What is the course about?
Flamboyant and contradictory, Byron’s exploits enthralled a continent. Self-aggrandising and self-lacerating, utterly of his time while declaring war on Romanticism, few poets equal Byron’s power to entertain while wrestling with intractable existential questions. We shall consider how the vitality and provocations of Byron’s work stimulate insight into our own experience and aspirations.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We shall discuss a representative selection of Byron’s poetry, including extracts from ‘English Bards and Scotch Reviewers’, ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’, ‘Manfred’, ‘Beppo’, ‘The Vision of Judgment’ and ‘Don Juan’. Extracts from relevant letters will be considered alongside the poems.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
-Demonstrate insight into how Byron expressed both personal and archetypal dilemmas in poetry and prose.
-Appreciate the development of Byron’s style in response to the demands of his poetry.
-Identify how Byron’s life and circumstances influenced – and expressed themselves through - his work.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No particular prior knowledge will be assumed, but you will need to feel enthusiastic about the prospect of reading and discussing Byron’s work. You will be interested in listening to – and learning from – the responses of other students to the poetry.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teacher explanation; group discussion.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. You will be provided with photocopies of the texts to be studied. You may find it worthwhile to consult the following editions. However, there is absolutely no requirement to do so.
Byron: Selected Poems, ed. Manning and Wolfson, Penguin 2005.
Byron: Selected Poetry, ed. Jerome McGann, Oxford, 1997.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look for poetry courses in Literature at www.citylit.ac.uk/History, Culture and Writing/Poetry.