesque in Landscape Architecture (Josephine)**

The picturesque movement was in contrast to the classical movement of architecture and landscaping. The standard classical garden was uniform and symmetrical. Nature completely controlled and regulated built to utter perfection. Picturesque defies this movement, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, “The term picturesque originally denoted a landscape scene that looked as if it came out of a painting in the style of the 17th-century French artists Claude Lorrain or Gaspard Poussin" (Encyclopedia Britannica). Bitch picturesque style is a combination of architecture and nature. Nature was not as controlled to create a more romantic natural feel and was used to emphasize the beauty of the building.

Some examples of picturesque architecture are arbors, which are vine covered archways. Arbors consist of vines which are allowed to grow however they please. The arbor itself is the structure in which the vines grow on. Thus adding the element of picturesque to the landscape. Other places like Scotney Castle and Rievaulx Terrace can be considered picturesque architecture.

The picturesque movement also affected poetry and literature, many romantics centered their works around the picturesque landscapes.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run

Anirudh. “10 Most Famous Poems of the Romanticism Movement | Learnodo

Newtonic.” Learnodo-Newtonic.Com, 29 Sept. 2017, learnodo-newtonic.com/famous-romanticism-poems. Accessed 27

Oct. 2019.

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Picturesque | Architecture.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 24 Oct. 2013,

www.britannica.com/art/picturesque. Accessed 27 Oct. 2019.

Some examples of picturesque architecture are arbors, which are vine covered archways. Arbors consist of vines which are allowed to grow however they please. The arbor itself is the structure in which the vines grow on. Thus adding the element of picturesque to the landscape. Other places like Scotney Castle and Rievaulx Terrace can be considered picturesque architecture.

The picturesque movement also affected poetry and literature, many romantics centered their works around the picturesque landscapes.

**English Title**: The Lake**Poet**: Alphonse de Lamartine**Published**: 1820**Excerpt**:Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run

**Works Cited**:Anirudh. “10 Most Famous Poems of the Romanticism Movement | Learnodo

Newtonic.” Learnodo-Newtonic.Com, 29 Sept. 2017, learnodo-newtonic.com/famous-romanticism-poems. Accessed 27

Oct. 2019.

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Picturesque | Architecture.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 24 Oct. 2013,

www.britannica.com/art/picturesque. Accessed 27 Oct. 2019.

**The Romantic Conception of Beauty and Awe (Maddy)**

To start the discussion of the conception of beauty of awe that the romantics had, we first have to understand the sublime. The idea of the sublime did not enter mainstream Europe until the 1700’s. The definition of the sublime has changed drastically then compared to now, it held a much deeper meaning. The sublime is, “the quality of greatness, whether physical, moral, intellectual, metaphysical, aesthetic, spiritual, or artistic”. It is said to strike emotion into a being and is much more intense than beauty or awe, which then were also extracted from this idea. All the sublime is, is “nature's vastness”, that evokes emotion of awe, fear, attraction, and even confusion. Nature is something that humans can’t always completely understand, and that’s where the sublime takes play and where the idea was created from, emotion.

For Example: When we see a specific, unusual, or astonishing natural architecture, it can leave us speechless and pondering the strength, power, or possibilities. The ocean, Niagara Falls, Yellowstone Geysers, volcanoes, natural disasters, and all the incredible natural areas.

British Philosopher, Edmund Burke, “differentiated the sublime from the beautiful for its capacity to evoke intense emotions and inspire awe through experiences of nature’s vastness”. With that being said, beauty and the sublime were said to be different ideas by the romantics. In the past, beauty was thought to be the idea of “proportion, utility, and perfection”, but Burke decided it was also perceived from emotion. It was said that, “beauty is comprehensible to the mind, evokes familiar experiences, and thus promotes pleasurable feelings”. So, it depends on our past experiences, and opinions onto what we believe is beautiful. Another key concept to beauty was that these objects or sights don’t need any “underlying concept or purpose”.

http://www.travelbur.com/the-strangest-places-on-earth/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KNNX8Op5wI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvzG_p_sdOQ

Resources:

https://blantonmuseum.org/files/american_scenery/sublime_guide.pdf

For Example: When we see a specific, unusual, or astonishing natural architecture, it can leave us speechless and pondering the strength, power, or possibilities. The ocean, Niagara Falls, Yellowstone Geysers, volcanoes, natural disasters, and all the incredible natural areas.

British Philosopher, Edmund Burke, “differentiated the sublime from the beautiful for its capacity to evoke intense emotions and inspire awe through experiences of nature’s vastness”. With that being said, beauty and the sublime were said to be different ideas by the romantics. In the past, beauty was thought to be the idea of “proportion, utility, and perfection”, but Burke decided it was also perceived from emotion. It was said that, “beauty is comprehensible to the mind, evokes familiar experiences, and thus promotes pleasurable feelings”. So, it depends on our past experiences, and opinions onto what we believe is beautiful. Another key concept to beauty was that these objects or sights don’t need any “underlying concept or purpose”.

http://www.travelbur.com/the-strangest-places-on-earth/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KNNX8Op5wI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvzG_p_sdOQ

Resources:

https://blantonmuseum.org/files/american_scenery/sublime_guide.pdf

**Newton (Aiden)**

Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643 in Lincolnshire, England. His father had died before he was even born and this caused him to resent his mother for remarrying and sending him to his grandmothers to live. Newton was pushed by his family to do things he didn’t like doing such as trying to be a farmer. He hated this and was admitted to Trinity College where he learned more about mathematics and philosophy. He later came up with a mathematical theory we know as calculus. In 1665 the college closed because of the spreading of the plague. Newton studied in his home for two years and further developed his theories of mathematics and the laws of gravity. He is credited with many other mathematical and physics laws such as the generalised binomial theorem, Newton’s identities and Newton’s method, he classified cubic plane curves, and had contributions to logarithms. He worked in optics, discovering that refracting light telescopes would be able to see further and then constructed one to prove his point. He also discovered that light is colored and that's what we see, he later called this Newton’s Theory of Color. He studied planets and discovered that planets cause gravity and that the earth is not in fact the center of the universe. He is widely considered the most or one of the most influential scientists of all time. Isaac Newton passed away quietly in his sleep March 20, 1727. He died an extremely successful man and was humble in his discoveries his whole life. Sir Isacc Newton's Biography: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCxP24qj2UQ

**Euclid (Kately)**

Euclid, or Eukleides in Greece, is an important mathematician who lived in Alexandria, Egypt somewhere around 300 BCE, during the reign of Ptolemy I. Like most Greek scholars, not much is known or confirmed about their lives or physical descriptions, so all that can be observed is their works and any visages constructed in their image. Euclid is best known for writing
Elements, the oldest and most influential textbook which showcases the mathematical revolution in Greece at that time. Notable mathematicians in history were influenced by the text; Copernicus, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, etc. Because of its elegant and logical presentation of mathematics at that time. Though he is called the Father of geometry, he did not create all concepts of it. His major contribution to the classical was to gather, compile, rework, and organize already existing concepts into a something complete and coherent. This was later called Euclidean geometry. This shaped the modern understanding of space, time, and shapes. Sources: https://biography.yourdictionary.com/articles/who-is-euclid-and-what-did-he-do.html https://www.britannica.com/biography/Euclid-Greek-mathematician |

**Lord Byron (Alyssa)**

Lord Byron was born in London, England on January 22, 1788. He was born with a clubfoot, which caused him to develop a sensitivity toward his disability. At age ten he unexpectedly came unto his Uncle’s inheritance and was sent to one of the most prestigious schools in London, England. While there he fell in love with one of his distant cousins. She rejected him because she was already engaged and older than him. This was very influential for him as she became, “the symbol for Byron of idealized and unattainable love”. Not only did he fall in love with his cousin but also with English and history. In 1805 he started his education at Trinity College, Cambridge. His sexual identification began to present itself throughout his time there. His love was described as, “a violent, though pure, love and passion” most specifically for a John Edleston. He developed an attachment to boys that were, in his mind, ideal. He also had an attachment to women. Though he was bisexual it is said his relations with women were of more value to him. His debts also built up as he liked to live extravagantly and lavishly.

Lord Byron published his first works in 1806 but it wasn’t until 1809, with the publication of English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, that he gained any recognition. In 1809, he sailed across Spain and Greece, the Greek’s blunt and open lifestyle compared to the English lifestyle made a long lasting impression on him. He became more open minded due to the travels, “[...] served to broaden his views of men and manners. He delighted in the sunshine and the moral tolerance of the people.” His travels allowed him to acquire knowledge for his poetry and other works as well as making him a “citizen of the world” he became aware of the politics and prejudice and hypocrisies of England, “Significantly, he would select as the epigraph for

When writing Lord Byron typically had a few main targets, “His most consistent targets are, first, the hypocrisy and cant underlying various social and sexual conventions, and, second, the vain ambitions and pretenses of poets, lovers, generals, rulers, and humanity in general. Much later he wrote Cain, A Mystery which featured Cain as the first skeptic and a Romantic rebel. In this God’s goodness and the human innate evil was questioned. For years Lord Byron continued to travel and write. Then on Easter Monday, April 19, 1824, during a violent electrical storm, Byron died. Byron influenced many from music artists, poets and, just those who elected to wear their shirts in the same way. He stood apart from other Romantics because, ‘“The core of his thinking and the basis of his poetry is romantic aspiration,” and he evidences a “romantic zest for life and experience.”’It is said that their may only be one or two writers better than he as he could sum up “a society and an era.” It was felt as though Byron could write for an entire generation tired of war and other regularities. He gave them something else to love by “denouncing war, tyranny, and hypocrisy. He is said to have captured his own essence best.

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Lord-Byron-poet

https://www.shmoop.com/literature-glossary/byronic-hero.html

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lord-byron

Lord Byron published his first works in 1806 but it wasn’t until 1809, with the publication of English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, that he gained any recognition. In 1809, he sailed across Spain and Greece, the Greek’s blunt and open lifestyle compared to the English lifestyle made a long lasting impression on him. He became more open minded due to the travels, “[...] served to broaden his views of men and manners. He delighted in the sunshine and the moral tolerance of the people.” His travels allowed him to acquire knowledge for his poetry and other works as well as making him a “citizen of the world” he became aware of the politics and prejudice and hypocrisies of England, “Significantly, he would select as the epigraph for

*Childe Harold*a passage from*Le Cosmopolite, ou, le Citoyen du Monde*(1753), by Louis Charles Fougeret de Monbron, that, in part, compares the universe to a book of which one has read but the first page if he has seen only his own country.” In 1811 his mother died which put him into mourning for a long period of time. Although she was many times rough on him they both loved each other dearly. Lord Byron felt as though he had lost his only friend in the world. Then he found out about the death of John Edleston, he wrote*To Thyrza*he used a woman’s name to hide the true identity and gender of who he was writing about. His true fame came in 1812 with the publication of*Childe Harold*. Byron tried to disassociate himself with the character but many saw the similarities therefore, they connected him and his fictional hero. He also created a new hero, “Byron had created a new and significant Romantic character type which reappeared in almost all his heroes”. His heroes were also different because they were diverse. The traits of his characters also include, “romantic melancholy, guilt for secret sin, pride, defiance, restlessness, alienation, revenge, remorse, moodiness, and such noble virtues as honor, altruism, courage, and pure love for a gentle woman”. A literary term the “Byronic hero” came about because of his characters they are typically “rebellious, arrogant, anti-social or in exile, and darkly, enticingly romantic.'' Between June 1813 and February 1816, Byron published six extremely popular verse tales, five of them influenced by his travels in Greece and Turkey:*The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, Lara, and The Siege of Corinth and Parisina**.*In 1813, he carried out an affair with his half sister Augusta. He wrote a series of Oriental verse tales which detailed his remorse and guilt for two of his love affairs. To escape the guilt he got married and had a daughter. His marriage was doomed from the start as they did not have much in common. The couple split and he set sail to leave England in April of 1816, he never returned again. On his voyages with the Hobhouse he conceived another daughter and carried on affairs with many women all while releasing great works of poetry such as the fourth canto of*Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage*and*Don Juan.**Don Juan*is incomplete as he was starting the 17th cantos when he died.When writing Lord Byron typically had a few main targets, “His most consistent targets are, first, the hypocrisy and cant underlying various social and sexual conventions, and, second, the vain ambitions and pretenses of poets, lovers, generals, rulers, and humanity in general. Much later he wrote Cain, A Mystery which featured Cain as the first skeptic and a Romantic rebel. In this God’s goodness and the human innate evil was questioned. For years Lord Byron continued to travel and write. Then on Easter Monday, April 19, 1824, during a violent electrical storm, Byron died. Byron influenced many from music artists, poets and, just those who elected to wear their shirts in the same way. He stood apart from other Romantics because, ‘“The core of his thinking and the basis of his poetry is romantic aspiration,” and he evidences a “romantic zest for life and experience.”’It is said that their may only be one or two writers better than he as he could sum up “a society and an era.” It was felt as though Byron could write for an entire generation tired of war and other regularities. He gave them something else to love by “denouncing war, tyranny, and hypocrisy. He is said to have captured his own essence best.

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Lord-Byron-poet

https://www.shmoop.com/literature-glossary/byronic-hero.html

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lord-byron