Our assigned viewing for the class, the two-part BBC production Byron (2003) can be found here:
I want to use the Byron biopic to introduce Lord Byron in particular, and the idea of the “Poet-Rockstar” in general. For the generic name of this course’s protagonist, I chose “Poet-Rockstar” rather than “Rockstar-Poet” for a couple of reasons:
1) The first version has the two terms in historical order
2) In “Rockstar-Poet”, the “Rockstar” sounds like an adjective; whereas “Poet-Rockstar” sounds more like…a weird hyphenated noun. Which is what I want it to be!
So we’re looking with a kind of double vision: there is a certain cultural role, once best played by Poets, that is now best played by Rock Stars. That’s our hypothesis. Not every poet, not every rockstar, will fit the role–because not all of them have the same relationship to fame. And the term “poet-rockstar” allows us to think about that role as a tradition: how it develops over time.
The biopic is a “source” for us in two ways: it gives us a portrait of Byron’s life with no major inaccuracies, and it makes an “argument” about what kind of figure Byron was (each of the three films we watch will do this about their respective protagonist).
A question (finally!): how do you think Byron, as he is represented in the movie, feels about the role of poet? When replying, make specific reference to a scene in the movie (the easiest way to do this is to use running time–approximate times will help us all return to a scene–eg: “at 17:00 Byron says he woke up and “found himself famous”…)
You may make a claim of your own, or respond (bringing something new) to a claim made by someone who’s already posted…