The Byronic Hero Essay

The Byronic Hero Essay

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Lord George Gordon Byron was the most controversial poet of the romantic era. Byron works consisted of common themes during the romantics such as high romance and the love of nature and tragic loss. He created the idea of the hero being a tragic figure who is born to desire something that they will never accomplish. Through this Byron created and perfected the idea of the Byronic hero. Byron first used this in his poem, “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage”. The work introduced us to who would late become the example of a Byronic hero or character (Manning). The idea of the Byronic hero is one that consists of many different characteristics. The hero must have a rather high level of intelligence and perception as well as be able to easily adapt to new situations and use cunning to his own gain. It is clear from this description that this hero is well educated and by extension is rather sophisticated in his style. Aside from the obvious charm and attractiveness that this automatically creates, he struggles with his integrity, being prone to mood swings or bipolar tendencies. Generally, the hero has a disrespect for any figure of authority, thus creating the image of the Byronic hero as an exile or an outcast. The hero also has a tendency to be arrogant and cynical, indulging in self-destructive behavior which leads to the need to seduce women. Although his sexual attraction through being mysterious is rather helpful, this sexual attraction often gets the hero into trouble (Wikipedia). In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte had a character that fit this description very well in Mr Rochester. But instead it was the influence of the culture surrounding the idea of the Byronic hero that made Rochester seem Byronic. Rochester seen through multiple examp...


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...ewed things while writing the novel. It is very important to examine the context of when something is written and this helped with that immensely.
Garber, Frederick. Self, Text, and Romantic Irony, the Example of Byron. Princeton, NJ, Princeton Univ., 1988. Print.
Not a very important research was used with this text. Just gave me a good understanding of the history's representation of Byron.
Manning, Peter J. Byron and His Fictions. Detroit, Wayne State UP, 1978. Print.
Helped me find the works Byron wrote that had the Byronic figure in it. Gave me a better understanding of who he was and what he wrote.
Martin, Phillip W. Byron, A Poet Before His Time. Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 1982. Print.
Much like a lot of the references, this was just a way for me to leanr a little bit about Byron and the world he wrote in. And the impact of what he wrote had on the world.

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