Despite the Classical subject and the heroic couplets
, the young Beddoes' macabre fascinations shine through--had the subject of the 1821 prize indeed been the Laocoon, it is hard to imagine it being awarded to a work of such untrammelled grisliness.
His target in the Dunciad is his era's epidemic of bad writing - here, wrong-headed metaphors - and he doesn't just describe them, he writes them; yet simultaneously he can't help but produce heroic couplets
of supernal elegance.
The sheer weirdness of this pirate tale's heroic couplets
makes sense in the context of Byron's contestation of this form and its complicity in social forms of heroism, gender roles, and hierarchies of power.
In 1808, Hemans, then Felicia Browne, launched her prodigious writing career with a 622-line occasional poem in heroic couplets
directly responding to the Spanish resistance to Napoleon's invasion of Spain earlier that year.
The poet--who was by no means a simple atheist, but rather a hater oidoxa--has long factored into literary and philosophical considerations of these issues, beginning (after the Renaissance rediscovery of Lucretian ideas) with John Dryden's partial translation into heroic couplets
It contains hundreds of heroic couplets
and hundreds of heroic characters.
Changing forms from free verse to heroic couplets
and other poetic devices as suits the story, She Alone encapsulates its nameless protagonist's struggle to find her own sense of place and identity in a rapidly evolving world.