Representative Works from Romanticism

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Byron published cantos one and two of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage in 1812, canto three in 1816, and canto four in 1818. The poem is based on Byron's European travels and describes exotic landscapes and people, along with contemporary military and political events, presenting them from the viewpoint of Childe Harold. Harold is a typical "Byronic" hero: tormented by guilt over an unnamed sin, he is bitter, cynical, and melancholy, but also proud and at times filled with remorse. Because of these feelings, he is isolated from other people, cut off by the intensity of his feelings and by his intense suffering. He wanders in search of some release, but never finds it.

Byron's descriptions of current political events, such as the Spanish resistance to the French invaders and the battle of Waterloo, allow him to depict the senselessness of war as well as the human drive for freedom...

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This section contains 1,353 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Romanticism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.