She Walks in Beauty Questions and Answers
by Lord George Gordon Byron

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How does Lord George Gordon Byron's poem "She Walks in Beauty" follow the conventions of Romanticism?

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Romantics believed in the purity of nature and its ability to inspire us, and even make us better. By making us feel deeply, beautiful natural scenes could actually restore us to a more fundamental part of our nature: our intensely emotional selves. In comparing the woman's beauty to the night's beauty, Byron pays her the ultimate compliment. He explains how she is like the night: "all that's best of dark and bright" and mellow with "tender light" unlike the "gaudy day."

Romantics also tended to believe that people are inherently good in nature, not evil. Byron describes this woman as "serenely sweet," "pure," full of "goodness" and with "A heart whose love is innocent!"

Romantics privileged emotion over logic, believing that we are born knowing how to feel deeply but that we must learn how to use reason, making reason less fundamental to our natures. Romantic poetry, then, tends to emphasize the speaker's feelings, giving them primacy over just about everything else. Obviously, this...

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