George Gordon Noel Byron was born on January 22nd 1778 and died at 36, on April 19th 1824.
His mother was a Scots heiress and the fortune of his mother’s family was passed onto him after his great-uncle, “the wicked” Lord Byron, had passed in 1798.
Lord Byron was born with a clubbed foot that significantly affected his self-esteem throughout his entire life.
His father would constantly leave their family and their mother was diagnosed to have schizophrenia.
He was married to Anne Isabelle Byron (1815) and together they had a daughter, Ada Lovelace.
Relevant Historical and Literary Information
Lord Byron was very promiscuous and was known to have sexual relations with both men and women.
In the summer of 1803, he had fallen in love with his distant cousin, Mary Chaworth. She had grown tired of him and she then became inspiration for Lord Byron’s melancholy poetry that spoke of idealized and unattainable love.
Lord Byron had attended Trinity College and while he was there he had met John Hobhouse who sparked his interest in liberal Whiggism. He then joined the House of Lords in 1809 and this influenced his art because he began writing about Liberty and created an image of heroism.
In 1810, Lord Byron had journeyed through Greece and the scenery made a lasting impression on his mind and character. His poems then focused more on nature and the moral tolerance of people.
In April of 1823, Lord Byron was asked to help join in the liberation of Greece and he happily complied. He went to Greece to help them fight, which made him a real life example of his idea of a hero, but while he was at war he had become very sick from a cold, eventually went into a coma and then passed away.
Relevant Poetic Terms and Devices from the poet
She Walks in Beauty: he is describing a woman’s physical attractiveness but he is doing this by comparing her to the heavens and describing her beauty as scenes of nature. He never clearly states any real physical features of this woman but instead he uses imagery to explain just how beautiful she is. This poem is written in iambic tetrameter because there are 4 stressed syllables in every line. It’s in ABABAB which makes the poem sound like a melody when it’s read out loud. There is a theme of contrasting day and night throughout the poem and there is also alliteration with the c’s and s’s in the poem which give it a soothing sound. Byron seems to suggest that while this woman is beautiful, he wants nothing more than just her love. In the last line he says “A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!” He is saying that she is pure, like nature, and neither should be tampered with. He also says that the woman is the perfect balance between light and dark. “One shade the more, one ray the less.” Even that line has a melodic quality to it. Questions we can ask: Do you guys think that he wants to do more than just fall in love with this girl? Who