バイロンのリベラリズム : ラダイト運動をめぐる葛藤を中心に
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Byron's Liberalism and his Conflict about Ludditism
This paper seeks to elucidate Byron's oscillations in his political liberalism and then show how deeply it was influenced by his trauma concerning his innate clubfoot by reference to his letters and journals, parliamentary speech and poetry.
In his first parliamentary speech at the age of 24 of the three in the House of Lords, Byron tried to vindicate the workmen of the Luddite movement against the Frame-work Bill, which was planned to impose capital punishment on the workmen who broke the machines of the factories for fear of their unemployment. It is true that his speech was sensational in the House of Lords in its progressiveness and was warmly supported by the members of the House of Commons. But, when examined carefully, Byron's progressive speech tells us of his discreet attention to the Establishment sticking to the ideal of noblesse oblige. This point can be more clearly reinforced by his deliberate words in his letter to Lord Holland just two days before his first parliamentary speech. It is possible to say that this political ambivalence can be found throughout his life.
Byron's political standpoint recurred to the Whig tradition as an English noble in Italy, although his liberalism became rather radical towards the English Establishment beyond the limits of the Whig tradition for a few years after driven out from England due to his scandal. In about 1819 he began to express in his letters to his friends in England his strictures on the radical reformers such as Orator Hunt and William Cobbett. It may be partly because of lack of his immediate knowledge of the transforming political and social situation of England particularly since the end of the Napoleonic Wars. In other words, Byron became more and more conservative about the political situation in England and felt it more and more difficult to find the cause of his liberalism there as the polarization between the working class and the ruling class became deeper and deeper with the lapse of time. On the other hand, he more and more willingly pursued the cause of fighting Austrian oppression and unifying Italy, and of devoting himself to Greek independence from Turkey.
広島大学総合科学部紀要. I, 地域文化研究