The Byronic Hero (and why I think it’s back)

Do I lack extensive knowledge of classics? Yes

How many classics have I read in my life? Not a lot

Am I qualified to be speaking on this topic? Probably not

So let’s get started!

Last year in English class, we discussed and studied Byronic heroes. The concept of the Byronic hero has since stuck in my mind. This, I suspect, is because I personally think that he has been making a return.

What is a Byronic hero? Well, in the words of James Fleming,

“Byronic heroes are marked not only by their outright rejection of traditional heroic virtues and values but also their remarkable intelligence and cunning, strong feelings of affection and hatred, impulsiveness, strong sensual desires, moodiness, cynicism, dark humor, and morbid sensibilities.

Byronic heroes also tend to appear larger than life, and dress and style themselves in elaborate costumes for the purpose of making themselves as different from others as possible” (1).

So in a sense, they stand out because they don’t fit in. I think of them as elderly bad boys. So like Edward Cullen’s ancestor. Okay sorry I hate myself for that sentence, let’s move on. Below is the link/citation for an informative website which details characteristics that make a Byronic hero. An example would be Darcy from one of my favorite novels, Pride and Prejudice.

I also think that the modern Byronic hero is appearing in male and female characters, whereas it would be very difficult to find a Byronic heroine in the past. An example, I think, could be Jace from City of Bones. He is arrogant, sarcastic and mysterious. However, he forces his comrades to make better decisions because deep down, he is morally align with good principles.

 

Why should you care about this? IDK it’s an interesting concept.

Do you agree or disagree? Also, do you have examples of Byronic heroes that you love?

 

Fleming, James. “Byronic Hero: Definition, Characteristics & Examples.” Study.com.  Study.com, n.d. 30 May 2016. <http://study.com/academy/lesson/byronic-hero-definition-characteristics-examples.html >

 

Kiss 4

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