Rewriting the Faust Myth within Romantic Dualism of Existence in Byrons Manfred and Cain

Petru Golban, Patricia Denisa Dita

Abstract

Among the myths revived and rewritten by the romantics Prometheus, Orpheus, Psyche, Apollo, and so on the myth of Faust would provide one of the most congenial ways of textualization of the romantic rise of individualism, in general, and of some of its individual thematic perspectives, such as dualism of existence, escapism, and rebelliousness, in particular. George Gordon, Lord Byrons impressive literary masterpieces, the lyrical plays Manfred and Cain are among those works that contributed to the rise of the romantic hero in English literature by building up one of its particular as well as most interesting versions, which is known as the Byronic hero. Solitary, inadaptable, arrogant, misfit, escapist or rebellious, whatever would be the common features of the many characters that are labelled as Byronic hero, they still reveal certain distinct features and perform various deeds that allow them to be regarded as particular hypostases of the Byronic hero, among which Childe Harold, Manfred, Don Juan, Cain, and others. Among these, Manfred and Cain are at once hypostases of the Byronic hero and Faustian figures making possible the reconstruction of the Faust myth within the new attitudes and the thematic complexity of the Romantic Movement. In this respect, the present study embarks on a critical endeavour to disclose and compare the ways in which the two dramatic works revive and reshape the myth, and make it a vehicle for both romantic and, as we will see, anti-romantic literary expression.

Keywords

myth; literature; comparison; Faust; Goethe; romanticism; Byron; dualism of existence; escapism; rebelliousness

Full Text:

PDF

References

Boyd, J. (1932). Goethes Knowledge of English Literature. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Buckley, J. H. (1974). Season of Youth: The Bildungsroman from Dickens to Golding. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Butler, M. (1981). Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries: English Literature and Its Background 1760-1830. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Calin, V. (1970). Romantismul. Bucuresti: Editura Univers.

Holub, R. C. (1992). Crossing Borders: Reception Theory, Poststructuralism, Deconstruction. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.

Lamont, C. (1996). The Romantic Period. The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature. Ed. P. Rogers. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 274-325.

Murphy, P., and D. Roberts. (2005). Dialectic of Romanticism: A Critique of Modernism. London: Continuum International Publishing.

Richardson, A. (2001). Romanticism and the Science of the Mind. Port Chester: Cambridge University Press.

Rutherford, A. (1961). Byron: A Critical Study. Redwood City: Stanford University Press.

Sanders, A. (1994). The Short Oxford History of English Literature. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Van der Laan, J. M. (2007). Seeking Meaning for Goethes Faust. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.