Starting off with Annabella Milbanke's description of Byron after their first meeting, this
essay explores the way in which Byron's persona, as displayed in a certain kind of social
situation, appears characterised by a series of masks, yet is presented in such a way as to
facilitate its unmasking by observers and obtain their sympathies. This model of interaction
between Byron and his admirers is then applied to Byron's works, where this same
semantic stratification of the Byronic Hero is complicated at times by the hero's use of the
Byronic persona as an instrument of domination and on some occasions by the author's
deliberate foregrounding of the hero's theatricality.