The Poem “Manfred” by George Byron Essay
Updated: May 15th, 2020
The question of doom, fate and punishment has always been very topical for people. Living their lives, they had to think about the results of their actions and the way in which they might influence this very world. Moreover, there has always been some force which was believed to control the life of a person and provide rewards and punishment for various people. That is why, the idea of the inevitable doom and fairy divine punishment became very popular among people. Thus, being the important part of human society, literature could not but reflect these ideas. That is why, there are many various works devoted to the question of doom and punishment for people who deserve it.
The poem Manfred by George Byron also revolves around the given issue (“Manfred Dramatic Poem” para. 3). The main character of the story is a bright representative of his own epoch. Manfred lives alone in a lonely land and condemns society. He is not able to accept their sins and limits which are introduced by their ignorance and beliefs. Manfred knows various mysteries of the universe and is able to deal with various elements, however, it does not bring him happiness. Moreover, his past tortures him, introducing suffering and pain. That is why, he calls spirits asking them to bring forgetfulness, “Of that which is within me; read it there/ Ye know it, and I cannot utter it” (Byron 137-138).
Analyzing the image of Manfred, it is vital to admit the fact that Byron adds some personal traits to this character (“Lord Byron (George Gordon)” para. 5). He is isolated and society does not accept him because of his arrogance and knowledge. Manfred obtains the great power, however, at the same time he remains very vulnerable as his loneliness hurts him, he misses Astarte, his beloved one, not being able to forget about their feelings. Reading the poem, a reader understands that there is some guilt which Manfred feels. He is sure that he cankered her. When one of the summoned spirits obtains her image Manfred calls “I cannot speak to her but bid her speak/Forgive me or condemn me” (Byron 474-475).
Thus, till the end of the whole poem, the main character is not able to embrace peace and forget about the guilt. With the help of Manfred and his tortures the author introduces the idea of some divine punishment. Byron shows a reader that a person is not able to forget about his/her fault and punishes himself/herself (Hirst 54). Manfred wants to commit suicide, thus he fails. Nevertheless, it does not help him. Trying to obtain oblivion and get rid of tortures he goes to Arimanus, hoping to get the right solution. However, nothing helps him and at the end of the story Manfred dies, being not able to continue his further existence and enjoying death as it helps to get rid of pain.
With this in mind, it is possible to say that the given poem could be analyzed in terms of the fairness of punishment and inevitability of doom. Manfred is guilty and he is not able to get rid of tortures. Looking for the solution to the existing problem, he realizes the fact that the death is his punishment and it will help him to atone his sins and obtain peace (Martin 87). With this in mind, it is possible to say that the given poem underlines the idea that every person should be responsible for his/her actions (“Lord Byron’s Poems Themes” para. 7).
Byron, George. Manfred. 1817. Web.
Hirst, Wolf. Byron, the Bible, and Religion, London: Associated University Press, 1991. Print.
Lord Byron (George Gordon). n.d. Web.
Lord Byron’s Poems Themes. n.d. Web.
Manfred. Dramatic Poem. n.d. Web.
Martin, Philip. Byron. A poet before his public, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Print.
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