How is Lord Byron a Romantic poet?

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Payal Khullar | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Lord Byron (or George Gordon Byron) was a remarkable English poet significantly associated with the Romantic Era. His Romantic worth is at par with his contemporaries like Wordsworth, Coleridge, etc. In his later works, he was deeply inspired by the poetry of P.B Shelly, another Romantic poet. Byron lived a short life, yet, a life filled with adventures and passions. He had many romantic affairs, including an incestuous relationship with his stepsister. His significant works include touching Romantic poems like She Walks in Beauty, When We Two Parted, I Watched Thee, etc.

Saturated with creativity, wild passions, disorder, chaos, irrationality, complicated emotions and fierce imagination, Byron’s work is a true representative of Romanticism. Nature and the super-natural are common themes in his works. Like other Romantics, he rejected the balance, order and harmony that was atypical of the neo-classical era.

One of his major contributions to the English Romantic movement was the Byronic Hero that first appeared in his famous work Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Byronic Hero is a romantic hero with some interesting features like a conflicted dark side, low birth status/often outcaste, a heart with deep-seated pain, sexually exciting and mystical personality, revengeful and self-destructive nature etc. (he is almost an anti-hero). 

Lord Byron influenced many Romantic writers and his Byronic Hero appeared to be a significant character in many other works like Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte (Heathcliff), Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Rochester), and many others.