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talent; charisma; great passion; a distaste for society and social institutions; a lack of respect for rank and privilege (although possessing both); being thwarted in love by social constraint or death; rebellion; exile; an unsavory secret past; arrogance; overconfidence or lack of foresight; and, ultimately, a self-destructive manner . The Byronic Hero was popularized by the works of Lord Byron, whose protagonists often embodied this archetype, though they existed before him. Lord Byron was a famous British poet better known as the leading figure of Romanticism. His best known poems include, "She Walks in Beauty", "When We Two Parted", "So, We'll Go No More a Roving", "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" and "Don Juan". Byron spent a celebrated aristocratic life, which included huge debts, a long list of lovers and self-imposed exile. He fought against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, which made him a Greek national hero. He also was the member of House of Lords for a brief time and was the strong advocator of social reform. He was known for his violent sarcastic parliamentary speeches. Although Byron fictionalizes all of his characters, there are a lot of parallels that suggest the similarity between Lord Byron and the Byronic Hero. Understanding the Byronic hero is the key to understanding and appreciating the major poetic works of Lord Byron. Manfred is a dramatic poem written in 1816 Lord Byron. It contains supernatural elements, in keeping with the popularity of the ghost story in England at the time. Byron wrote this poem after his marriage failed in scandal because of his affair with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh. Manfred is a noble living in the Bernese Alps, in a gothic castle. Tortured by his own sense of guilt for an unnamed offense, Manfred invokes six spirits associated with earth and the elements, and a seventh who determines Manfred's personal destiny. None of the spirits are able to grant him what he wishes; they offer “Kingdom, and sway, and strength, and length of days,” but not the forgetfulness and oblivion he seeks. The seventh spirit assumes the form of his dead lover Astarte but vanishes when Manfred tries to touch her. Manfred falls into a state of unconsciousness during which an unidentified voice delivers a lengthy incantation full of accusations and predictions of doom. Variously attributed to Astarte, to an unspecified external force, or most commonly to the voice of Manfred's own conscience, the incantation tells Manfred that he will be governed by a spell or curse and will be tortured—not by external agents but by his own nature. Although he will seek death, his wish will be denied. In the next scene, Manfred attempts to plunge to his death from the high cliffs of the Jungfrau, but he is rescued by an elderly Chamois Hunter who takes him back to his cabin and offers him a cup of wine. Manfred imagines that the cup has blood on its brim, specifically Astarte's blood, which is also his own blood. This passage, along with Manfred's admission
a beautiful spirit who offers to help him on condition that he swears an oath of obedience to her. Astarte appears to him again and Manfred begs her forgiveness. She refuses to answer and then predicts that his “earthly ills” will soon come to an end. if only for a short time. Maurice who offers comfort through religion. Manfred returns to his castle feeling peaceful. suggests that the two engaged in an incestuous relationship. although he takes the hand of the Abbott at the moment of death. good or evil. Manfred is unwilling to submit to any external authority—natural or supernatural. . possibly accepting the human contact he had disdained during life.that he and Astarte had loved as they should not have loved. He is visited by the Abbot of St. Manfred refuses to be her slave and similarly rejects submission to the various forces of evil led by Arimanes (the prince of earth and air). Manfred refuses. Manfred next invokes the Witch of the Alps.