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Self Reliance as a Virtue in Manfred

             Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay: "A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages."" One should listen to his or her own self-conscience, and express it freely, not being manipulated by the pressuring society. To be oneself is a virtue to all, excluding those in society who want you to think only what they think. These are the people who need other people to depend on them; those who need attention - the dependent. The self-reliant ones are the independent, the strong, the virtuous; those who do not rely on other people for their own identity. "Envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe if full of good,"" (Emerson). To be self-reliant is to be independent. To speak freely your own individual mind, trust and obey yourself - not others, do as you please, and to not go along with the standards of society. "Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world - (Emerson). You can gain only the best of things from being yourself. .
             Manfred does as he pleases, and does not conform to the standards of society. He attempts his suicide on the Mountain of Jungfrau by jumping from the cliff. He does what he wants, but in this scene, has been stopped forcefully by the Chamois Hunter before he has the chance to. In the normal society, suicide would not be a frequent option out of problems in this time period. "I am most sick at hear "nay grasp me not "/ I am all feebleness "the mountains whirl/ Spinning around me "I grow blind "What art thou?- (Byron II. 1. 113-115). Manfred is annoyed when the Hunter disallows him from completing his mission; but proves positive later on as the poem continues. It is clear throughout the poem that he has rejected any reliance on the normal human society.

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