What is Wrong with Manfred? The Byronic Hero under the Lyotardian Lens

  • Dr. Hiba Meteab
  • Assist. Lect. Sara Faisal
Keywords: Lord Byron, Jean-François Lyotard, Grand Narratives, romanticism, and Byronic hero.


      In Lord Byron's Manfred, the titular character represents a complex character who displays a range of conflicting emotions throughout the entire play. He is portrayed as a proud, arrogant individual who refuses the seeking of any form of help from others, even in his greatest moment of distress. Manfred's obsession with death and the supernatural of higher powers further complicates his personality, making it difficult for the reader to sympathize and empathize with him. The purpose of this paper is to analyze this enigmatic central character, through examining his behavior, personality traits, and psychological tendencies, which can help to identify what is wrong with him and explore the underlying causes that led to his eternal downfall. To aid the aims of the paper, the character of Manfred was best to be inspected through the Lyotardian Lens, where the decline of grand narratives is best explained through the works of the French philosopher, Jean-François Lyotard. Thus, the paper has revealed that there are multiple factors contributing to what is wrong with Manfred, including his pride, guilt, grief, and romantic ideals that set him to reject the constraints of greater narratives of society and religion, which have all played a role in shaping his troubled personality. By understanding these influences, it is possible to gain a deeper appreciation for Lord Byron's portrayal of this complex character.


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How to Cite
Meteab, D. H., & Faisal, A. L. S. (2024). What is Wrong with Manfred? The Byronic Hero under the Lyotardian Lens. Al-Qadisiyah Journal For Humanities Sciences, 27(1), 19 - 32. Retrieved from https://journalart.qu.edu.iq/index.php/QJHS/article/view/829