Romanticism In Lord Byron's 'Fare Thee Well'

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Romanticism was one of the largest literary movements. It is estimated to have taken place during the end of the 18th century into the 19th century. One key characteristic of Romanticism is its emphasis on longing for the ideal romance between the sexes, but it usually ends in disappointment, frustration, and hurt. There is much emphasis on emotions. During class, we have read numerous romantic texts, but the most interesting treatment of romantic love can be seen in Lord Byron’s “Fare Thee Well” and Giacomo Leopardi’s “To Sylvia.” These two poems are prime examples of Romanticism and clearly show the sufferings and ideals one might have during the romantic period.
In Lord Byron’s “Fare Thee Well”, the narrator is reflecting on the life he
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The narrators in both poems are longing for their loved ones and are reflecting on the times spent with them. Also, the narrators go through much pain from being separated from their loved ones. However, there are some major differences. Firstly, Byron’s lover was not dead. She was merely separated from him because of relationship problems, but Giacomo’s lover died from a “hidden illness.” It can be assumed that if Sylvia never died, she and Giacomo would have still been in a loving relationship because he planned for a fruitful future with her. The same cannot be said for Byron, because according to the poem, he had many faults that could have urged his wife to leave him. In the end, both men are left alone and still proclaim undying love. Neither of them can accept the reality that their lovers are gone. Also, in the beginning and ending of “Fare Thee Well,” the narrator seems to be apathetic about his lover’s absence because he repeats the phrase “Fare thee well” as if he is not trying to win her back. In “To Sylvia, there was never a questioning moment about the narrator’s feelings. However, also in this poem, the narrator is angry. He is angry at nature, which is another theme significant to the Romantic period. Nature obstructs his ideal love. Anger is not an emotion that is presented in “Fare Thee Well.” For both poems, the content and message given is very different. For Bryon, he is merely criticizing himself while attempting to save his marriage and for Leopardi, he is questioning the reason why his love had to exist if it was going to be taken away from him so quickly. The mood in “To Sylvia” is sorrowful and melancholy, while the mood in “Fare Thee Well” They both dreamed of futures with their loved ones. For example, Byron wrote, “All my hopes-where’er thou goest-Wither-yet with thee they go,” and Leopardi

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