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Parisina was first published in 1816. The tragic narrative poem is the sixth, and shortest, in the series of Byron's "Oriental Romances" or "Heroic Tales" - the other poems being "The Giaour", "The Bride of Abydos", "The Corsair", "Lara" and "The Siege of Corinth".
Prince Azo, overhearing his wife, Parisina, muttering in her sleep, discovers that she is having an affair with his illegitimate son, Hugo. Parisina and Hugo were engaged to be married before Azo claimed her for his own bride. Hugo is sentenced to death, and Parisina is forced to watch the execution as her punishment. Parisina's subsequent fate is unknown, as a tormented Azo henceforth forbids the mention of either wife or son.