Byron's Nature pp 155-202 | Cite as

Metaphysical Plays of Domination and Freedom

  • J. Andrew Hubbell


The metaphysical plays allow Byron a chance to stage the dominant epistemology of hierarchical dualism and speculate about its psychosocial effects. Manfred, Cain, and Japhet all occupy worlds that have been structured by dualism. Manfred and Cain have both internalized dualistic epistemology which teaches them to despise their “mixed essence” of mind-body. Through the course of their dramas, both protagonists come to understand the power of human vulnerability and value the shared fragility that connects them to the earth. In contrast, Japhet already understands how shared fragility unites all living creatures in co-creating a highly diversified, self-determining world. He becomes the sole witness to God’s ecocide, the Flood, which reorganizes creation in a starkly dualistic hierarchy.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Susquehanna UniversitySelinsgroveUSA

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