Byron (film)

2003 BBC drama directed by Julian Farino

Byron is a British television film based on the adult life of English poet Lord Byron. Written by Nick Dear and directed by Julian Farino, it features Jonny Lee Miller in the title role alongside Vanessa Redgrave who portrays Lady Melbourne. It was first aired by the BBC in two 75-minute parts in September 2003.

I have told you before—perverted.

Lord ByronEdit

  • Well I got a wife and a cold on the same day; I got rid of the cold pretty speedily.

DialogueEdit

The Summer of a DormhouseEdit

 
For a man to become a poet, he must be in love... ​or miserable.
 
I know that two and two make four, and should be glad to prove it if I could; though I must say, if I could get them to make five, it would give me much great pleasure.
 
Captain Hobhouse: You do a great deal worse; she's a most presentable young person. Lord Byron: But too silent. I like a woman to talk, or I am left with the suspicion that she is thinking.
 
I really am not interested in women who can read!
 
Hope? What's Hope? the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of Truth rubs it off; and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we've got a hold of.
Lord Byron: [To some ladies] I assure you, I have seen mankind in various countries, and I find them all equally despicable. If anything, the ballance is slightly in favour of the Turks.
One lady: But they're not Christian!
Lord Byron: Oh dear.

Lord Byron: [To some ladies] I will have nothing to do with your immortality! Are we not miserable enough in this life without the absurdity of speculating upon another? Besides, if we are meant to live forever, why do we bother to die at all?
Miss Milbanke: Then are you a platonist, Lord Byron?
Lord Byron: I am nothing at all.
One lady: You must be something!
Lord Byron: Just a poor poet.
Another lady: And how did you learn to be that?
Lord Byron: For a man to become a poet, he must be in love... [the ladies contemplate] or miserable.

Lord Byron: [After a little friendly conversation over dinner] My dear Lady Melbourne, were there fewer years between us,—
Lady Melbourne: Were there fewer years between us, dinner would have ended long ago!

Miss Milbanke: [After a very brief interaction] Are you keen on mathematics, by any chance?
Lord Byron: I am content to admire them at an incomprehensible distance. I know that two and two make four, and should be glad to prove it if I could; though I must say, if I could get them to make five, it would give me much great pleasure.
Miss Milbanke: Why ever would you wish to do that?
Lord Byron: I have told you before, Miss Milbanke—perverted.

[See previous quotation for context]
Lord Byron: Hobby, would you mind spending Christmas in Cambridge?
Captain Hobhouse: Cambridge!
Lord Byron: You've no objection, have you?
Captain Hobhouse: But they expect us at Seaham House! (the house of the Milbankes)
Lord Byron: Well the "Princess of Parallelograms" can square some roots while she waits!

Captain Hobhouse: [Of Miss Milbanke] You do a great deal worse; she's a most presentable young person.
Lord Byron: But too silent. I like a woman to talk, or I am left with the suspicion that she is thinking.

[Loading a carriage with Byron's belongings]
Anne Rood: [Holding some luggage] Can we find somewhere for this?
Fletcher: Why! you're coming too, are you?
Anne Rood: 'Course!
Fletcher: So what's your name?
Anne Rood: Anne Rood.
Fletcher: Rude by name and rude by nature!

Lord Byron: [On a carriage, just after getting married] We ought never to have married.
Lady Byron (née Milbanke): Why?
Lord Byron: Because I am evil. I have done evil. [Singing loudly] Tambourghi... [Screaming] tambourghi!!!
[Later]
Lady Byron: What did you mean when you said you had done evil?
Lord Byron: Nothing, I was bored.
Lady Byron: We are all sinners in the eyes of the Lord. Our daily task is to atone.
Lord Byron: Shall we go down to dinner?
Lady Byron: You see, there are degrees of evil. Some would say it was bad, for example, to eat meat on Friday, whereas others—
Lord Byron: Look, it was merely a casual remark.
Lady Byron: But what did you mean by it?
Lord Byron: Don't you ever say things off-the-cuff, for no particular reason?
Lady Byron: Mama has taught me that I should first think, and not act until I have considered the consequences of my actions.
Lord Byron: Well I favor acting first and hoping that the consequences fall within my budget.

The Eloquence of ActionEdit

Lady Byron: Mama will hear this news.
Lord Byron: [Mockingly] No doubt, the heavenly hosts have contacted her already.
Lady Byron: Have this ability not to mock the pious.
Lord Byron: Your mother is about as pious as a boiled egg.

Lord Byron: [Seeing his illiterate Italian courtesan Margherita squinting her eyes before a piece of paper] What are you doing?
Margherita: Is the story of the life, see?
Lord Byron: You told me you could not read!
Margherita: I try! I take lessons.
Lord Byron: Lessons!
Margherita: Sì! Then I read Lord Byron!
Lord Byron: [Angrily, snatching the paper from her hands] Margherita, I think it is time for you to go.
Margherita: No! Why?
Lord Byron: I really am not interested in women who can read! Please, our time is over, thank you very much, I enjoyed it; but you've become quite ungouvernable. So adieu!
Margherita: [Taking a knife from Byron's nearby desk] I kill you!
[Margherita threatens him by approaching suddenly and aggressively with the knife]
Lord Byron: [Calling very loudly] Fletcher!!! [Calmly] Breakfast, please, Fletcher. Eggs, I think.

Lord Byron: [Reading a letter about his work Don Juan] "A feast of indelicacy; too bawdy for publication." It may be bawdy, but is it not good English? [Louder] It may be profligate, but is it not life, is it not the thing?
Shelley: From Murray?
Lord Byron: No, from Junior Minister Hobhouse!...
Shelley: Don't give way to them.
Lord Byron: [Furiously] I will not give way to all the cant of Christendom! I will not submit Don Juan to be cut about—Christ! England is decrepit, Europe is decrepit, a worn out portion of the globe!
Shelley: I don't know, there is Greece.
Mary: Voracious fighting in Greece.
Lord Byron: Well well. Who would have thought Greeks could be heroes again!
Shelley: This is not lyric poetry, this is politics and battle.
Lord Byron: And it'll all amount to nothing as usual.
Mary: Why would it come to nothing?
Lord Byron: Because the forces of reaction are too strong!
Shelley: For God's sake, George, you must have hope!
Lord Byron: Hope? What's Hope? the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of Truth rubs it off; and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we've got a hold of.

Mary: Don't go to Greece.
Lord Byron: Why not?
Mary: 'Cause I've heard what it's like.
Lord Byron: Oh? What's it like?
Mary: When Tripolis fell, the Greeks butchered three thousand civilians; pregnant women were ripped open; their babes hacked out; their heads struck off and placed on the bodies of dogs. And this is the side we're supporting? It's barbaric.
Lord Byron: Mary, I've done nothing with my life except luxuriate. Even if it is barbaric, I must for God's sake do something.

External linksEdit

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