Perspective: Literary and Comparative Analysis on Manfred
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Perspective: Literary and Comparative Analysis on Manfred

Poems are words that hold a deep meaning within our hearts as they depict the ideologies of mankind.

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Perspective: Literary and Comparative Analysis on Manfred

Manfred, a poem by Lord Byron, is ultimately an argument that favors the view that knowledge and new information are dangerous. Although circular arguments veil this viewpoint, the reader understands Byron's meaning when they read the poem metaphors in light of the final line. Byron's argument connects with a similar principle of dystopian societies.


Manfred presents the dangerous property of knowledge through how it brings grief to the one who gains this knowledge. The phrase, "But grief should be the instructor of the wise," portrays how Byron believes wisdom also comes with grief, which is a negative emotion linking to sorrow which can harmful effects on the mind and body of the victim. This phrase means that knowledge harms the one who receives it. One example to connect with is from Lois Lowry's The Giver; which is a dystopian novel which at first appears as a utopia. Jonas, the trainee as the receiver of memory, learns from the Giver how Jonas's father has recklessly killed many children considered weak by the Community, which in turn makes Jonas want to escape with the Giver. The Giver doesn't leave because the memories will return to the people, and they will destroy themselves. Both Jonas and the Giver bear the burden for the Community; these examples show how knowledge (in their case memories) is dangerous because it brings pain to the receiver.


Lord Byron also displays the "dangerous" property of knowledge through the circular arguments which veil the point when the reader sees them with consideration of the final line. A Phrase such as, "Sorrow is Knowledge: they who know the most must mourn," can also mean that "knowledge is sorrow: they who mourn must know the most." Sorrow is knowledge is similar to the invertible phrases in George Orwell's 1984 such as "War is Peace", or "Freedom is Slavery". Such Orwellian language from the dystopian novel presents how knowledge about the Party is dangerous. The Party tortures Winston and Julia to hate each other after they learn of the Party's schemes. Reversible phrases (such as sorrow is knowledge) bring up debate about what the author's meaning is, in this case, Bryon's meaning, and explains why some people think Byron is saying that people gain knowledge through loss, pain, and suffering. However, the last line of the poem, which states, "The Tree of Knowledge is not the Tree of Life," presents a biblical idea that the Tree of Knowledge is also the Tree of Death. This biblical passage in Genesis shows how knowledge is dangerous; this summarizes Manfred's passage.


Manfred by Lord Byron presents the case where knowledge is considered dangerous. Byron explains how wisdom also comes along with grief, like in the case with Jonas from The Giver. Byron also presents the connection between suffering and knowledge through circular arguments and uses similar language to Orwellian in the book, 1984, and ends the case with a biblical reference.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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