The Byron Journal

Byron’s ‘Hellenic’ Voices: Wherever I Travel Greece Wounds Me

The Byron Journal (2018), 46, (1), 5–20.

Abstract

I borrow the statement of the Greek twentieth-century poet George Seferis as a sub-title in order to record the feelings of disillusionment and despair often expressed in Byron’s poetry and prose as a result of his interactions with Greece. Byron’s traumatic encounters with and in Greece may to some extent be attributed to his own idealistic preconceptions and illusions about the country and its inhabitants. However, Byron’s ‘Hellenic’ experience could be described as a process of disenchantment that ‘saddens’, ‘hurts’, and finally ‘kills’ him. The major wounds may be defined as follows: a) Ruins, b) Greeks, c) Suliotes, d) Leaders, e) Loukas. Byron’s ‘early’ voice resounds from his Grand Tour, his ‘middle’ voice is heard from his exile in Italy, and his ‘late’ voice, yelling from revolutionary Greece, is tragically transformed into ‘body language’, culminating in his delirium and death at Missolonghi.

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Author details

Douka-Kabitoglou, Ekaterini