Analysis Of Byron's 'The Corsair'

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Pirates, the outlaws of the sea. If like me, the first idea that comes to mind regarding pirates is a group of raiding and plundering individuals. This is due to today's society glamorizing the pirates as fascinating characters. Historically, not much written information has been left behind. The pirates did not leave ship logs or accounts of plunders, because it could be used to incriminate them. Society today has invented the pirates to fit a romantic mold. Therefore, we grew up thinking of treasure hunts, sea battles, sword fights and plank walkers, when in actuality the pirates of old were loathed by society. During the Golden Age of Piracy, during the 17th and 18th centuries, pirates were regarded as common criminals of the seas…show more content…
Byron’s “The Corsair” introduces the most Byronic of Byron’s heroes: Conrad. He then proceeds to emasculate him and proposes Gulnare, a former sex slave, as an alternative hero. Through Conrad, Gulnare and the entirety of “The Corsair” Byron questions the status quo by using heroic couplets with a social parasite, reversing gender roles, and ignoring conventions. In doing so, it demonstrates the multitude of Byron’s voices ((Aside from the artistic uses of the multiple Byronic personae, they also seem to argue that he was, as believed, bi-polar. At times, his poetry seems less of an argument with others than an internal conversation he was having with himself. A conversation that the reader just happens to overhear. In “The Corsair,” one sees the various Byronic personae fighting for artistic dominance with none seemingly coming to the forefront most…show more content…
((Epitaphs were translated by Byron in the poem “Francesca of Rimini” in lines (25-7), (24), and (9) respectively for Canto I, II, and III.)) The first epigraph clearly foretells that Canto I is to be considered the “happy days,” and highlights the coming doom. The third illustrates finality: there is no going back, but the second is a little less clear. If one takes dim to reference the clarity of Conrad’s desires, the second offers a muddle. What one desires should be clear, but for Conrad and Gulnare, It is not so. These three epitaphs set the emotional charge of the succeeding Canto, but they only do so after a second reading when their connotations are less “dim;” thus, simultaneously spoiling the story for the reader and asserting the creator’s superiority. Byron further manipulates the reader using conventions, especially in the form of verse he uses, but he wholly admits this in his
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