chapter  15
4 Pages

Jeffrey, from his unsigned review, Edinburgh Review

Dated August 1817, issued September 1817, XXVIII, 418–31
WithAndrew Rutherford

'Many thanks', Byron wrote to Murray in a letter of 12 October, 'for the Edinburgh Review which is very kind about Manfred, and defends its originality. The piece is properly entitled a dramatic Poem—for it is merely poetical, and is not at all a drama or play in the modern acceptation of the term. It has no action; no plot—and no characters; Manfred merely muses and suffers from the beginning to the end. His distresses are the same at the opening of the scene and at its closing—and the temper in which they are borne is the same. A hunter and a priest, and some domestics, are indeed introduced; but they have no connexion with the passions or sufferings on which the interest depends; and Manfred is substantially alone throughout the whole piece. The unearthly beings approach nearer to the character of persons of the drama—but still they are but choral accompaniments to the performance.