Date: May 1995
Creator: Poston, Craig A. (Craig Alan)
Description: Romantic heroes are questers, according to Harold Bloom and Northrop Frye. Whether employing physical strength or relying on the power of the mind, the traditional Romantic hero invokes questing for some sense of self. Chapter 1 considers this hero-type, but is concerned with defining a non-questing British Romantic hero. The Romantic hero's identity is problematic and established through contrasting narrative versions of the hero. This paper's argument lies in the "inconclusiveness" of the Romantic experience perceived in writings throughout the Romantic period. Romantic inconclusiveness can be found not only in the structure and syntax of the works but in the person with whom the reader is meant to identify or sympathize, the hero(ine). Chapter 2 explores Byron's aesthetics of literature equivocation in The Giaour. This tale is a consciously imbricated text, and Byron's letters show a purposeful complication of the poet's authority concerning the origins of this Turkish Tale. The traditional "Byronic hero," a gloomy, guilt-ridden protagonist, is considered in Chapter 3. Byron's contemporary readers and reviewers were quick to pick up on this aspect of his verse tales, finding in the Giaour, Selim, Conrad, and Lara characteristics of Childe Harold. Yet, Byron's Turkish Tales also reveal a very different ...
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