Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

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A poem by Byron, of which the first two cantos appeared in 1812, Canto III in 1816, and Canto IV in 1818.

The poem describes the travels, experiences, and reflections of a pilgrim who, sated with his past life of sin and pleasure, finds distraction in his travels through Portugal, Spain, the Ionian Islands, and Albania. In Canto III the pilgrim travels to Belgium, the Rhine, the Alps, and the Jura; this section contains Byron's famous evocation of the Battle of Waterloo. In Canto IV the device of the pilgrim is abandoned and the poet speaks directly, in a long meditation on time and history, on Venice, Petrarch and Arqua, Tasso and Ferrara, Boccaccio and Florence, Rome and her great men, ending with a passage on the eternal symbol of the sea. The pilgrim is the first of the truly Byronic heroes in the author's work.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Lord Byron (1788—1824) poet

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