Live Love Laugh

Javanette Rolle
Dr. Wolf
British Literature
December 4, 2008
Essay 2: Live, Love, Laugh
Lord Byron and John Keats were two of the greatest writers of the Romantic period. Their works were inspired by their own life experiences and how they dealt with them. Lord Byron had a relatively normal upbringing, meaning that his family’s health was good and he did not suffer from poverty. John Keats on the other hand, his family suffered from tuberculosis, his mother died from this disease when he was young, and his trust fund was tied up for most of his life. Knowing that he would die young from this disease, John Keats pushed himself to become a great writer very early on to ensure his legacy once he was gone. This allowed both writers to have different outlooks on life and how they believed life should be lived.
Both writers believed that life has mostly terrible experiences however; they differ on how one should live their life in response to these misfortunes. Lord Byron, due to his hardships in life, feelt pessimistic about life and thought negatively about life and mankind. In contrast John Keats, due to his calamity and his being aware of how fleeting life is, allowed him to live his life to the fullest and hold onto every blissful moment. In Lord Byron’s works, “Darkness” and “Manfred”, and in John Keats’ poems, “Ode to a Nightingale”, and Ode on a Grecian Urn, they suggest what they thought was the ideal way to live one’s life.
In “Manfred”, Lord Byron tells the story of a man named Manfred who lives a miserable life because he was in love with a girl by the name of Astarte who killed herself and he feels responsible. Much like the author of this work, Manfred has lost all hope and sees life as a pessimist. Astarte, Manfred’s cousin, would not reciprocate the feelings he showed her, and when she could not stand to see Manfred in pain anymore she killed herself. He wants to die because of all the grief he feels. This attitude depicts someone who is sorry...