It is difficult if not impossible to find a character in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights that is 100% convincing as the hero -- until one applies the qualities of the Byronic hero.
When considering Wuthering Heights Heathcliff immediately jumps to mind as the villainous character. Upon his return he wickedly orchestrates Hindley's economic demise and takes control of the Heights. He attempts to win Catherine, now a married woman, back and when that fails takes in marriage Isabelle Linton, Edgar's sister, with the sole intention of torturing her as a way of avenging himself on Edgar for marrying the woman he loved. When Hindley died Heathcliff took his son, Hareton, in order to treat him as cruelly as Hindley had treated Heathcliff, thus taking his revenge on Hindley. To further punish Edgar, Heathcliff kidnaps Cathy, forces her to marry his son, Linton, and in so doing gains possession of Thruschcross Grange and has the authority to treat Cathy as he desires.
Heathcliff obviously has a nasty vengeful side but that makes his character perfect to bear the mantle of the Byronic hero. He rebels against the social order in his world by attempting to defy Hindley and associate with Catherine and later in his attempt to woo her from Edgar's arms and home and make her his own. He is very definitely self-destructive and cares for no one but himself and Catherine, which at times seem debatable. His passion in life is not life but to avenge himself upon everyone that has ever slighted him. He systematically destroys the lives of the people who hurt him but he refuses to stop there - insisting upon further punishing those individuals through...
... middle of paper ...
...nder the earth until he can join her in death so that he need not endure a single day without the knowledge of her close by.
All of Heathcliff's actions sprung from his desire to be with Catherine. When he was denied this, primarily because of his social standing and background, he sets about to ruin the lives of those who assume they are better than he because of their position in society. Heathcliff cannot be categorized a villain but rather is dubbed Byronic Hero and to some extent, the victim of a spoiled manipulative brat.
Damrosch, David, et al., ed. The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Vol. B. Compact ed. New York: Longman - Addison Wesley Longman, 2000.
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Norton Critical ed. 3rd ed. Ed. William M. Sale, Jr., and Richard J. Dunn. New York: W. W. Norton, 1990.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Heathcliff as Byronic Hero of Wuthering Heights It is difficult if not impossible to find a character in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights that is 100% convincing as the hero -- until one applies the qualities of the Byronic hero. When considering Wuthering Heights Heathcliff immediately jumps to mind as the villainous character. Upon his return he wickedly orchestrates Hindley's economic demise and takes control of the Heights. He attempts to win Catherine, now a married woman, back and when that fails takes in marriage Isabelle Linton, Edgar's sister, with the sole intention of torturing her as a way of avenging himself on Edgar for marrying the woman he loved. When... [tags: Wuthering Heights Essays]
786 words (2.2 pages)
- “Gothic Fiction is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance.” With such an ambiguous statement, Gothic Literature is essentially hard to define. From the origins of the genre, where the description within the stories terrified the small group of its readers, up until the recent 21st century novels, where the brutal images became more all-pervasive, I feel the impact created by the genre is generated by a range of other effects. I believe that one can be pin-pointed and is ubiquitous throughout all gothic texts, adding to the way that the reader feels and the way that the story evolves into what we call ‘Gothic’ today.... [tags: Gothic fiction, Wuthering Heights, Byronic hero]
3568 words (10.2 pages)
- Throughout the ages in fiction and reality, women have been attracted to the “bad boy” figure. The novel, Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Bronte, brought forth the fictional “bad boy” archetype from her imagination (Ceron 1). She lived during the Victorian age of realism and change of the fine arts in isolation high on the Yorkshire Moors (Evans 1). It was there she imagined another world, wrote secret bed time stories, and acted out plays with toy soldiers that came to life with their own identities.... [tags: literary analysis, emily bronte]
1363 words (3.9 pages)
- Beginning with his mysterious arrival at Wuthering Heights, his subsequent brutal childhood, and his vengeful quest to wreak havoc against the society that wronged him, Emily Brontë’s novel, Wuthering Heights follows the dark and twisted tale of Heathcliff, the Byronic hero of the story. Despite being an instrument of suffering for others, throughout the story, Heathcliff unexpectedly flashes his inherent good nature and Romantic ideals. While in his adulthood, he may act animalistic and even satanic, Heathcliff’s cruelty and uncontrollable desire for revenge is rooted in the mistreatment from Hindley and Catherine Earnshaw.... [tags: Wuthering Heights, Catherine Earnshaw]
1228 words (3.5 pages)
- In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights Heathcliff is represented as a non-conformist due to his unorthodox behavior in relation to other characters. The novel gives an idealistic insight into the accepted social discourses of the era, to which Heathcliff does not comply. These unconventional heroic traits can be closely associated with that of the Byronic Hero. Heathcliff also struggles to adjust his persona to the stereotypical romance hero in his quest for love. As a child and adolescent, both Heathcliff’s sullen manner and unpleasant appearance fail to comply with the so called heroic characteristics that are often encompassed by the genuine romance hero.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Character Analysis]
662 words (1.9 pages)
- Heathcliff has been called numerous names as a character; Villain, human, Byronic hero, and even being compared back to Shakespeare, but not one critic seems to be able to agree on the real identity of Heathcliff. Critics have been unable to call him a specific type of character because Emily Bronte created such a complex being that he is not just one type of character, he was made into his own type altogether. From Bernard J. Paris’s point of view on Heathcliff , like many other critics, is that Heathcliff is a human being, but “is not supposed to be understood as though he were a person” (Paris).... [tags: human, hero, villain]
727 words (2.1 pages)
- The supernatural is used widely throughout 'Wuthering Heights' and plays a big part in determining the outcome of the story. The Victorians were very superstitious about the supernatural. Education was already becoming commonplace in Victorian England, and education brought scepticism. The majority of people were very sceptical about the supernatural but not non-believers because of the number of ghost stories that came in this period. The age of the Victorians was an important period where people's perceptions and ghosts changed dramatically, from partially believing in ghosts, to not believing in them at all, yet still being terrified of them.... [tags: ghost, love, grave]
907 words (2.6 pages)
- The Character of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte In "Wuthering Heights" Heathcliff is both a romantic hero and a villain. As a romantic hero he is noble, brave and involved in a passionate love affair, he is also the main character. He is called a villain that means he is spiteful and only thinks about himself. Nobody, except Catherine and maybe Hareton like him. He immediately turns Lockwood against him, because he patronises Lockwood in a sophisticated manner that Lockwood doesn't understand.... [tags: Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte Heathcliff Essays]
631 words (1.8 pages)
- Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte was born on July 30, 1818 at Thronton, Bradford Yokshire. She was the 5th child of 6 children. When Emily was just three years old, her mother dies and her Aunt come to live with the family to take care of the children. Not much is know about Emily, except she was a very secluded and shy girl. Some information is collected about her from the few exisitng diary entries and letters, as well as her poems. Most of the information that is known about Emily is from her sister Charlotte’s biography as well as letters written to and from Charlotte to her friend.... [tags: Free Essays Online]
1464 words (4.2 pages)
- Explore the role and function of the narrators in Wuthering Heights Ellis Bell was criticised not only for the novel’s blasphemous nature and violent plot but a lack of conclusive moral. It seems freedom of expression was tolerated as long as the reader was left in no doubt of the righteous path. Bronte liberates the reader from this sense of duty and distinguishes her novel from its Victorian contemporaries. Helping to accomplish this task is her style of narration, being unusually structured in the concentric circles of Lockwood and Nelly Dean.... [tags: essays research papers]
1717 words (4.9 pages)
- Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights - A Truly Romantic Novel
- Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
- Corruption in Macbeth
- Nora's Discovery of Self in Ibsen's A Doll's House
- Comparison of Stereotypes and Stereotyping in A Doll's House and The Breakfast Club
- rebeldol Rebellion of Nora and Mrs. Linde in Ibsen's A Doll's House