The Byron Journal

The Byronic Hero, Theatricality and Leadership

The Byron Journal (2010), 38, (1), 7–18.

Abstract

Starting off with Annabella Milbanke's description of Byron after their first meeting, this essay explores the way in which Byron's persona, as displayed in a certain kind of social situation, appears characterised by a series of masks, yet is presented in such a way as to facilitate its unmasking by observers and obtain their sympathies. This model of interaction between Byron and his admirers is then applied to Byron's works, where this same semantic stratification of the Byronic Hero is complicated at times by the hero's use of the Byronic persona as an instrument of domination and on some occasions by the author's deliberate foregrounding of the hero's theatricality.

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Author details

Poole, Gabriele