Byron's and Shelley's experimentation with the possibilities and pitfalls of poetic heroism unites their work. The Poet-Hero in the Work of Byron and Shelley traces the evolution of the poet-hero in the work of both poets, revealing that the struggle to find words adequate to the poet's imaginative vision and historical circumstance is their central poetic achievement. Madeleine Callaghan explores the different types of poetic heroism that evolve in Byron's and Shelley's poetry and drama. Both poets experiment with, challenge and embrace a variety of poetic forms and genres, and this book discusses such generic exploration in the light of their developing versions of the poet-hero. The heroism of the poet, as an idea, an ideal and an illusion, undergoes many different incarnations and definitions as both poets shape distinctive and changing conceptions of the hero throughout their careers.