Rewriting the Faust Myth within Romantic Dualism of Existence in Byrons Manfred and Cain


  • Petru Golban Namik Kemal University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of English Language and Literature
  • Patricia Denisa Dita Nisantasi University, Department of Foreign Languages, Istanbul



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Among the myths revived and rewritten by the romantics Prometheus, Orpheus, Psyche, Apollo, and so on the myth of Faust would provide one of the most congenial ways of textualization of the romantic rise of individualism, in general, and of some of its individual thematic perspectives, such as dualism of existence, escapism, and rebelliousness, in particular. George Gordon, Lord Byrons impressive literary masterpieces, the lyrical plays Manfred and Cain are among those works that contributed to the rise of the romantic hero in English literature by building up one of its particular as well as most interesting versions, which is known as the Byronic hero. Solitary, inadaptable, arrogant, misfit, escapist or rebellious, whatever would be the common features of the many characters that are labelled as Byronic hero, they still reveal certain distinct features and perform various deeds that allow them to be regarded as particular hypostases of the Byronic hero, among which Childe Harold, Manfred, Don Juan, Cain, and others. Among these, Manfred and Cain are at once hypostases of the Byronic hero and Faustian figures making possible the reconstruction of the Faust myth within the new attitudes and the thematic complexity of the Romantic Movement. In this respect, the present study embarks on a critical endeavour to disclose and compare the ways in which the two dramatic works revive and reshape the myth, and make it a vehicle for both romantic and, as we will see, anti-romantic literary expression.


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How to Cite

Golban, P. and Dita, P. D. (2018) “Rewriting the Faust Myth within Romantic Dualism of Existence in Byrons Manfred and Cain”, Border Crossing. London, UK, 8(1), pp. 200–219. doi: 10.33182/bc.v8i1.587.