Lord Byron vs. Don Juan

Once more perusing Slate.com when I stumbled across this gem, Lord Byron’s Great Insight and it brought me back to my British literature course on the Romantic period. The article itself looks exactly like the mini-biographical excerpt from my anthology and only summarizes what is pretty much considered common knowledge for anyone who would ever care to know more about Byron. I have more information scribbled on two pages of an old notebook about his life than what the writer offers to us. But that is by far not the most grievous thing about the article. No, that award goes to the supposition that Byron understood knew what women wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, Lord Byron is one of my favorite poets, just like I enjoy Nietzsche’s philosophy. But that does not stop them from being complete lunatics and incestuous, misogynistic pigs. Lord Byron just knew what women wanted to hear and used it to his advantage. He was a selfish and manipulative scumbag who showed no remorse for his actions. As one of the commentators put it, reviewing Byron’s homosexual pinings and the way it caused him to lash out at his female consorts in an effort to assert his masculinity. Of course, there are also plenty of closeted gay men who don’t resort to the kind of extreme behavior Byron did. We should try to steer clear of generalizations though.

An actual review of what the book provided as a new angle or information on Lord Byron would have actually made sense rather than positing some childish notion based on one man’s promiscuous outings.

Image Credit to Limite Magazine

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