Lord Byron – Life and Works

George Gordon Byron Noel was one of the prime figures during the Romantic Period. He was born in London, England in the year 1788 and was the only son of the profligate Captain John “Mad Jack” Byron and his second wife, the Heiress of Gight, Catherine Byron. At the age of 10, little Byron inherited the title from his uncle, the sixth Baron Byron, making him known as Lord Byron.

The gruesome years of keeping up with an emotionally unstable mother after the abandonment of his father and the established self-insecurities from his clubfoot condition resulted in Byron doing sexual mischief during his reigning years that later inspired him to write such splendid and beguile inscriptions that paved his infamy. Byron died at the age of 36, after pursuing romantic adventures of heroism in Greece.


  • Don Juan

Don Juan, a satirical poem, has 16,000 lines and 17 cantos. It was written in Italian Ottava Rima, it has eight lines with a fixed rhyming pattern (Ottava means eight; rima means rhyme) ABABABCC. This is a story of a handsome young boy named Juan; the son of Don Jose and Donna Inez living in Seville. Throughout Juan’s journey, he met several women whom he fell in love with. The first woman was his mother’s friend, Donna Julia, then on, Juan continued living on his own.  It quietly taunting with almost everything, yet becomes serious satire about the sanctimonies of high society, the false glory associated with war, man’s endless pursuit of fame, and the human penchant for rationalization. It ridicules things mostly in love, religion, and social relations. It shams complacency, oppression, greed, and lust.  

  • Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

This autobiographical narrative poem has four cantos. It was published on separate dates- the first two cantos were in 1812, and the last two were in 1816 and 1818 respectively. It was about a world-wearied young noble named Childe Harold who aimlessly travels the world pursuing something he isn’t quite able to articulate but much more likely will give him pleasure and so he goes on a solitary pilgrimage to foreign lands. The term “childe” refers to a medieval title for a noble young man preparing for knighthood. Childe Harold was the first to launch a literary archetype of the “Byronic Hero,” characterized by Byron’s charisma, moodiness, and mysterious past. Harold was simply a literary personification of Byron himself raged even during his day. This poem stands as one of the distinct works of the Romantic Period, it emphasizes the importance of travel to the development and growth of the self in a way that seems strikingly modern.

  • When We Two Parted

This lyric poem was first published in 1816, but Byron falsely attributed its writing to 1808 in order to protect the identity of its subject, Lady Frances Wedderburn Webster. It was about the author’s regretful thoughts while reminiscing his previous secret relationship. The poem has four stanzas of eight lines each; the unusual rhythm for each line of stanza signifies that the author is merely in pain and Byron was able to reflect it in this poem making it more powerful and catchy. He used alliteration and consonance as his language to reinforce keywords and images in the reader’s mind. The mood of coldness carries all throughout the poem. The repeated words of “silence and tears” show the poet’s inability to move on and leave the pain behind. Still trapped in unrequited love, Byron can only offer the protection of his loving woman’s identity through grieving alone.

  • She Walks in Beauty

She Walks in Beauty is a lyric poem that was included in Byron’s Hebrew Melodies in 1815. It has 3 equal stanzas, 18 lines in total. This poem is about an unnamed woman and her striking figure and appearance while acknowledging her inner spiritual core, where pure thoughts and emotions lie. According to Byron’s friend, James Wedderburn Webster, the inspiration for this poem was Byron’s distant cousin, Anne Beatrix Horton, or Lady Wilmot after seeing her at a party in London wearing a black mourning dress with shiny spangles.

  • The Destruction of Sennacherib

Also part of his book, The Hebrew Melodies, the “The Destruction of Sennacherib” was published in 1815. The musical lyric poem retells the biblical story of the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrian king Sennacherib, during which, according to the Bible, God destroyed the entire Assyrian army in the middle of the night. The poem is notable for its sympathetic portrayal of the Jewish people during a historical period that was rife with anti-Semitism.

  • Darkness

Darkness is written in a blank verse with a style of poetic storytelling. It is about the author’s fear for the future of the human race against the growing inequality during his time. This poem was written in July of 1816 and runs for a total of 82 lines. Darkness was Byron’s warning to his fellowmen during his time that if inequality continues, there will come a time when only two men will be left on Earth and that they will become enemies due to deep starvation and find themselves at the same altar of which ashes of every mankind is seen. The piece was narrated with an introduction that the world has been doomed to live in darkness and its human race continues to burn everything around them including religious materials while desperate for any kind of light to help them get through. The death of the universe is presented as a problem. Since this is anti-biblical, Byron used the bible to explain the events of the poem. It explains how death is instant.

Related Images:

Avatar photo

Geryka Joyce Racho

I am Geryka Joyce Racho and most people call me Gea. A 23-year-old girl living in the Philippines, was born and spent her childhood days in the countryside of Pangasinan then decided to move to city life when I entered college up until now that I am officially employed. That became my foundation of independence and ability to withstand whatever life brings me to. During my first year of employment, I followed my childhood dream to be part of the aviation industry then, fortunately, when the opportunity came, I grabbed the chance to work in a Travel Agency as one of its travel consultants. Writing has been my way to relieve stress, I write whatever and wherever I am. I could still remember that amidst traffic, to make my sanity not go to waste, I decided to write the situation right in front of me. Though I do not have any yet professional experience when it comes to writing, I could say I can still count on my writings.