The Prisoner of Chillon: A Fable
by George Gordon, Lord Byron
The Prisoner of Chillon: A Fable Freedom and Confinement Quotes
How we cite our quotes: I cite by line number only in this module.
Our voices took a dreary tone,
An echo of the dungeon stone (lines 63-4)
Even the voices of the three brothers seem unnatural in the close confinement of their dungeon. They've known each other all their lives, yet their voices sound "dreary" and unfamiliar.
A double dungeon wall and wave
Have made— […] (lines 113-4)
The position of the castle's dungeon right along the side of the lake makes it a "double dungeon." It's a little like Alcatraz prison used to be in the San Francisco Bay: once you got over the wall, you had a large body of water to get through, too – making it a "double dungeon."
My very chains and I grew friends,
So much a long communion tends
To make us what we are: — even I
Regain'd my freedom with a sigh. (lines 389-392)
By the end of the poem, the speaker has gotten so used to his confinement that he can't imagine being free. The "long communion" he's had with his thoughts have made him a kind of hermit and he's stopped even desiring freedom.