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Byron's Consciousness of Incestuous Sin in Manfred and Its Symbolical Meaning

Authors
Publisher
広島大学総合科学部
Keywords
  • Ndc:930
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

13_123.pdf Byron's Consciousness of Incestuous Sin in Manfred and Its Symbolical Meaning "« Byron's Consciousness of Incestuous Sin in Manfred and Its Symbolical Meaning Mitsuhiro TAHARA I It was in 1905, one year after the publication of the definitive edition of Byron's poetical works, that Earl of Lovelace, Byron's own grandson, reopened "the Byron Mystery" 'and charged Byron by publishing his revelatory book. In the book Byron's incest with his half-sister Augusta was malignantly unveiled by the use of documentary evidence consisting mainly of letters. Significantly the Earl of Lovelace entitled the book Astarie, which is the name of the dead lady who was loved legitimately or illegitimately by Man fred in Manfred. The reason he used Astarte as the title of his book is, needless to say, that he wanted to symbolically disclose Byron's sinful relationship with Augusta by referring to Manfred's with Astarte. But he is not the first to note this aspect as even in Byron's own time some critics perceived and censured the allusions to an incestuous passion between Manfred and Astarte. 2 Before discussing the problem, we need to survey Byron's cir- cumstances during the production of Manfred and his motives for writing it. During his stay in Switzerland from 25 May 1816 to 6 October 1816 after self-exile from England, Byron wrote some remarkable poems, such 2 24 Mitsuhiro TAHARA as Childe Harold's Pilgrimage III, The Prisoner of Chillon, The Dream, Monody on the Death of the Right Hon. R. B. Sheridan, 'Darkness' and Man- fred. The composition of the first two acts of Manfred, according to Ernest Hartley Coleridge, 3seems to belong to the tour in Bernese Alps (September 17-29) or to the last days at the Campagne Diodati (September 30 to October 5). The original third act was written in Venice. While the first two acts were highly praised by William Gifford, the chief editor of the Quarterly Review, the third act was severely criticized by him for con- taining maliciously sa

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