The Byron Journal

‘True words are things’: Byron’s Marino Faliero

The Byron Journal (2019), 47, (1), 17–30.

Abstract

The relationship between words and things was of intense interest to a number of the Romantics. As regards Byron, critical work has focused on this subject mainly in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and Don Juan. This essay makes the case that Marino Faliero is an extended dramatisation of the effect of words on things. It argues that the Doge Marino Faliero’s crisis—following Steno’s slander and the failure of the law in Venice to punish it appropriately—can be best understood as one concerning the wounding and debasing power of words on his name, honour and cult of aristocratic individualism.

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Author details

White, Adam