It’s all Byron’s fault. Before James Dean and Gary Cooper and Heathcliff and Rochester — all the real and fictional men lounging at the center of the Venn diagram of “bad boys” and “sad boys” — Byron made such a career of drinking, lusting and gallivanting that he became a type. The Byronic hero: temperamental, hedonistic and romantic. “I am such a strange mélange of good and evil,” the poet once wrote of himself, “that it would be difficult to describe me.” Save it for your Tinder profile, bro.
Byron also embodied a masculine ideal defined by paradoxes. A man of society who scorns status. A virile lover made impotent by ennui. A dreamer plagued by disillusionment.
These contradictions sit at the heart of Eugene O’Neill’s 1942 play “A Touch of the Poet.” Irish Repertory Theater’s new online production, with its cunning use of technology and design — each actor