Byron and Shelley, among the second generation Romantics, empowered their poetry by unleashing a revolutionary spirit regardless of any geographical, cultural, social and political limitation. This revolutionary spirit idealized by the two Romantics gave birth to two mutually exclusive compositions of the mythical insurgent Prometheus in variant literary forms. Shaped by his empirically-grounded understanding of the world and his referential use of language, Byron’s Prometheus is portrayed in his poem Prometheus in the image of a Byronic hero, turning into a symbol for his conception of victorious death. Shelley’s Prometheus emancipated through an empirical transcendence and evocative language in his lyrical drama Prometheus Unbound, on the other hand, is represented as a symbol of selfless love fostering the never-extinguishing passion for reforming the mind and the world. Accordingly, this study intends to explore how Shelley’s Prometheus, empowered with his understanding of ‘selfless love’, transcends Byron’s Prometheus embodying the Byronic idea of ‘victorious death’.
Keywords: Byron, Prometheus, Shelley, Prometheus Unbound, Victorious Death, Selfless Love