Journal article

Redeemed from the Worm: Manfred’s Celebrity Revenge Tragedy

Clara Tuite

Romantic Circles Praxis | University of Colorado | Published : 2019


This essay considers Manfred, A Dramatic Poem (1817) as a form of revenge tragedy. It takes its cues from the text’s Hamlet epigraph, and from that primal text of Byronic hero-formation, Edward Young’s The Revenge (1721), whose avenger, Zanga, Byron performed at Harrow. In the wake of the separation of April 1816, and inspired by the recent memory of the 1815 London theatre season in which Edmund Kean and John Philip Kemble played Zanga, Byron returned to this ur-text of revenge, I argue, as he started work on Manfred in September 1816. Through the figure of Manfred the magician, the drama allegorizes Byron’s authorial agency as that fraught and intriguing form of social magic, power and int..

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University of Melbourne Researchers