John C. Dashiell College of William & Mary - Arts & Sciences

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W&M ScholarWorks

W&M ScholarWorks

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects Theses, Dissertations, & Master Projects

1988

Time's Ungentle Tide: Disillusion, Isolation and Self-Mastery in

Time's Ungentle Tide: Disillusion, Isolation and Self-Mastery in

Byron and Hemingway

Byron and Hemingway

John C. Dashiell

College of William & Mary - Arts & Sciences

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Recommended Citation Recommended Citation

Dashiell, John C., "Time's Ungentle Tide: Disillusion, Isolation and Self-Mastery in Byron and Hemingway" (1988). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539625460.

https://dx.doi.org/doi:10.21220/s2-0seq-fy95

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D I S I L L U S I O N , I S O L A T I O N A N D S E L F - M A S T E R Y IN BY'RON A N D H E M I N G W A Y A T h e s i s P r e s e n t e d to T h e F a c u l t y of t h e D e p a r t m e n t of E n g l i s h T h e C o l l e g e of W i l l i a m a n d M a r y in V i r g i n i a In P a r t i a l F u l f i l l m e n t O f t h e R e q u i r e m e n t s f o r t he D e g r e e of M a s t e r of A r t s by J o h n C. D a s h i e l l Jr. 1988

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A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S I a m i n d e b t e d to t h e n M a j o r G e o r g e H i l l a r d w h o in m y s e n i o r y e a r a t W e s t P o i n t ( 19 7 4 — 75 ) a g r e e d t h i s t o p i c m i g h t o n e d a y m a k e a n i n t e r e s t i n g t h e s i s , to E l s a N e t t e l s w h o s w a l l o w e d h e r i n i t i a l s k e p t i c i s m o v e r a n e a r l i e r d r a f t a n d p r o v i d e d a l i t e r a r y r a t h e r t h a n h i s t o r i c a l f o c u s , to S c o t t D o n a l d s o n w h o i n s i s t e d I s t i c k to t h e p a t t e r n a n d to N a t h a n i e l E l l i o t t w h o k e p t t h e p a p e r f r o m s i n k i n g i n t o an e x i s t e n t i a l q u a g m i r e .

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C o m p a r i n g H e m i n g w a y to B y r o n w a s f i r s t p r o p o s e d in 1933 b y C l i f t o n F a d i m a n ; n e a r l y a l l m a j o r H e m i n g w a y b i o g r a p h e r s a n d m a n y c r i t i c s s i n c e h a v e n o t e d s i m i l a r i t i e s in t h e l a r g e r t h a n l i fe c a r e e r s of t h e t w o w r i t e r s . It h a s b e e n s a i d t h a t H e m i n g w a y a b s o r b e d t h e B y r o n i c s t a n c e i n t o h i s o w n l i f e a n d a r t — in all l i t e r a t u r e o n l y " B y r o n i c " a n d "H e m i n g w a y e s q u e " a r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e t e r m " h e r o . ” T h e m a t i c a l l y c o n n e c t i n g t h e i r w o r k s , h o w e v e r , a p p e a r s to h a v e e a r n e d o n l y p e r i p h e r a l i n t e r e s t . R e c u r r i n g p a t t e r n s of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , r e t r e a t a n d i s o l a t i o n l e a d i n g to s e l f - m a s t e r y , a n d a s u b s e q u e n t w i l l i n g n e s s to f a c e d e s t i n y c h a r a c t e r i z e a n y n u m b e r of t h e i r h e r o e s . T h e s e p a t t e r n s a r e m o s t p r o n o u n c e d in " C h i l d e H a r o l d ’s P i l g r i m a g e , " " M a n f r e d , " a n d " C a i n " f or B y r o n a n d in T h e S u n A l s o R i s e s , A F a r e w e l l to A r m s a n d t h e N i c k A d a m s s t o r i e s for H e m i n g w a y . O t h e r e f f o r t s c o n t a i n e l e m e n t s of s u c h b e h a v i o r i a l t e n d e n c i e s a n d w i l l be a c c o r d e d t h e i r due. It is t e m p t i n g to v i e w t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l o u t l o o k o f B y r o n a n d H e m i n g w a y as i n d i c a t i v e of t h e m o v e m e n t of 1 9 t h - C e n t u r y R o m a n t i c i s m t o w a r d 2 0 t h - C e n t u r y E x i s t e n t i a l i s m , b u t b o t h w r i t e r s e l u d e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a n d r e m a i n i n d e p e n d e n t of a n y s c h o o l . E l e m e n t s of s t o i c i s m , r o m a n t i c i s m , r e a l i s m a n d e x i s t e n t i a l i s m c a n e a s i l y be f o u n d in t h e i r p o e m s a n d s t o r i e s . If B y r o n a n d H e m i n g w a y a r e to be c o n n e c t e d , it w i l l e m e r g e f r o m t he l i k e a t t i t u d e s a n d c o n d u c t of t h e i r l i t e r a r y h e r o e s . i v

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T h e y w e r e b o r n m o r e t h a n 100 y e a r s a p a r t a n d b e c a m e w r i t e r s m o r e r e n o w n e d f o r t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t i e s t h a n f o r t h e i r w or k , a l t h o u g h t h e i r g r e a t e s t e f f o r t s a r e a m o n g t h e f i n e s t a n d m o s t i n f l u e n t i a l in l i t e r a t u r e . I n d e e d , t h e b i o g r a p h i c a l a n d p h i l o s o p h ical s i m i l a r i t e s b e t w e e n t h e E n g l i s h ari s t o c r a t a n d A m e r i c a n m i d w e s t e r n e r w e r e r e c o g n i z e d as e a r l y as 1933 b y C l i f t o n F a d i m a n . H i s a r t i c l e , " H e m i n g w a y : A n A m e r i c a n B y r o n , " e s t a b l i s h e d c l e a r p a r a l l e l s in t h e l a r g e r t h a n l i f e c a r e e r s of t he t w o m e n a n d p r o p o s e d t h a t t h e i r r o l e s of a r t i s t as h e r o c o u l d o n l y be a c t e d o u t in t i m e s of s o c i a l c h a n g e . T h e c o m p a r i s o n w a s r e i t e r a t e d b y S t e p h e n V i n c e n t B e n e t in 1 940 a n d o b s e r v e d b y m o s t m a j o r c r i t i c s s i n c e . In 1985 M i c h a e l R e y n o l d s c o u l d c l a i m : F r o m d ’A n n u n z i o , T.E. L a w r e n c e of A r a b i a a n d L o r d B y r o n , H e m i n g w a y g r a d u a l l y d e v e l o p e d a p u b l i c r o l e f o r the w r i t e r in h i s time; a p h y s i c a l , p a s s i o n a t e , a c t i v e l i f e b a l a n c e d a g a i n s t t h e c o n t e m p l a t i v e l i f e w h i l e a c t u a l l y w r i t i n g .1 M o r e t h a n w i t h m o s t o t h e r a r t i s t s , w h a t t h e y d i d is i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d to w h a t t h e y w r o t e ; w h a t l i n g e r s in t he p o p u l a r i m a g i n a t i o n a r e t h e p o s e s — B y r o n in e x o t i c c o s t u m e , H e m i n g w a y as w a r c o r r e ­ s p o n d e n t a n d s p o r t s m a n , b o t h w r i t i n g f r o m f o r e i g n c o u n t r i e s . G e o r g e G o r d o n , t h e d e l i c a t e l y h a n d s o m e s i x t h L o r d B y r o n , w a s a p e c u l i a r b l e n d of o p p o s i t e s , a m a n of o c c a s i o n a l l y w i l d e x c e s s e s w h o g u a r a n t e e d h i s r e p u t a t i o n t h r o u g h c o n d u c t c a l c u l a t e d to s h o c k a n d a p r a c t i c e of p u r s u i n g r i s k y a d v e n t u r e . He s w a m the H e l l e s p o n t , s p a r r e d w i t h b o x i n g c h a m p i o n G e n t l e m a n J a c k s o n , w a s

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3 p r o n o u n c e d "mad, b a d a n d d a n g e r o u s t o k n o w " 2 b y t h e t h w a r t e d L a d y C a r o l i n e L a mb, a n d f i n a l l y , f e d u p w i t h h i s o w n d i s s i p a t i o n , t o o k u p t h e c a u s e of G r e e k r e v o l u t i o n in t h e f i e l d . H i s is a c h a r a c t e r d i f f i c u l t to fix; in l i f e "he w a s b o r n to b e t h e R o m a n t i c h er o, t h e d r i v e n i n d i v i d u a l i s t ; s e n s i t i v e to w r o n g y e t c a p a b l e of d i a b o l i c p e r s o n a l b e h a v i o r , s a i n t a n d s a d i s t w i t h i n o n e i m p u l s i v e h e a r t . " 3 L a t e at n i g h t h e w o u l d d a s h o f f l i v e l y l e t t e r s to f r i e n d s a n d c o m p o s e t h e p o e m s w h e r e e x p r e s s i o n s of c y n i c i s m a n d d e s p a i r m i n g l e w i t h t h o s e o f r o m a n t i c c e l e b r a t i o n . E r n e s t H e m i n g w a y , r u g g e d l y g o o d l o o k i n g a l t h o u g h , l i k e B y r o n , i n c l i n e d to p u t on w e i g h t , w a s a l s o a m a n o f a p p a r e n t c o n t r a d i c ­ t i o n s a n d u n p r e d i c t a b l e m o o d s h i f t s w h o i n t e n t i o n a l l y c u l t i v a t e d a p e r s o n a of m a s c u l i n e b r a v a d o t h r o u g h h i s s e m i - c o m b a t e x p l o i t s a n d o u t d o o r s m a n s h i p . O f p r o v e n c o u r a g e , h e r a n w i t h t h e b u l l s in P a m p l o n a , h u n t e d in A f r i c a , f i s h e d t h e G u l f S t r e a m , a n d p e r s o n a l l y s u p p o r t e d t h e S p a n i s h r e p u b l i c a n e f f o r t . A m a n w h o m i x e d h a r d p r o f e s s i o n a l d i s c i p l i n e w i t h a p r o n o u n c e d p r i v a t e r e c k l e s s n e s s , he w a s t h e " r o m a n t i c a c t i v i s t , t h e c e n t e r a n d in so m a n y w a y s the o r i g i n a t o r of h i s o w n u n i v e r s e , " a l w a y s r e d i s c o v e r i n g t h a t " h u m a n l if e , h i s o w n i n c l u d e d , is f o r e v e r p u n c t u a t e d w i t h p a i n . " 15 A n e x i s t e n t i a l i m p u l s e r u n s t h r o u g h h i s s t o r i e s a n d n o v e l s a t v a r y i n g l e v e l s — v e r y s t r o n g l y , f o r i n s t a n c e , in "A C l e a n , W e l l - L i g h t e d P l a c e ” — y e t t h e e n e r g y b e h i n d a n d w i t h i n h i s f i c t i o n is l a r g e l y r o m a n t i c a n d a f f i r m a t i v e . T h e H e m i n g w a y h e r o m a y s u f f e r f r o m i n ­ j u s t i c e , b u t in o r d e r to b e s t r o n g e r in t he b r o k e n p l a c e s h e c a n ­ n o t s u lk, c a n n o t t h i n k o f h i s m i s f o r t u n e f o r t o o l ong; a b o v e all,

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h e m u s t act. T h e p r e s c r i p t i o n is p u r e B y r o n . "All c o n t e m p l a t i v e e x i s t e n c e is b a d , ” he o n c e t o l d h i s w i f e , " o n e s h o u l d d o s o m e t h i n g . ” 5 B o t h d i s t r u s t e d t h e e f f e c t s o f e x c e s s i v e i m a g i n a t i o n . B y r o n u n d o u b t e d l y r e a l i z e d h i s o w n l i m i t a t i o n s . G o e t h e , w h o c h a m p i o n e d h i m on t h e C o n t i n e n t , n e v e r t h e l e s s r e m a r k e d t h a t w h e n L o r d B y r o n t h i n k s , h e is a c h i l d . 6 N o o n e w o u l d e v e r a c c u s e H e m i n g w a y of b e i n g a m e t a p h y s i c i a n o r a p h i l o s o p h e r , e i t h e r . T h e y w e r e w r i t e r s w h o d e l i b e r a t e l y w r o t e d i r e c t l y f r o m life. "It m a y b e b a w d y , " B y r o n b o a s t e d of D o n J u a n , " b u t is it n o t life, is it n o t t he t h i n g ? C o u l d a n y m a n h a v e w r i t t e n i t — w h o h a s n o t l i v e d in t h e w o r l d ? " 7 H e m i n g w a y , too, t o o k p r i d e in h i s w o r l d l i n e s s a n d h i s a b i l i t y to p u t w h a t h e h a d s e e n or l e a r n e d i n t o i m a g i n a t i v e form. A c c o r d i n g to J e f f r e y M e y e r s , H e m i n g w a y w a s c o n s c i o u s of b e i n g r e g a r d e d in s o m e q u a r t e r s as a n A m e r i c a n B y r o n . T h e a n a l o g y a l m o s t a l w a y s e x t e n d e d to h o w t h e y l i v e d and, s o m e t i m e s , to t h e a t t e m p t s a t i m i t a t i o n t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s i n s p i r e d in r e a l p e o p l e . W h o k n o w s h o w m a n y t r a v e l l e r s h a v e t r i e d to f o l l o w C h i l d e H a r o l d or h o w m a n y y o u n g m e n a n d w o m e n h a v e j o u r n e y e d to P a m p l o n a for S a n F e r m i n ? Y e t in a d d i t i o n to s u c h s t r i k i n g b i o g r a p h i c a l p a r a l l e l s , t h e r e a r e s t r o n g t h e m a t i c a f f i n i t i e s w i t h i n s o m e of t he w o r k s w h i c h h a v e r e c e i v e d o n l y p e r i p h e r a l t r e a t m e n t . B r o a d l y s p e a k i n g , r e c u r r i n g p a t t e r n s of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , s e l f - i m p o s e d i s o ­ l a t i o n l e a d i n g to a c c e p t a n c e o f t h e i r fate, a n d s u b s e q u e n t e m e r ­ g e n c e t y p i f y t h e a c t i o n s o f t h e B y r o n i c or H e m i n g w a y e s q u e hero. W h i l e n o t a l w a y s a p e r f e c t fit, it is a p r o c e s s c e n t r a l to t h e

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5 d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e h e r o in B y r o n ’s " C h i l d e H a r o l d ’s P i l g r i m a g e " a n d " M a n f r e d . " It a l s o m a t c h e s t h e p r o g r e s s o f H e m i n g w a y ’s N i c k A d a m s t h r o u g h t h e s e r i e s of s h o r t s t o r i e s b e g u n in In O u r T i m e ♦ as w e l l as of J a k e B a r n e s in T h e S u n A l s o R i s e s a n d R o b e r t J o r d a n in F o r W h o m t h e B e l l T o l l s . V a r i a t i o n s on t h i s p a t t e r n of c o n d u c t a l s o a p p e a r in o t h e r w o r k s . It is t r u e o f b o t h t h a t t h e t i m e s t h e y l i v e d in, t he d o m i n a n t p o l i t i c a l a n d l i t e r a r y t r e n d s , a n d t h e i r p e r s o n a l t r a i t s f o r m e d c r e a t i v e d i s p o s i t i o n s w h i c h m e s h e d e l e m e n t s of s t o i c i s m , r o m a n t i c i s m , r e a l i s m a n d m o d e r n d a y e x i s t e n t i a l i s m i n t o o u t l o o k s m a r k e d b y "a t r a g i c s e n s e of d e f e a t , v i t a l i z e d by a b u r n i n g r e b e l l i o n . " 9 T h e i m p a c t of the F r e n c h R e v o l u t i o n — B y r o n w a s t h e n a b o y — its p r o m i s e a n d f a i l u r e , a n d N a p o l e o n ’s s u b s e q u e n t c o n s o l i d a t i o n of p o w e r on the B r i t i s h i n t e l l i g e n t s i a (and p o l i t i c i a n s of a l l p e r s u a s i o n s ) c a n n o t be o v e r s t a t e d . W o r d s w o r t h a n d C o l e r i d g e , f o r e x a m p l e , e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y w e l c o m e d t he o v e r t h r o w of t h e F r e n c h m o n a r c h y a n d t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g o p p o r t u n i t y to t u r n e g a l i t a r i a n r h e t o r i c i n t o s e n s i b l e , r e s p o n s i v e g o v e r n m e n t . E d m u n d B u r k e , in c o n t r a s t , f e a r e d t h a t J a c o b i n m o b p o l i t i c s w o u l d p r o v e c o n t a g i o u s ; h i s v i e w p r e v a i l e d in P a r l i a m e n t a n d a s u c c e s s i o n of r e p r e s s i v e g o v e r n m e n t m e a s u r e s l i m i t i n g f r e e d o m of e x p r e s s i o n e a r n e d B y r o n ’s f e r v e n t o p p o s i t i o n a n d c o n t r i b u t e d to h i s d e c i s i o n to l e a v e E n g l a n d in 1816. " T h e r e a r e b u t t wo t h i n g s to w h i c h I a m c o n s t a n t , " B y r o n w r o t e to L a d y B l e s s i n g t o n l a t e in h i s life, "a s t r o n g l o v e of l i b e r t y a n d a d e t e s t a t i o n of c a n t. " 1 0

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T h e a n a r c h y a n d b l o o d i n e s s of t h e R e i g n o f T e r r o r s o o n a p ­ p a l l e d t h e y o u n g W o r d s w o r t h a n d C o l e r i d g e a n d l i k e - m i n d e d men, but, as M.H. A b r a m s p o i n t s out, t h e f i r s t - g e n e r a t i o n r o m a n t i c n o ­ t i o n of p u r s u i n g u n a t t a i n a b l e i d e a l s h a d s u p p l a n t e d t h e N e o - c l a s ­ sic t e n e t o f s e e k i n g o n l y r e a c h a b l e o n e s . 11 F o r t h e s e c o n d - g e n e r a t i o n R o m a n t i c s , B y r o n in p a r t i c u l a r , f a i t h in the t r a d i t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n G o d d i d n o t s e e m j u s t i f i e d on t h e b a s i s of H i s a p p a r e n t a b s e n c e f r o m h u m a n a f f a i r s . F a i t h in s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s d i d n o t s e e m w a r r a n t e d d u e to t h e m a c h i n a t i o n s of the p o w e r f u l m e n w h o c o n t r o l l e d t he m. V i o l e n c e s t a m p e d i t s e l f on the a g e t h r o u g h a s u c c e s s i o n of m a n i p u l a t i o n s — t h e F r e n c h R e v o l u t i o n , R e i g n of T e r r o r , N a p o l e o n i c K a r s , C o n g r e s s of V i e n n a . In g e n e r a l , E n g l i s h R o m a n t i c s w h o w i t n e s s e d an u n s t a b l e r e v o l u t i o n a r y s o c i e t y t h e n a s s u m e d a n e c c e n t r i c , a n t i - s o c i a l d i s r e g a r d f or c o n v e n t i o n , s o u g h t t h e m i n u t e a n d s i n g u l a r , p r e f e r r e d c o u n t r y life, n a t u r a l s c e n e r y , a n d s o l i t u d e , a n d f o c u s s e d t h e i r c o n c e r n on the i n d i v i d u a l . 12 T h i s l a s t q u a l i t y d i s t i n g u i s h e s B y r o n who, in s p i t e of h i s o c c a s i o n a l r e l i a n c e o n a r i s t o c r a t i c p r i v i l e g e , p r o b a b l y u n d e r s t o o d t h e c o m m o n m a n as w e l l as a n y o n e of h i s c l a s s . It a l s o f o r e s h a d o w s the s u p r e m a c y of t h e i n d i v i d u a l as a m o t i f r u n n i n g t h r o u g h t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y f i c t i o n . T h e r e o r d e r i n g of E u r o p e w h i c h so d i s g u s t e d B y r o n a f t e r the d e f e a t a n d e x i l e of N a p o l e o n l a s t e d for a l m o s t o n e h u n d r e d y ea r s . W h e n t h i s s c h e m e c o l l a p s e d i n t o a c a t a c l y s m i c s t r u g g l e of m a s s b u t c h e r y in W o r l d W a r I , an e i g h t e e n y e a r o l d A m e r i c a n f r o m Oak P ar k , I l l i n o i s , f o u n d h i m s e l f l y i n g b a d l y w o u n d e d in t h e l e g s on

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a n o b s c u r e h i l l s i d e on t h e I t a l i a n f r o n t . E r n e s t H e m i n g w a y , l i k e so m a n y of h i s p e e r s , w a s t o t a l l y u n p r e p a r e d f o r t h e h e l l i s h r e s u l t s o f l o n g - s t a n d i n g E u r o p e a n a n t a g o n i s m s . T h o s e w h o m a r c h e d in A u g u s t 1914 h a d e x p e c t e d to w r a p u p t h e f i g h t i n g b y C h r i s t m a s . It d i d n o t w o r k o u t t h a t w ay ; w a r ’s r e a l i t y w a s w o r s e , "so m u c h w o r s e t h a n w e e x p e c t e d . " 13 F o r s ome, t h e G r e a t W a r s h a t t e r e d t h e V i c t o r i a n b e l i e f in t h e c e r t a i n t y of h u m a n p r o g r e s s . A s F. S c o t t F i t z g e r a l d (not a v e t e r ­ a n of c o m b a t ) p u t it, h i s g e n e r a t i o n h a d " g r o w n u p t o f i n d a ll G o d s d ea d , a l l w a r s f o u g h t , a l l f a i t h s in m a n s h a k e n . " 14 S o m e s a w h o p e f o r h u m a n r e d e m p t i o n in t h e B o l s h e v i k s t r u g g l e to c o m e .to p o w e r in R u s s i a , a n d a f e w a p p r o v e d t h e s u c c e s s of M u s s o l i n i in I t al y . In b o t h c a s e s , t h e l o n g i n g f o r h u m a n e , o r d e r l y , a n d r e f o r m i n g s y s t e m s o f g o v e r n m e n t w a s b r o k e n b y t h e j a c k b o o t e d f o o t of d i c t a t o r s h i p . H e m i n g w a y , b a r e l y o u t o f a d o l e s c e n c e , b e g a n to w r i t e d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d o f d i s r u p t i o n , s m a s h e d i d e a l i s m , s h i f t i n g v a l u e s a n d u n c e r t a i n t y — a p e r i o d n o t u n l i k e t h a t k n o w n b y t h e y o u n g B y r o n . A l s o l i k e B y r o n , w h o c a n n o t b e p l a c e d c o m f o r t a b l y in a n y n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y l i t e r a r y m o v e m e n t , H e m i n g w a y d e f i e s e a s y c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . J o h n K i l l i n g e r , in Hemingvray a n d t h e D e a d G o d s , a s s i g n s h i m to t h e e x i s t e n t i a l c am p , t h a t p r i v a t e p r e s e r v e of c o n t i n e n t a l w r i t e r s l i k e K a f k a , S a r t r e , H e i d e g g e r a n d C a m u s . If t h e f u n d a m e n t a l g o a l of e x i s t e n t i a l i s m is to e s t a b l i s h t he s e p a r a t e i d e n t i t y o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l , t he n , as K i l l i n g e r a s s e r t s , m a n y of H e m i n g w a y ’s ( an d n o t a f e w of B y r o n ’s) h e r o e s p u r s u e t h i s

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o b j e c t i v e ( c o n s c i o u s l y or n o t ) . J a k e B a r n e s a n d F r e d e r i c H e n r y m a y be s a i d to e x h i b i t e x i s t e n t i a l q u a l i t i e s , b u t M y l e r W i l k i n s o n , t a k i n g e x c e p t i o n w i t h K i l l i n g e r , v i e w s t h e m as p r i m a r i l y c a r r y i n g "on t h e r o m a n t i c t r a d i t i o n of m e l a n c h o l y , a l i e n a t e d m e n w h i c h r u ns f r o m B y r o n t h r o u g h n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y R u s s i a n l i t e r a t u r e . " 15 H e m i n g w a y h i m s e l f c a r e d v e r y l i t t l e f o r d o g m a , l i t e r a r y or p o l i t i c a l . H i s p u r p o s e w a s to w r i t e t r u l y of w h a t h e k n ew . ” In h i s f i c t i o n , " S c o t t D o n a l d s o n o b s e r v e s , "he m e r e l y r e p o r t e d on l i f e a s he f o u n d i t . " 16 H e f o u n d t h e w o r l d of t h e 1 9 2 0 ' s a n d l a t e r m u c h t he s a m e as B y r o n h a d f o u n d it a h u n d r e d y e a r s e a r l i e r . T h a t t h e t w o m e n w e r e d i f f e r e n t in s o m e b a s i c w a y s c a n n o t b e d e n i e d . B y r o n , f o r i n s t a n c e , w a s s t e e p e d in C a l v i n i s m , a n d s t r o n g l y b e l i e v e d t h a t he w a s f a t e d to f o l l o w h i s r a k e f a t h e r , h i s a d m i r a l g r a n d f a t h e r , a n d h i s m a d u n c l e to a r u i n o u s end. He a v o i d e d w h a t he m o s t f e a r e d . H e m i n g w a y , w h o at l e a s t o u t w a r d l y w o u l d h a v e s c o f f e d at B y r o n ’s o b s e s s i o n , a n d w h o t h o u g h t t he s i n s of t he f a t h e r s h o u l d n o t b e v i s i t e d u p o n t h e son, n e v e r t h e l e s s f o l l o w e d h i s f a t h e r in s u i c i d e . B y r o n n e v e r t o o k h i m s e l f or h i s a r t t o o s e r i o u s l y ; t he f l i p p a n t g e s t u r e b e c a m e h i s t r a d e m a r k . H e m i n g w a y , e s p e c i a l l y as h e g r e w o l d e r , c a m e c l o s e to s l i p p i n g i n t o m e g a l o m a n i a . H is a m b i t i o n w a s to b e a n A m e r i c a n T o l s t o y ; B y r o n , t y p i c a l l y , t h o u g h t h i m s e l f — a n d h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s — s e c o n d - r a t e r s c o m p a r e d to Pope. A n o t h e r d i f f e r e n c e l i e s in t h e n a t u r e of s o m e of t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s . T h e H e m i n g w a y h e r o ( N i c k A d a m s , F r e d e r i c H e n r y ) t e n d s to be i n i t i a l l y p a s s i v e , c a r e f u l to a v o i d t r o u b l e , s p u r r e d to a c t i o n by

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9 c i r c u m s t a n c e s . B y r o n ’s h e r o e s , e x c e p t i n g D o n J u an, a r e a s s e r t i v e m e n w h o a c t i v e l y s e e k c o n f l i c t . B u t t h e s e d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s , g e n u i n e as t h e y are, d o n o t i n f r i n g e u p o n t h e b o n d s t h a t e x i s t b e ­ t w e e n them. M a n m a y b e t r a p p e d in a l i f e g o v e r n e d b y d e a t h a n d so t h e H e m i n g w a y h e r o h a s a c h o i c e e i t h e r to " m o v e n u m b l y in d e f e a t or b r a v e l y in i n v i n c i b i l i t y . ” 17 B y r o n s a w t h e i r o n y i n h e r e n t in e x i s t e n c e — he w o u l d s t a k e o u t a p o s i t i o n a n d t h e n s q u a s h i t — b u t h e a l s o o p t e d f o r t h e c h o i c e H e m i n g w a y w o u l d take. T h e B y r o n i c h e r o s o u g h t to b e p r i n c i p l e d a n d h u m a n e in a c t i o n , to a c k n o w l e d g e w i t h o u t c o l l a p s e t h e n o r m a l p e r p l e x i t i e s a n d c o r r u p ­ t i o n s o f e x i s t e n c e , to p r o f i t a n d be h o n o r e d b y t h e o p ­ p o r t u n i t y of c o n f r o n t i n g t h e s e l f a n d t h e u n i v e r s e t h r o u g h s u f f e r i n g . 18 It is a f o r m u l a f o r d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , f o r w i t h d r a w a l a n d i s o l a t i o n a n d f o r t h e f o r m a t i o n of s o m e t h i n g s k e p t i c a l b u t u s e f u l : the » t e m p e r i n g of d e s p a i r a n d t h e m a s t e r y o f f e a r s a n d t h e c a p a c i t y to f a c e d e s t i n y w i t h o u t f l i n c h i n g . II. C h i l d e H a r o l d ’s P i l g r i m a g e B y r o n , b o r n in 1788, r e a c h e d h i s m a j o r i t y , e n t e r e d t h e H o u s e of L o r d s , a n d p r i n t e d a b a t c h of a d o l e s c e n t p o e t r y a t a t i m e w h e n E u r o p e a n e v e n t s w e r e m o v i n g in u n k n o w n d i r e c t i o n s . H i s " E n g l i s h B a r d s a n d S c o t c h R e v i e w e r s , " p u b l i s h e d in 1809 a n d l a t e r e x p a n d e d , w a s c o m p o s e d in r e t a l i a t i o n to H e n r y B r o u g h a m ’s c o n t e m p t u o u s d i s m i s s a l in t h e E d i n b u r g h R e v i e w o f o n e of t h o s e e a r l y e f f o r t s .

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T h e p o e m p r o v i d e d a s u r v e y o f t h e c u r r e n t l i t e r a r y s c e ne , e m p h a s i z i n g t h e f a i l u r e of c o n t e m p o r a r y p o e t s to l i v e u p to t he s t a n d a r d s of M i l t o n , D r y d e n , a n d P op e . If B y r o n ’s s a r c a s m g e n e r ­ a l l y b o r d e r e d o n t h e c h i l d i s h , it w a s m a r k e d b y a n e x u b e r a n c e t h a t t h o s e w h o a g r e e d w i t h h i s j u d g m e n t s a p p l a u d e d a n d t h o s e w h o d i d n o t a t t a c k e d . P o m p o u s p h o n i n e s s — a f a v o r i t e — c a m e u n d e r d i r e c t a s s a u l t a n d in R o b e r t S o u t h e y , B y r o n f o u n d a t a r g e t h e c o u l d h i t a t w i l l ( " D o n J u a n , " " T h e V i s i o n of J u d g e m e n t " ) f o r t h e r e s t o f h i s l i fe. " E n g l i s h B a r d s a n d S c o t c h R e v i e w e r s " r e f l e c t e d t h e i n s t i n c t s of a b a t t l e r , o f a y o u n g m a n w h o c o u l d g e t u p a f t e r b e i n g k n o c k e d d o w n a n d do s o m e d a m a g e in r e t u r n . B y r o n l a t e r r e l e g a t e d h i s p o e m to t h e a r t i s t i c s c r a p h eap, a s e l f - c r i t i c a l g e s t u r e indi c a t i v e of t h e m o c k e r y h e e x t e n d e d to n e a r l y all h i s e a r l y w o r k s . H a v i n g e v e n e d t h e s c o r e w i t h B r o u g h a m a n d r e s t l e s s f o r f o r e i g n c l i m e s , B y r o n s e t h i s s i g h t s on t r a v e l in t he l a n d s o f t h e c l a s s i c a l w o r l d . T h e p o e m t h a t w o u l d e m e r g e f r o m t h e s e t o u r s , C a n t o s I a n d II of " C h i l d e H a r o l d ’s P i l g r i m a g e , " w o u l d e s ­ t a b l i s h h i s r e p u t a t i o n . In C a n t o I, w h i c h b e g i n s w i t h a k i n d o f d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , H a r o l d ’s l i b e r t i n e c r e d e n t i a l s a r e i m m e d i a t e l y r e v e a l e d . H e is a y o u n g m a n S o r e g i v e n to r e v e l a n d u n g o d l y g le e ; F e w e a r t h l y t h i n g s f o u n d f a v o u r in h i s s i g h t S a v e c o n c u b i n e s a n d c a r n a l c o m p a n i e , A n d f l a u n t i n g w a s s a i l e r s of h i g h a n d l o w d e g r e e . ( I . 1 5 -1 8 ) It is n o t c o n s c i e n c e t h a t p r i c k s h i s p r i d e , b u t a c o m b i n a t i o n of t h e " f u l n e s s of s a t i e t y " (I. 34) a n d a p r o p e n s i t y t o w a r d m e l a n c h o l y , b l a c k m o o d s w h i c h l a c k d i s c e r n i b l e c a u s e .

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Y e t o f t - t i m e s in h i s m a d d e s t m i r t h f u l m o o d S t r a n g e p a n g s w o u l d f l a s h a l o n g C h i l d e H a r o l d ’s b r ow , A s if t h e m e m o r y of s o m e d e a d l y f e u d O r d i s a p p o i n t e d p a s s i o n l u r k ’d b e l o w : B u t n o n e t h i s k n e w , n o r h a p l y c a r ’d to k n o w ; F o r t h i s w a s n o t t h a t o pe n , a r t l e s s s o u l T h a t f e e l s r e l i e f b y b i d d i n g s o r r o w flow, N o r s o u g h t he f r i e n d to c o u n s e l or c o n d o l e , W h a t e ' e r h i s g r i e f m o t e be, w h i c h he c o u l d n o t c o n t r o l . (I . 6 4-72) In t h e f i r s t d o z e n s t a n z a s of C a n t o I s o m e o f t h e s t a n d a r d f e a t u r e s of t h e B y r o n i c h e r o a r e o u t l i n e d . T h e b r i g h t a n d s e n s i t i v e H a r o l d is at o n c e an a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t in t h e p u r s u i t s e x p e c t e d of i d l e y o u n g m e n a n d a c r i t i c a l o b s e r v e r o f h i s o w n b e h a v i o r . H i s r e s t l e s s n e s s c a n b e a t t r i b u t e d to h a v i n g n o t h i n g l e f t to d o w i t h i n t h e e x p e c t a t i o n s of h i s s o c i e t y , to an u n a r t i c u l a t e d s e n s e of e m o t i o n a l s u f f o c a t i o n . T h e n l o a t h ’d he in h i s n a t i v e l a n d to d w e l l , W h i c h s e e m e d to h i m m o r e l o n e t h a n E r e m i t e ’s s a d cell. {I . 3 5 - 6 ) It is l e s s d i s e n c h a n t m e n t t h a n t h e n e e d f o r c h a n g e t h a t H a r o l d f e el s . T h r o u g h o u t h i s w a n d e r i n g s , n o m a t t e r w h e r e he e s t a b l i s h e s h i m s e l f , H a r o l d w i l l s o o n e r or l a t e r f e el t h e n e e d to go e l s e w h e r e . H i s e s t r a n g e m e n t f r o m E n g l i s h s o c i e t y w a s n o t to c o m e u n t i l C a n t o III, w h e n he w a s a f e w y e a r s o l d e r , b u t h i s c a p a c i t y for d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t is p r e s e n t in H a r o l d ’s c h a r a c t e r f r o m the b e g i nni n g . H i s e x i l e , t he n , is a s e l f - i m p o s e d one; he is n o t b a n i s h e d b y s u p e r i o r p o w e r or d e c r e e . As " H a r o l d w e n d s h i s l o n e l y w a y ” t h r o u g h P o r t u g a l a n d S p a i n , c l i m b i n g o v e r r u i n e d f o r t r e s s e s , w a t c h i n g t h e b u l l f i g h t s a n d c o m m e n t i n g on w h a t h e e n c o u n t e r s , he p r o c e e d s to a d o p t t h e r o l e o f s p i r i t e d o u t c a s t , f l e e i n g "The

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b l i g h t of l i f e — t he d e m o n , T h o u g h t ” (I. 860), a n d d e f y i n g w h a t he k n o w s to be h i s fate: T h r o u g h m a n y a c l i m e ’tis m i n e to go, W i t h m a n y a r e t r o s p e c t i o n c u r s t ; A n d all m y s o l a c e is to k no w, W h a t e ’er b e t i d e s , I ’ve k n o w n t h e w o r s t . (I. 8 6 5- 6 9 ) H a r o l d ’s a t t i t u d e , a s o m e w h a t h i s t r i o n i c one, w i l l b e s h a r e d b y a n u m b e r of s u b s e q u e n t B y r o n i c c r e a t i o n s . T h e G i a o u r , L ara, a n d M a n f r e d b a n i s h t h e m s e l v e s f o r c r i m e s r ea l a n d i m a g i n e d to f o r e i g n l a n d s or m o n a s t e r i e s w h e r e t h e y l i v e a l o o f a n d r e b e l l i o u s . T h e y o u t h f u l H a r o l d of t h e e a r l y t r a v e l s c u t s a c o n s i d e r a b l y less g l o o m y f i g u r e t h a n h i s s u c c e s s o r s ; in fact, m u c h of h i s t a l e is i n v i g o r a t e d b y h i s c o n t i n u a l d i s c o v e r y of n e w t h i n g s . He is es-s p e c i a l l y e n t h u s i a s t i c a b o u t v e n t u r i n g i n t o A l b a n i a , a c o u n t r y a l m o s t w i t h i n s i g h t of c i v i l i z e d I t a l y b u t at t h e t i m e l ess e x p l o r e d t h a n t h e N o r t h A m e r i c a n W e s t . 17 P e r i l he s o u g h t not, b u t n e ’er s h r a n k to m ee t , T h e s c e n e w a s s a v a g e , b u t t h e s c e n e w a s new; T h i s m a d e t h e c e a s e l e s s t o i l of t r a v e l s we et , (II. 3 8 4- 8 6 ) T h e e x p e d i t i o n t h r o u g h t h e m o u n t a i n o u s t e r r a i n , a l o n g r o u t e s k n o w n o n l y to t r a d e r s a n d r o b b e r s , e x h a u s t s t h e a d v e n t u r o u s y o u n g p i l ­ g ri m , a n d h e t a k e s h i s r e s t n e a r a w h i t e w a s h e d c o n v e n t . H e r e he l i n g e r s , r e c o v e r i n g b o t h h i s p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h a n d w i l l to p e r s e v e r e b e f o r e p u s h i n g i n t o G r e e c e . W h a t is d i s t i n c t i v e a b o u t H a r o l d ’s s t o p o v e r is h i s d i s c o v e r i n g in s i m p l e n a t u r e a s o u r c e of r e c u p e r a t i o n a f t e r m o n t h s of d e m a n d i n g a n d o c c a s i o n a l l y h a z a r d o u s t r a v e l . F r e s h is t h e g r e e n b e n e a t h t h o s e a g e d t r ee s ;

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13 H e r e w i n d s o f g e n t l e s t w i n g w i l l f a n h i s b r e a s t , F r o m h e a v e n i t s e l f h e m a y i n h a l e t h e b r e e z e : T h e p l a i n is f ar b e n e a t h — oh! let h i m s e i z e P u r e p l e a s u r e w h i l e h e can; (II. 4 4 3- 4 7 ) N e i t h e r H a r o l d n o r B y r o n e x p l a i n p r e c i s e l y w h a t it is a b o u t n a t u r e t h a t s o o t h e s a n d i n s p i r e s ; p e r h a p s it is o n l y a p a r t i c u l a r c a s t of m i n d , a n i m a g i n a t i v e r e c e p t i v i t y to its b e n e f i t s t h a t is i nb orn. T h e s e c o n d c a n t o c o n c l u d e s s h o r t l y a f t e r th i s epi s o d e a n d it w a s a l m o s t s i x y e a r s b e f o r e B y r o n r e s s u r r e c t e d t h e a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i g u r e w h o b r o u g h t h i m f a m e a n d n o t o r i e t y . G h i l d e H a r o l d (who a p p e a r e d in m a n u s c r i p t as C h i l d e B u r u n ) , h o w e v e r , w a s i m m e d i a t e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h h i s a u t h o r a n d a l m o s t as p r o m p t l y w i t h a c e r t a i n .role a n d o u t l o o k t o w a r d life. W i t h t h e p u b l i c a t i o n of C a n t o s I a n d II of " C h i l d e H a r o l d ’s P i l g r i m a g e ” in 1812 B y r o n f o u n d h i m s e l f in g r e a t d e m a n d in L o n d o n s o c i e t y . F o r t h e n e x t f o u r y e a r s h e l i b e r a l l y c a r r i e d o n a l i f e of e x t r e m e s , e n t e r i n g i n t o a f f a i r a f t e r a f f a i r , a n i l l - f a t e d m a r r i a g e w h i c h l a s t e d e x a c t l y o n e y ea r , a n d a p o s s i b l y i n c e s t u o u s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i s h a l f - s i s t e r A u g u s t a L e i g h . T h e l a t t e r , c o m i n g on t h e h e e l s of t h e b i r t h of h i s l e g i t i m a t e d a u g h t e r , Ada, i n s u r e d h i s o s t r a c i s m f r o m t h e R e g e n c y c o u r t a n d c a u s e d h i m to l e a v e E n g l a n d p e r m a n e n t l y in A p r i l , 1816. T h e r e is a C r u i k s h a n k c a r t o o n o f B y r o n ’s d e p a r t u r e f r o m D o v e r m o c k i n g l y e n t i t l e d ’’F a r e t h e e W e l l ” a f t e r a s h o r t p o e m of t h e s a m e n a m e ; in it B y r o n a p p e a r s in a r o w b o a t w i t h t h r e e c l i n g i n g w e n c h e s , a b a s k e t of w i n e b o t t l e s a n d a s k u l l m a d e i n t o a d r i n k i n g cup. It is t h e s t u f f of a l i t e r a r y l e g e n d in t h e m a k i n g , a l e g e n d B y r o n d e l i b e r a t e l y

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c o n t r i b u t e d to w i t h h i s r e c k l e s s c o n d u c t (and, l a t er , t h r o u g h the s u g g e s t i o n of p a r t i c i p a t i o n in m u r d e r , p i r a c y a n d d e v i l w o r s h i p w h i l e he w a s a b r o a d ) . Y e t a n o t h e r B y r o n w a s a l i v e a n d w e l l d u r i n g t h o s e y e a r s , a B y r o n w h o r e a d w i d e l y in l i t e r a t u r e a n d h i s t o r y , w h o s p o k e in t h e H o u s e of L o r d s of p o l i t i c a l r e f o r m , w h o w a s the b e s t a n d m o s t g e n e r o u s c o m p a n i o n a m o n g f r i e n d s . T h o u g h a s u p e r b c o n v e r s a t i o n a l i s t , h e w a s s h y a n d r e s e r v e d a m o n g t h o s e h e d i d n o t k n o w a n d a t t i m e s s o u g h t s o l i t u d e a n d q u i e t to c o l l e c t h i m s e l f . F i r s t a n d f o r e m o s t , of c o u r s e , he w a s a p o e t, a n d d u r i n g t h e s e y e a r s h e w r o t e a n d p u b l i s h e d , to c o n t i n u a l a c c l a i m in E u r o p e a n d t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , t h e t a l e s of a d v e n t u r e w h i c h d r o v e S i r W a l t e r S c o t t to w r i t e n o v e l s . " T he G i a o u r , " "The C o r s a i r , " " La ra " a n d s e v e r a l o t h e r e f f o r t s f u r t h e r i m p r e s s e d B y r o n a n d B y r o n i s m on the c o n s c i o u s n e s s of t he r e a d i n g p u b l i c . In "The C o r s a i r " C o n r a d e p i t o m i z e s t h e B y r o n i c h er o: Lo ne, w i l d , a n d s t r a n g e , h e s t o o d a l i k e e x e m p t F r o m all a f f e c t i o n a n d f r o m all c o n t e m p t : (XI. 79-8 0 ) W r i t t e n in 1814, t h e d e s c r i p t i o n a n t i c i p a t e s t h e m o o d a n d s i t u a t i o n o f B y r o n on t h e e v e of h i s l e a v i n g E n g l a n d t wo y e a r s la t er . It a l s o is an a c c u r a t e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e s h i p b o u n d C h i l d e

H a r o l d who, as C a n t o III o p e n s , is o n c e m o r e u p o n t he w a t e r s "as a

w e e d , / F l u n g f r o m t h e r o ck , on O c e a n ’s foam, to s a il / W h e r e ’er

t h e s u r g e m a y s w e e p " (III. 1 6 -1 8) .

If t h e d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t of H a r o l d ’s e a r l i e r i n c a r n a t i o n h a d

b e e n f o u n d e d u p o n an i n n a t e n e c e s s i t y to s t r u g g l e w i t h the self,

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15 W o u n d e d in l o v e, f r u s t r a t e d b y t h e n a r r o w s m a l l - m i n d e d n e s s of p e o p l e he f e l t h a d b e t r a y e d him, a n d c r i t i c a l of g o v e r n m e n t r e p r e s s i o n s , " S e l f - e x i l e d H a r o l d w a n d e r s f o r t h a g a i n , / W i t h n o u g h t of h o p e l e f t " (III. 136). H e is c o n v i n c e d t h a t h e is u n q u a l i f i e d to h e r d w i t h men. T h a t l i f e a n d l i f e ’s l a b o r s m a y a l l b e in v a i n d o m i n a t e s h i s t h o u g h t s , d a r k e n s h i s m o o d , a n d d r a w s h i m to t h e s i t e o f t h e r e c e n t l y f o u g h t b a t t l e o f W a t e r l o o , " this Pi a c e of s k u l l s " (III. 154). F o r H a r o l d , t h e b a t t l e w b i c h s l e w t h o u s a n d s s e r v e d m o s t l y to s e c u r e E u r o p e a n m o n a r c h s a t o p t h e i r t h r o n e s . H e c o m m e n d s t h e c o u r a g e o f s o l d i e r s a n d e x c o r i a t e s t h e p o l i t i c i a n s w h o l e a d n a t i o n s i n t o w a r for n o o t h e r p u r p o s e t h a n f a m e a n d g l o r y . W a r w o u l d c o n t i n u e to f a s c i n a t e B y r o n e v e n as it r e p e l l e d ; C h i l d e H a r o l d , as h e s u r v e y s t h e r e m n a n t s o f c a r n a g e , r e f l e c t s t h e a u t h o r ’s a m b i v a l e n c e t o w a r d a r m e d c o n f l i c t . To be " F r e e d o m ’s c h a m p i o n " (III. 549) a p p e a r s to b e t h e s o l e j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r w a g i n g w ar. It is a n i m p o r t a n t d i s t i n c t i o n f or H a r o l d , as it l a t e r w a s f or B y r o n w h e n he j o i n e d t h e G r e e k f o r c e s p r e p a r i n g to a t t a c k t h e o c c u p y i n g T u r k i s h a rm y. O n l y in s u c h a c a u s e is w a r v a l i d — all o t h e r w a r is c o n t e m p t i b l e . A n i n t e n s e i n t e r e s t in w a r a n d a w i l l i n g n e s s to p a r t i c i p a t e in its h o r r o r s d o e s n o t a l w a y s s i g n i f y a p p r o v a l of it or e v e n a p r o n o u n c e d d e s i r e to f i g h t in one. H a r o l d ’s r e a c t i o n to t h e m a s s g r a v e s , r u i n e d c o u n t r y s i d e a n d d e s t r o y e d v i l l a g e s h e s e e s at W a t e r l o o is o n e of p r o f o u n d s o r r o w a n d a n g u i s h for what, he b e l i e v e s to b e t h e f u t i l i t y o f h u m a n e n d e a v o r . L i t t l e w o r t h ­ w h i l e c o m e s f r o m t h e s h e d d i n g of so m u c h b l o o d . T h e v i o l e n t

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d e a t h s of so m a n y y o u n g m e n h a u n t s h i m as h e j o u r n e y s f r o m F r a n c e i n t o G e r m a n y . A l o n g t h e R h i n e , H a r o l d ' s s p i r i t s r e a c h t h e i r n a ­ d i r . A t h o u s a n d b a t t l e s h a v e a s s a i l ' d t h y b a n k s , B u t t h e s e a n d h a l f t h e i r f a m e h a v e p a s s e d a way, A n d S l a u g h t e r h e a p ' d o n h i g h h i s w e l t e r i n g r an ks ; T h e i r v e r y g r a v e s a r e g on e, a n d w h a t a r e t h e y ? T h y t i d e w a s h ' d d o w n t h e b l o o d of y e s t e r d a y , A n d all w a s s t a i n l e s s , a n d on t h e c l e a r s t r e a m .Thy w a v e s w o u l d v a i n l y roll, a l l s w e e p i n g as t h e y seem. (III. 4 5 1 - 5 9 ) T h e k n o w l e d g e t h a t N a t u r e w i l l i n e x o r a b l y e r a d i c a t e a l l t r a c e s of m a n ’s m o s t a m b i t i o u s a n d g r i m m e s t e n t e r p r i s e s c o n t r i b u t e s to H a r o l d ' s o w n s e n s e o f i n c r e a s i n g r e m o t e n e s s as h e a p p r o a c h e s t he A l p s . B y r o n h a s d e p l o y e d w h a t is p r e s e n t l y a t r a d i t i o n a l t e c h ­ n i q u e f o r e x a m i n i n g a s t a t e of m i n d — i m a g e s of a w a r - r a v a g e d E u r o p e c o m p l e m e n t H a r o l d ' s b a t t e r e d p s y c h e . It is h u m a n f r a i l t y in g e n e r a l h e c a n n o t e s c a p e ( e x c e p t b y d y i n g ) , p l u s an o v e r ­ w h e l m i n g a p p r e h e n s i o n t h a t h i s l i f e d o e s n o t m u c h m a t t e r t h a t p e r ­ m e a t e s a l l h i s a c t i v i t i e s . In love, w o r k , a n d p o l i t i c s H a r o l d f e e l s c h e a t e d b y h i s c u l t u r e , so m u c h so t h a t he m u s t w i t h d r a w f r o m its a f f a i r s a n d h e a d f o r t h e r e m o t e r r e g i o n s . W h e r e r o s e t h e m o u n t a i n s , t h e r e to h i m w e r e f r i e n d s ; W h e r e r o l l ’d t h e o c e a n , t h e r e o n w a s h i s h om e ; W h e r e a b l u e sky, a n d g l o w i n g c l i m e e x t e n d s , H e h a d t h e p a s s i o n a n d p o w e r to roam; T h e d e s e r t , f o r e s t , c a v e r n , b r e a k e r ’s foam, W e r e u n t o h i m c o m p a n i o n s h i p ; (III. 1 0 9- 1 4) W h i l e l i v i n g in S w i t z e r l a n d , b e n e a t h t he A l p s , t h o s e " p a l a c e s of N a t u r e " (III. 591), H a r o l d , u n c o n s c i o u s l y a t f ir s t, b e c o m e s s u s c e p t i b l e to t h e e f f e c t s o f n a t u r a l b e a u t y .

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17 D u r i n g t h e s u m m e r o f 1816, w h e n C a n t o III w a s b e i n g w r i t t e n , B y r o n r e r e a d W o r d s w o r t h a t t h e u r g i n g of h i s n e w f r i e n d S h e l l e y . H e w a s f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e g r e a t l a k e p o e t a n d h a d r e v i e w e d the L y r i c a l B a l l a d s in 1807, b u t he h a d n o t b e e n e s p e c i a l l y i m p r e s s e d w i t h W o r d s w o r t h ’s u s e of s c e n e r y as a n i n d e x of h u m a n e m o t i o n . S h e l l e y w a s c o n v i n c e d t h a t t h e f u t u r e l a u r e a t e w a s of t h e f i r s t r ank; h e q u i t e p o s s i b l y t h o u g h t , g i v e n t h e i r s e t t i n g ( Lake G e n e v a ) a n d B y r o n ’s j i t t e r i n e s s , t h a t a n i m m e r s i o n in W o r d s w o r t h w o u l d c a l m h i s n e r v e s . In a n y c a s e , B y r o n f o l l o w e d the y o u n g e r p o e t ’s a d v i c e . H a r o l d a n n o u n c e s : I l i v e n o t in m y s e l f , b u t I b e c a m e P o r t i o n of t h a t a r o u n d me; a n d to m e H i g h m o u n t a i n s a r e a f e e l i n g , b u t the h u m O f h u m a n c i t i e s t o r t u r e : I c a n s ee N o t h i n g to l o a t h e in n a t u r e . .w hen t h e soul c a n flee,

A n d w*ith t h e sky, t h e p eak, t h e h e a v i n g p l a i n O f o c e a n , or t h e s t a r s , m i n g l e , a n d n o t in v a i n. (III. 6 8 0 - 8 8 ) W i t h t he d r a w i n g of p s y c h o l o g i c a l s u s t e n a n c e f r o m N a t u r e , H a r o l d s l o w l y d e v e l o p s a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g h e c a n a c c e p t a b o u t h i s p l a c e in t h e s c h e m e o f t h i n g s . It d o e s n o t c o m e f r o m r e v e l a t i o n or e p i ­ p h a n y , b u t r a t h e r f r o m a growling r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t w h e t h e r or n o t m a n l i v e s in v a i n o n l y to d i e is a p h i l o s o p h i c a l d e a d end. S c h o l a r s h a v e l o n g d e b a t e d howr s e r i o u s l y B y r o n t o o k i m p u l s e s f r o m v e r n a l w o o d s . H e c o n f e s s e d to b e i n g d o s e d to t h e p o i n t of n a u s e a w i t h W o r d s w o r t h ’s n a t u r e p o e t r y t h a t s u m m e r , a n d he r a r e l y w a s t e d an o p p o r t u n i t y to r i d i c u l e s o m e m e n ’s r e a d i n e s s to s e e k s a l v a t i o n in t h e w i l d s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , at l e a s t s e v e n s t a n z a s (72- 4, 8 8 - 9 , 9 7 ) in C a n t o III m a k e H a r o l d ’s soul a p a r t o f w h a t

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s u r r o u n d s him, a c o n n e c t i o n w h i c h e n a b l e s N a t u r e , i m p a r t i a l as it is, to a r r e s t t h e p i l g r i m ’s d e s c e n t i n t o n i h i l i s m a n d a c t u a l l y i n i t i a t e s p i r i t u a l r e j u v e n a t i o n . B y r o n m a y l a t e r h a v e r e p u d i a t e d t he c a p a c i t y of N a t u r e to h e al , b u t he n e v e r d i s m i s s e d the n e c e s ­ s i t y of s o l i t u d e as a p r o p e r r e s p o n s e to e m o t i o n a l s t r e s s. It is a f i x t u r e of h i s p o e t r y . H a r o l d w a n d e r s a l o n e , t he G i a o u r r e t r e a t s to a m o n a s t e r y , M a n f r e d to an a l p i n e f o r t r e s s , the i n e x p e r i e n c e d D o n J u a n to t h e f o r e s t s . C o n f u s e d b y t h e a m o r o u s a t t e n t i o n s o f an o l d e r w o m a n , D o n J u a n b e c o m e s S i l e n t a n d p e n s i v e , idle, r e s t l e s s , slow7, H i s h o m e d e s e r t e d for the l o n e l y w o od , T o r m e n t e d w i t h a w o u n d he c o u l d n o t knowr, His, l i k e d e e p g r i e f , p l u n g e d in s o l i t u d e : (I. 6 8 9 - 9 2 ) I s o l a t i o n m o r e t h a n N a t u r e is t h e d r i v i n g i m p e t u s b e h i n d t h e e m e r g e n c e of the B y r o n i c h e r o f r o m s e l f - a b s o r b e d a n d s e l f - p i t y i n g s t u p o r . In " T h e P r i s o n e r of C h i l l o n , " a t a l e a b o u t t he i n v o l u n t a r y i m p r i s o n m e n t of a h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e , F r a n c o i s de B o n n i v a r d , he s u g g e s t s t h a t e v e n e n f o r c e d i s o l a t i o n i n d u c e s d e p e n d e n c e u p o n s o l i t u d e . T h e h e r o p l o t s h i s e s c a p e , d r e a m s of t h e o u t s i d e wrorld, a n d u p o n h is r e l e a s e c o n c l u d e s , "So m u c h a l o n g c o m m u n i o n t e n d s / T o m a k e u s w h a t w e are: e v e n I / R e g a i n e d m y f r e e d o m w7ith a s i g h " ( 3 9 0 - 9 3 ) . T h o u g h t h e h e r o of t h i s p o e m l a c k s f r e e d o m of a c t i o n , h i s a l o n e n e s s a n d t h e s e l f -d e f in it .i on t h a t e v o l v e s f r o m c o m p l e t e r e l i a n c e on o n e s e l f is a n e x a g g e r a t e d f o r m of t h e p r o c e s s t h a t o c c u r s to t h o s e w h o s e i s o l a t i o n is of t h e i r o wn m a k i n g . C h i l d e H a r o l d w i l l r e f l e c t on t h o s e h e h a s l o v e d a n d w h o l o ve

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19 h i m a n d c o n c l u d e it is in M a n ’s n a t u r e "to a d v a n c e or d i e " (III. 9 64). H e d e c l a r e s a s t a n d o f f b e t w e e n h i m s e l f a n d t h e w o r l d he b e l i e v e s h a s t r i e d to w e a r h i m d o w n . L o v e b e t w e e n h u m a n b e i n g s — a m a n a n d a w o m a n , a m a n a n d h i s c h i l d in p a r t i c u l a r - - c o m e s to r e p l a c e l o v e of self, a m b i t i o n , fame, t h e a c c u m u l a t i o n of m a t e r i a l w e a l t h . H a r o l d (or B y r o n h i m s e l f — d i s t i n g u i s h i n g b e t w e e n t he t wo is v i r t u a l l y i m p o s s i b l e b y C a n t o IV) d o e s n o t b y a n y m e a n s r e n o u n c e t h o s e p r i d e f u l p u r s u i t s ; r a t h e r h e is a ble, as he a r r i v e s in V e n i c e , to a s s i m i l a t e c o n f l i c t i n g e m o t i o n s , to s u b o r d i n a t e o ne to a n o t h e r w i t h o u t s t r a i n . T h e w o r l d , d e s p i t e m a n ’s f o n d n e s s for k i l l i n g a n d r e p r e s s i o n , d e s p i t e t h e i n e v i t a b i l i t y of d e a t h , d e s p i t e t h e p a i n o f u n r e q u i t e d l o v e , is a g o o d p l a c e to l i v e b e c a u s e of t h e u r g e f o r l i b e r t y , t h e s u r m o u n t i n g o f f e a r b y c o u r a g e , t h e m y s t e r y of d e a t h a n d t h e p l e a s u r e s o f love. E s t a b l i s h e d in V e n i c e ( w h e r e B y r o n w o u l d l i v e for m o s t of the l a s t e i g h t y e a r s of h i s l i f e ) , H a r o l d a n s w e r s t h e q u e s t i o n s of m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s t h a t p l a g u e d h i s e a r l y t r a v e l s . B u t I h a v e l iv ed , a n d h a v e n o t l i v e d in v ai n; M y m i n d m a y l o s e its f or c e, m y b l o o d its fire, A n d m y f r a m e p e r i s h e v e n in c o n q u e r i n g p ai n; B u t t h e r e is t h a t w i t h i n m e w h i c h s h a l l t i r e T o r t u r e a n d T i m e , a n d b r e a t h e w h e n I e x p i r e ; S o m e t h i n g u n e a r t h l y , w h i c h t h e y d e e m n o t of, L i k e t h e r e m e m b e r ’d t o n e of a m u t e lyre, S h a l l on t h e i r s o f t e n ’d s p i r i t s sink, a n d m o v e In h e a r t s a l l r o c k y n o w t h e l a t e r e m o r s e of love. (IV. 12 24-32) T h i s is t h e e x p r e s s i o n of a m a n w h o h a s p e e r e d a t e t e r n a l n o t h i n g ­ n e s s a n d r e j e c t e d it. E x c e s s i v e c y n i c i s m o n l y m a s k s a f a i l u r e to c o p e , d e s p a i r m e r e l y r e i n f o r c e s d e s p a i r . W h a t it is t h a t t r a n s c e n d s e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e e l u d e s B y r o n ’s g r a s p , b u t its a c t i v e

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