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Analysis Of "She Walks In Beauty"

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Analysis of Byron's "She Walks in Beauty"

Lord George Gordon Byron was most notorious for his love affairs within his family and with Mediterranean boys. Since he had problems such as incest and homosexuality, he did not mind writing about his love for his cousin in "She Walks in Beauty". Byron wrote the poem after he left his wife and England forever. Byron made his own trend of personality, the idea of the 'Byronic Hero'. "Byron's influence on European poetry, music, novels, operas, and paintings have been immense, although the poet was widely condemned on moral grounds by his contemporaries" (Dick, 54). Overall, the study focuses on the life of Lord George Gordon Byron, imagery, and about the lyrics of "She Walks in Beauty".

Lord Byron was an English Romantic poet and satirist whose poetry and personality captured the imagination of Europe. As his name would show, Byron was born into a noble English family. He lived the life as a beggar, and a proud and snobbish genius focused only to his own passions. He was born with a deformity of one foot, which left him with a life long limp. However, he grew up to be a dark, handsome man, and women loved him, and he loved women. "His sexual exploits are legend" (Blair, 2). Byron spent most of his adult life in England, making his first trip in 1809 with his school friend, John Hobhouse. Hobhouse returned to England leaving Byron to go on to Greece

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by himself. Byron tried to settle down into a regular life. He even went to the point of

getting married, but it did not work out very well. By 1821, Byron was living in Italy

where he was a part of a romantic literary circle. Byron was to get himself caught up with

the war between the Greeks and the Turks. In 1824, Byron left to go to Greece. Shortly, at the age of thirty-six Byron died of fever in Missolonghi, Greece.

Lord Byron was a man whose passion for life seem incomparable to any of the other Romantic poets. Byron's personal character could be seen in his literature just as in his life. Lord Byron's most notable contribution to literature was Byronic Hero. "It possessed many qualities which Lord Byron himself displayed in day to day life" (Doherty 86). Whether in search of women or adventure, the life of Lord Byron and his Byronic Hero have many similarities. The way that Lord Byron wanted pleasure for himself in his own way was another way he was like his literary characters. "This attitude of self-reliance is a distinguishing characteristic of both Lord Byron and his literary figures" (Parker, 88).

"She Walks in Beauty" starts off from a traditional picture of a lady as fair and bright. It links with the brightness of daylight, in its comparison of the mistress to the night. "The distinctive quality of the poem derives not from any departure from the norm but from a graceful elaboration of the conventions of compliment" (Seifter, 82). Avoiding unoriginal or obvious similies, Byron uses metaphors which expresses the idea of a quiet and slight glow. "The mistress like the night/ Of cloudless climes and starry skies" (ll 1-2), not pitch dark but glimmering with a diffused light" (Seifter, 82). She is like a portrait in "chiaroscuro", her face is copied through an interaction of light and shadow.

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Her hazy beauty makes daylight seem bright. "Imagery drawn from painting continues as

a poet discusses the shades, rays, and tints that compose the mistress's particular

radiance" (Seifter, 82). The flowing lines, rhymes, and imagery of light and dark give the

impression of elegant and simple compliment.

The poem starts off brilliantly.

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