Chapter

‘As the Last of My Race I Must Wither Away’: The Sixth Lord Byron

Fiona J. Stafford

in The Last of the Race

Published in print June 1994 | ISBN: 9780198112228
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112228.003.0008
‘As the Last of My Race I Must Wither Away’: The Sixth Lord Byron

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This chapter focuses on Scottish writer George Gordon, and Lord Byron's particular attraction to and contribution to the development of the myth of the last of the race. As an Anglo-Scot, Republican aristocrat, cynical idealist, and self-destructive artist, Byron's poetry is fed with oppositions that resulted in expressions of a very contradictory age. The motifs of decay, ruin, and withering are predominant in his works. The belief in a universal Creator became necessary in keeping Byron sane because of his deep-seated fear of loss of origins. Byron's image of himself as Adam, though referring to his social relationships, indicates a possible troublesome situation that is far more universal. The poet's negative outlook eliminated the distinction between beginnings and endings.

Keywords: George Gordon; Lord Byron; race; origins

Chapter.  16800 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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