From Consciousness toward Self-Consciousness: The Byronic Hero as the Hegelian Slave

Marziyeh Farivar, Shanthini Pillai, Roohollah R. Sistani, Masoumeh Mehni


This paper attempts to present the journey of the Byronic Hero’s consciousness toward self-consciousness in “The Prisoner of Chillon” and “Mazeppa”. In this regard, Hegel’s uppermost notion about lordship-bondage as stated in “The Phenomenology of Spirit” is applied to these narrative verses while concentrating on the interaction and relationship of the Byronic Hero and the environment. The lordship-bondage notion, emphasizing freedom, dependency and independency, maps the development of one’s consciousness toward self-consciousness in which one acquires knowledge and independency. Lordship-bondage is a reciprocal relationship in which one confronts another being and sets a struggle in order to establish and maintain the superiority and dominance. Hegel’s illustration of lordship-bondage is primarily known as master-slave , comprising three stages of confrontation: recognition and acceptance highlighted within the three phases of thesis, anti-thesis, and synthesis. As these terms merge together, one’s consciousness is observed through them and through interacting with another consciousness to clarify contradictory manifestations of the two people. Hence, the Byronic Hero’s self-consciousness is portrayed to present him as the Hegelian Slave. As an interdisciplinary study, his interaction with the environment is analyzed based on the mentioned framework.

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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