Presentation on theme: "Romantic and Byronic Heroes. Romantic Hero An individual, not one of a crowd At odds with his society and perhaps an outcast His code is based on natural."— Presentation transcript:
Romantic and Byronic Heroes
Romantic Hero An individual, not one of a crowd At odds with his society and perhaps an outcast His code is based on natural law rather than manmade and corrupt law A leader, but may be on the wrong side of the law Introspective, even brooding about his sense of purpose Fights for what he believes in but is misunderstood Goes in quest of his higher goal and thus wanders the earth.
Byronic Hero Characteristics: arrogant, an exile or wanderer, broods over misdeeds, charismatic, self-destructive, a misunderstood outcast from society “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” Examples: Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, Rochester in Jane Eyre
Byronic Hero (variant of Romantic hero) “Lone wanderer usually endowed with an electric appeal, somber good looks, and charm” Alienated from society and searches for truth Broods over “some unnamed misdeed” or secret sin “Conceals a guilty-sad past beneath lingering melancholy” “Hints of dissipation in the past and of unspecified infractions against society” “Self-destructive outcast cursed with an instinct for violence”
The Noble Outlaw (variant of Byronic hero) Peter Thorslev, The Byronic Hero: “the Byronic hero resembled the Gothic villain, the noble outlaw, the child of nature, Satan, and Prometheus” (122) “The Noble Outlaw is invariably fiery, passionate, and heroic; he is in the true sense bigger than the life around him” (68). “In all of his appearances the Noble Outlaw personified the Romantic nostalgia for the days of personal heroism when it was still possible for a leader to dominate his group of followers by sheer physical courage, strength of will, and personal magnetism” (69). Thorslev, Peter. The Byronic Hero: Types and Prototypes. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1962
Noble Outlaw “The Noble Outlaw is also largely a sympathetic character. He is figured as having been wronged... by society in general, and his rebellion is thus always given a plausible motive.” “What particularly distinguishes the fully-developed Romantic Noble Outlaw... is his cloak of mystery and his air of the sublime” (69) “In American literature the Byronic outsider merged with the adventuresome western hero... capable of defiance of the social code and of performing noble and courageous acts, often anonymously.”