“What is he looking for in the far land?”

“What is he looking for in the far land?”

At first glance, Childe Harold, aimlessly wandering around the world and vainly trying to get rid of his longing for misery, seems to be the best recipient of the lines from the famous Lermontov poem “Parus”, written later “Pilgrimage…” and, undoubtedly, in the footsteps of the English poet – romance:

What is he looking for in the far land,
What he threw in the edge of his own?

But that’s strange: in the title of his work Byron defined the journey of Childe Harold as a “pilgrimage.” Traditionally, “pilgrimage” is understood as the journey of a deeply believing person to holy places. In Byron’s same poem depicts a young man, disillusioned in life, driven by wandering to escape from the homeland, where he can not find the meaning of his existence. It turns out that the author humiliated by putting the opposite meaning into the word “pilgrimage”. If this is so, then only partly: on the Harold’s way, in fact there are shrines, about which the narrator speaks almost with religious trepidation, namely the manifestation of creative genius and military heroism. Such relics are contrasted in the poem of everyday reality, dull and insignificant in peaceful conditions, mutilated by violence in conditions of foreign yoke or Napoleonic wars. In this opposition, the principle of romantic double peace is realized.


“What is he looking for in the far land?”