How might one summarize the "Dedication" from Lord Byron's Don Juan?  

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The "Dedication" of Byron's Don Juan is, like his epic poem overall, a vehicle for Byron to express his political, literary and personal views, focusing in these opening stanzas on the poet Robert Southey. In characterizing Southey as the "representative of all the race" because of his status as poet laureate, Byron is being only partly ironic. In several ways, this opening salvo sets the tone for Don Juan as a whole, though on first impression, the reader might see the Dedication as merely an extended rant condemning Southey personally and taking a few potshots at other contemporaries.

The thrust of his anger against Southey is, of course, his resentment of Southey's apostasy and defection from the Whig party (to which Byron and liberals in general belonged) to the conservative Tories. But the themes of Don Juan center on (among other things) the general conflict of the individual against society and against the demands society makes on all of us to conform, to adopt the mindset of the ruling...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 713 words.)

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