The Individual Conflict in Lord Byron: Anthropological Reading

  •  Norah Alsaeed    


This paper sheds light on the individual conflict in Lord Byron’s Don Juan in an anthropological cultural context. Despite some weakness in structure and form, and despite much mockery, seduction traits, Don Juan is a vast creation in its theme. Always self-conscious of his literary standing, Byron did not neglect to include literary and cultural criticism in this comedic epic. That is to say it is a satirical work in a comic style; it introduces the image of the present state of citizen. Hence it is so difficult to discuss the varied topics in Byron’s Don Juan; this paper will concentrate on the image of citizen in the poem. The individual in Lord Byron’s Don Juan must practice national identities, where practices of admittance and segregation can form and sustain boundaries and national character. It helps distinguish between homes and away, the uncertain or certain. It often involves the demonization and dehumanization of groups, which further justifies attempts to civilize and exploit these ‘inferior’ others. In this paper I try to shed some light on something that can almost never be expressed in words. Byron borrowed this truth from the epics of Virgil and Homer; the satire of François Marie Voltaire, Miguel de Cervantes, Alexander Pope, and Jonathan Swift; and the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett, Henry Fielding, and Laurence Sterne. The result is a work satiric in tone, epic in scope, and harshly realistic in its portrayal of personal and national awareness.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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