Bryon\'s "Childe Harold\'s Pilgrimage": The Byronic Hero


Boozer
English
11/4/95

In Byron\'s poem, "Childe Harold\'s Pilgrimage" the main character is
portrayed as a dark brooding man, who doesn\'t like society and wants to escape
from the world because of his discontent with it. Through the poem we see the
strong resemblance the Byronic hero has to many of todays popular characters,
such as Batman.
In the third stanza of the poem we learn that Childe Harold is the product
of a long line of nobility. “Childe Harold, was he hight-but whence his name
and lineage long.” Bruce Wayne who is Batman is too the product of an extremely
wealthy family. As with Bruce Wayne, Childe Harold is bothered by his
family ties. “But one sad lose ruins the name for ay.” This line shows that
Childe Harold is upset with the reputation that he has inherited from his family.
Just as Bruce Wayne d ‹oes Childe Harold strives to break this mold and
become someone who isn\'t associated with the likes of his ancestors. In Childe
Harold\'s case he breaks this mold by running away from his father\'s castle and
exploring nature. Bruce Wayne on the other hand invents himself a new identity
that differs in every way from the preset mold into which he was born.
In the fourth stanza Harold tells us that Childe Harold is unhappy and
upset with the society around him. “Then loathed he in his native land to dwell,
which seemed to him more lone than Eremite\'s sad cell.” Childe Harold is
extremely miserable with the societyin which he is forced to live. He feels so
isolated that he compares his life to that of a hermit\'s. Stanza ten reads “If
he had friends, he bade adieu to none.” This proves that Childe Harold did not
have many friends, and if he did their friendship was not highly valued. Bruce
Wayne too comes across as an extremely depressed and alone individual. He has n
◊o friends in the films, except for Alfred his butler. Both characters share
the same feeling of disassociation. Neither has the desire to associate with
others than themselves.
There is a woman in the lives of Childe Harold\'s life and Bruce Wayne. “
Had sighed to many but though he loved but one, and that loved one, alas could
ne\'er be his.” This woman as explained in the passage is the only woman that
Childe Harold will think about. Although he has had the chance for many others
one woman will always win his affection. The one problem with this love is that
the woman for whom he strives can never be his. In Bruce Wayne\'s case Michelle
Pheifer is the woman whom he loves. Although he would do anything for her she
never seems to show a great interest toward him. Every time he seems to have
the chance to win her over something intervenes, and his chance is taken away.

Out of his disgust and discontent with society Childe Harold leaves to find
another way of ˇ life. “And e\'en for change of scene would seek the shades
below. The Childe departed from his father\'s hall.” He flees the society and
place in which he lives to seek something better in nature. Bruce Wayne as well
leaves the protection of his extravagant life to become something other than
himself. Both these characters escape in hope to find something more fulfilling
and interesting than the society that they are forced to live. Although this is
a good reason for leaving both men have a secret past that they care not to
share with others. This past may be the reason for their discontent and unrest.
We are told of Childe Harold\'s secretive past in stanza eight. “Often
times in his maddest mirthful mood strange pangs would flash along Childe
Harold\'s brow, as if the memory of some deadly feud or disappointed passion
lurked below.” Childe Harold does indeed have a dark past. Although the
nature of his past is never directly stated, it seems to have something to do
with his family. Bruce Wayne ųsuffers from the same affliction. His past is
haunted by the murder of his parents when he was young. His dark past is what
caused him to take on the alternate life. In this alternate life he is able to
fight against villains similar to the ones who killed his parents.
In contrast to both Childe Harold\'s and Bruce Wayne\'s passion for the
unknown, we see in both