Lord Byron Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Should knowledge of Byron's private behavior, beliefs, and supposed immorality affect opinions about and readings of his work?

Lord Byron created a notorious persona which was partly the result of his private life and partly to be found in his poetry. Unless you exclude all autobiography on principle, this persona is relevant to understanding his work, particularly as he employs it in the first-person narration of such works as Don Juan.

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write2,802 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The general point about whether an artist’s life should influence appreciation of their work is often debated. There are essentially three answers: yes, no, and sometimes. Only the third of these need concern us here. If you take a general line that the artist’s private life and beliefs should affect our view of the art or that they never should, then presumably that answer will apply on principle to Byron, as it applies to every other artist.

If, however, you believe that the artist’s life is sometimes relevant, what case can be made for Byron? One point is that the Byronic hero is an instantly recognizable...

(The entire section contains 322 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial