I had always had a deep and reverent compassion for the sufferings of the "prisoner of Chillon
," whose story Byron had told in such moving verse; so I took the steamer and made pilgrimage to the dungeons of the Castle of Chillon, to see the place where poor Bonnivard endured his dreary captivity three hundred years ago.
However much we may discount his sacrifice of his life in the cause of a foreign people, his love of political freedom and his hatred of tyranny were thoroughly and passionately sincere, as is repeatedly evident in such poems as the sonnet on 'Chillon,' 'The Prisoner of Chillon
,' and the 'Ode on Venice.' On the other hand his violent contempt for social and religious hypocrisy had as much of personal bitterness as of disinterested principle; and his persistent quest of notoriety, the absence of moderation in his attacks on religious and moral standards, his lack of self-control, and his indulgence in all the vices of the worser part of the titled and wealthy class require no comment.
Britain has had a long-running affair with Lake Geneva since Lord Byron penned his poem The Prisoner of Chillon
after visiting the Chateau de Chillon, a castle on the shore.
Switzerland's Chateau de Chillon inspired which poet to write The Prisoner of Chillon
There is an especially large number of recalls of Wordsworth, for instance, in the poems written in the summer of 1816, the same summer he knocked the Lady out, poems published together in the volume called The Prisoner of Chillon
and Other Poems.
Lord Byron wrote the poem The Prisoner Of Chillon
(1816) about Franois de Bonivard, a Genevois monk and politician who was imprisoned there from 1530 to 1536.
251: "almost I / Regained my freedom with a sigh"--Byron, "The Prisoner of Chillon
He was eventually set free when the Bernese arrived - an event that inspired Lord Byron to write his romantic poem The Prisoner Of Chillon
His argument is never falsely generalizing: he pays attention, for example, to the desire in Byron's writing to be free of history (as in the paradoxes of Childe Harold's fascination with places of historical fame), or to question the parameters of introspective place (discussed through readings of The Prisoner of Chillon
, Manfred, and The Lament of Tasso).
A few days after visiting the castle, Byron completed "The Prisoner of Chillon
," which Andrew Rutherford has described as "the best of Byron's verse tales, and indeed the best of all his non-satiric works," and the poem was published in December of the same year.
Because of its beauty and the many legends associated with its former inhabitants, it has been used as the setting for stories and poems including 'The Prisoner of Chillon
' by Lord Byron, and scenes from 'Nouvelle Helois'e by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
To him the compositions reflect" the individual ruined by the state or institution, whose inexorable power is symbolized by oppressive architecture--an issue not without echoes in Delacroix's own career and in that of the patron of both the Dominican Convent and the Prisoner of Chillon
, the young duc d'Orleans" (134).