Inaugural Lecture 21 October 2011 at 7pm in Global Irish Institute Clinton Auditorium, UCD, Belfield Dublin 4
By Professor Roderick Beaton
The new Prometheus: why Byron went to fight in the Greek Revolution
The story of Byron’s death at Mesolonghi on 19 April 1824 is well known.
It ended one ofthe most extraordinary poetic careers in English literature, and added one ofthe best-known names in Europe at the time to the roll-call of foreign Philhellenes who gave their lives for the independence of Greece.
But beyond the legend ofheroic self-sacrifice in a noble cause, there is another story to be told.
What was it, about Byron’s personality, his career as a poet, his political ideas, that brought him to the point of committing his life and his wealth to the cause of Greece?
Was it mere gesture, as some have supposed?
What did Greece really mean for Byron, at the beginning ofthe 1820s?
What did he have to contribute to the struggle?
These are the questions that this lecture addresses.