Analysis of Lord Byron´s Epic Poem Don Juan
1064 WordsJan 26th, 20184 Pages
By the time of Byron’s death, he had written 16 cantos and left an unfinished 17th. In the first canto, the reader finds out about Don Juan’s parents and goes on to talk about how Don Juan and his mother’s friend, Donna Julia, fall in love with each other and have an affair. This particular poem is not like many poems seen before. Lord Byron wrote this poem, to follow the satirical tradition of the Renaissance and 18th century neoclassicism. “Written in ottava rima and modeled on the comic poems by the Italian Renaissance poets Ludovico Ariosto and Francesco Berni, Don Juan should be read in terms of deconstruction of Romanticism and a revitalization of Augustan concepts of poetry” (Lennartz). This epic poem shows that Lord Byron is mocking the epic form and the epic hero qualities found in English literature.
An epic is a long, often book-length narrative in verse form that retells the heroic journey of a single person. Elements that typically distinguish epics include a hero of national or international significance and of great historical or legendary significance; found in every culture, the setting is vast in scope, covering a nation, the world, or the universe, as well as numerous other characteristics.
One of the ways Lord Byron mocks the epic form is by presenting the characteristic of there being a hero of national or international significance and of…
Essay on The Role of the Narrator in Byron's Don Juan
801 Words4 Pages
The Role of the Narrator in Byron's Don Juan
The narrator of Don Juan takes the traditional role of omniscient narrator. He states the facts but also adds in his personal thoughts on the characters. From the beginning he lets the reader know that he is in search of a hero. He cannot find a hero in his contemporary time, therefore he will return to the hero who has stayed a hero through time. The hero is "my friend Don Juan" (5.8). There is no doubt that the narrator feels a close relationship with the hero and the hero will be treated as casually as friend.
He relates that the usual course for a poem is to start in the middle, "that is the usual method, but not mine" (7.1). He will start at the beginning and give opinionated…show more content…
Of course, by telling us he will not give his opinion; he slides it in with a charm that is endearing.
The narrator acquaints us with himself through out the poem but it is when Don Juan's story ends that the narrator's truly begins. He lets modesty fall aside (if he ever really had any) and tells us of his prowess: "I'll write poetical commandments, which Shall supersede beyond all doubt all those That went before; in these I shall enrich" (204.2-4). Life though has taking its toll on the narrator: "Ambition was my idol, which was broken Before the shrines of Sorrow and of Pleasure; And the two last have left me many a token O'er which reflection may be made at leisure" (217.1-4). He is reflective of his own life. This part of the poem has nothing to do with Don Juan and his escapades; it is solely about the narrator. We are allowed a small section of his life to be revealed to us. If he was nosy and boastful earlier -- now he is charming and engaging. The narrator which has carried us through such an upbeat story could not leave the reader on such a pensive note. He reverts back to "reality" and keeping with his charm says "For the present, gentle reader! and Still gentle purchaser! the bard--that's I--Must, with permission, shake you by the hand, And so your humble servant, and good bye!" (221.1-4).Therefore the reader is lulled back with his sweet words to an apt ending for a fantasy story.
The narrator wants us