Lord Byron is to be regarded as a man, an Englishman, and as a great genius. His good qualities belong chiefly to the man, his bad to the Englishman and the peer, his talent is incommeasurable.
His high rank as an English peer was very injurious to Byron; for every talent is oppressed by the outer world, – how much more, then, when there is such high birth and so great a fortune. A certain middle rank is much more favorable to talent, on which account we find all great artists and poets in the middle classes. Byron’s predilection for the unbounded could not have been nearly so dangerous with more humble birth and smaller means. But as it was, he was able to put every fancy into practice, and this involved him in innumerable scrapes. Besides, how could one of such high rank be inspired with awe and respect by any rank whatsoever? He expressed whatever he felt, and this brought him into ceaseless conflict with the world.
I could not make any use of any man as the representative of the modern poetical era except him, who undoubtedly is to be regarded as the greatest genius of our century. Byron is neither antique nor romantic, but like the present day itself. This was the sort of man I required. Then he suited me on account of his unsatisfied nature and his warlike tendency, which led to his death at Missolonghi.
Lord Byron is only great as a poet; as soon as he reflects, he is a child.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Lord Byron Critical Opinion By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe" https://englishhistory.net/byron/critical-opinion-by-johann-wolfgang-von-goethe/, March 2, 2015