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[Edit] Structure

The poem has four cantos written in Spenserian stanzas, which consist of eight iambic pentameter lines followed by one alexandrine (a twelve syllable iambic line), and has rhyme pattern ABABBCBCC.

[Edit] Interpretations

Childe Harold became a vehicle for Byron's own beliefs and ideas; indeed in the preface to canto four Byron acknowledges that there is little or no difference between author and protagonist. According to Jerome McGann, by masking himself behind a literary artifice, Byron was able to express his view that "man's greatest tragedy is that he can conceive of a perfection which he cannot attain".[

22. Don Juan (  /dɒn ˈdʒuːən/) is a satiric poem[1] by Lord Byron, based on the legend of Don Juan, which Byron reverses, portraying Juan not as a womanizer but as someone easily seduced by women. It is a variation on the epic form. Byron himself called it an "Epic Satire" (Don Juan, c. xiv, st. 99). Modern critics generally consider it Byron's masterpiece, with a total of over sixteen thousand individual lines of verse. Byron completed 16 cantos, leaving an unfinished 17th canto before his death in 1824. Byron claimed he had no ideas in his mind as to what would happen in subsequent cantos as he wrote his work.

When the first two cantos were published anonymously in 1819, the poem was criticized for its 'immoral content', though it was also immensely popular.

Byron was a rapid as well as a voluminous writer. Nevertheless, the composition of his great poem, Don Juan, was coextensive with a major part of his poetical life. He began the first canto of Don Juan in the autumn of 1818, and he was still at work on a seventeenth canto in the spring of 1823. The poem was issued in parts, with intervals of unequal duration. Interruptions in the composition and publication of Don Juan were due to the disapproval and discouragement of friends as well as the publisher's hesitation and procrastination. Canto I. was written in September 1818; Canto II. in December–January, 1818-1819. Both were published on 15 July 1819. Cantos III. and IV. were written in the winter of 1819-1820; Canto V., after an interval of nine months, in October–November 1820, but the publication of Cantos III., IV., V. was delayed till 8 August 1821. In June 1822, Byron began to work at a sixth, and by the end of March, 1823, he had completed a sixteenth canto. But the publication of these later cantos, which had been declined by John Murray, and was finally entrusted to John Hunt, was spread over a period of several months. Cantos VI., VII., VIII., with a Preface, were published on 15 July; Cantos IX., X., XI on 29 August; Cantos XII., XIII., XIV., on 17 December 1823; Cantos XV., XVI. on 26 March 1824. It has been said that the character of Donna Inez (Don Juan's mother) was a thinly veiled portrait of Byron's own wife, Annabella Milbanke (daughter of Sir Ralph Milbanke).

The poem is in eight line iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme ab ab ab cc - often the last rhyming couplet is used for a humor comic line or humorous bathos. There are mostly 10 syllables per line, aside from the rhyming couplet that closes each stanza, these are composed in mostly iambic hexameter, with 12 syllables per line. The rhyme scheme of each stanza is known as ottava rima. In Italian, because of the common rhymed endings, the effect of ottava rima is often highly comedic or highly tragic. Because of its few rhymed endings, the effect of ottava rima in English is often comic, and Byron chose it for this reason

23. Burns, sometimes known as the 'ploughman poet', was the eldest son of a poverty-stricken farmer. Though his father had moved to Ayrshire, where Burns was born, in order to attempt to improve his fortunes, he eventually died as a bankrupt - after taking on first one farm and then, unsuccessful, moving to another - in 1784. Robert, who had been to school since the age of six, and was also educated at home by a teacher, had, by the age of fifteen, already become the farm's chief labourer. He had also acquired a reading knowledge of French and Latin and had read Shakespeare, Dryden, Milton and the Bible. After his father's death, he and his brother continued farming together, working now at Mossigiel. The poverty of Burns' early life, though far from being overcome, had produced in him a supporter of the French Revolution and a rebel against both Calvinism and the social order of his time. His rebellious nature soon became evident in his acts. Burns' first illegitimate child was borne to him by Elizabeth Paton in 1785. Two sets of twins later followed, and various amorous intrigues, from Jean Amour, whom he afterward married. It was also during this period that Burns' first achieved literary success. Though he had thought of emigration to Jamaica as a possible way to avoid his mounting problems, he published his Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect on July 31 1786 at Kilmarnock. This volume contained, among others, 'The Cotter's Saturday Night', 'To a Mouse', 'To a Mountain Daisy' and 'The Holy Fair', all of which were written at Mossigiel. The volume brought him immediate success. After 1787 Burns, married in 1788 and having moved to Ellisland with his bride, worked chiefly for James Johnson, whom he met in Edinburgh, and, later, for George Thomson. It was for these men that Burns compiled and added to the two great compilations of Scottish songs: Thomson's Scott's Musical Museum and Johnson's Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice. Alongside this work, which Burns did on an unpaid basis, he also worked, from 1791 onward, as an Excise Officer. This allowed him to give up farming and move to the Dumfries. He died from rheumatic fever just five years later, having also published, again in 1791, his last major work, a narrative poem entitled 'Tom O'Shanter'. Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard)[1][2] was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a "light" Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the 'Greatest Scot' by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and Scots Wha Hae served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well-known across the world today include A Red, Red Rose; A Man's A Man for A' That; To a Louse; To a Mouse; The Battle of Sherramuir; Tam o' Shanter, and Ae Fond Kiss.

Burns' style is marked by spontaneity, directness and sincerity, and ranges from the tender intensity of some of his lyrics through the rollicking humour and blazing wit of Tam o' Shanter and the blistering satire of Holy Willie's Prayer and The Holy Fair.

Burns' poetry drew upon a substantial familiarity with and knowledge of Classical, Biblical, and English literature, as well as the Scottish Makar tradition.[21] Burns was skilled in writing not only in the Scots language but also in the Scottish English dialect of the English language. Some of his works, such as Love and Liberty (also known as The Jolly Beggars), are written in both Scots and English for various effects.[22]

His themes included republicanism (he lived during the French Revolutionary period) and Radicalism which he expressed covertly in Scots Wha Hae, Scottish patriotism, anticlericalism, class inequalities, gender roles, commentary on the Scottish Kirk of his time, Scottish cultural identity, poverty, sexuality, and the beneficial aspects of popular socialising (carousing, Scotch whisky, folk songs, and so forth).[23]

The strong emotional highs and lows associated with many of Burns' poems have led some, such as Burns biographer Robert Crawford,[24] to suggest that he suffered from manic depression— a hypothesis that has been supported by analysis of various samples of his handwriting. Burns himself referred to suffering from episodes of what he called "blue devilism". However, the National Trust for Scotland has downplayed the suggestion on the grounds that evidence is insufficient to support the claim.[25] While Burns's life was troubled and his character was flawed in many ways, he fought at tremendous odds. As Thomas Carlyle puts it in his Essay:

24. Born in College Wynd[2] in the Old Town of Edinburgh in 1771, the son of a solicitor, Scott survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that left him lame.[3] To cure his lameness he was sent in 1773 to live in the rural Borders region at his paternal grandparents' farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home.[4] Here he was taught to read by his aunt Jenny, and learned from her the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends that characterised much of his work. In January 1775 he returned to Edinburgh, and that summer went with his aunt Jenny to take spa treatment at Bath in England, where they lived at 6 South Parade.[5] In the winter of 1776 he went back to Sandyknowe, with another attempt at a water cure at Prestonpans during the following summer.[4]

Scott's home from the age of 4 to 26 in George Square, Edinburgh

In 1778 Scott returned to Edinburgh for private education to prepare him for school, and in October 1779 he began at the Royal High School of Edinburgh. He was now well able to walk and explore the city and the surrounding countryside. His reading included chivalric romances, poems, history and travel books. He was given private tuition by James Mitchell in arithmetic and writing, and learned from him the history of the Kirk with emphasis on the Covenanters. After finishing school he was sent to stay for six months with his aunt Jenny in Kelso, attending the local grammar school where he met James and John Ballantyne who later became his business partners and printed his books.[

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time.

Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime,[1] with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

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