Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s pilgrimage

Topic: EnvironmentNatural Disasters
Sample donated:
Last updated: December 3, 2020

Throughout this extract from Lord Byron’s “Childe Harolds Pilgrimage”, Byron emphasizes on the harm done by his fellow man to the earth. Throughout the poem Byron expresses thoughts and feelings such as reflectivity, accusation, power, anger and sinicism. Byron uses techniques such as personification, diction, imagery and shifting tones to accentuate the importance of earth to human beings.The first stanza maintains a reflective, meditative tone. This is shown through lines such as “I love not man the less, but nature more” (this line is also one of the techniques Byron uses to develop a relation between himself, nature and man – kind) and “what I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal”. The reflective, meditative tone is also revealed through the use of words such as “pleasure”, “lonely”, “interviews” and “express”. Byron also uses personification when referring to the “universe”, he claims that it can be “mingled” with, this also helps the reader to appreciate the meditative tone.

The second stanza preserves an accusatory, powerful, angry, reproachful tone. The accusatory, reproachful tone is revealed through the line “man marks the earth with ruin”, however the powerful and angry tone is revealed through the line “roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean – roll!” the anger is emphasized on through the use of an exclamation mark at the end of the line. Byron uses imagery ( a simile to be more specific) in the line “like a drop of rain” to compare a shadow of man’s ravage to a rain drop, this gives the effect that the reader becomes conscious of what man has done to earth.

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In the final stanza the tone is uncovered to be cynical, pessimistic and sarcastic, as shown in lines “the vile strength he wields for earth’s destruction thou dost all despise” and “his petty hope in some near port or bay”. The sarcasm in this extract is revealed in the last line, it is almost as if Byron is condemning man to an eternity of punishment as result of man’s actions.The fact that this extract was written in the year 1815 clarifies the use of such language.

Byron’s choice of diction helps the reader to apprehend the tone and mood of each stanza. For example as mentioned before the reflective, meditative tone in the first stanza is revealed through Byron’s choice of words such as “pleasure”, “lonely”, “interviews” and “express”.In conclusion, I strongly believe that Byron was extremely successful in using techniques such as personification, diction, imagery and shifting tones to help the reader comprehend the harm that man-kind has done to earth and to nature.

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