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Byronic hero

Parent categories: hero - Byron

Related: mood disorder - superfluous man - anti hero - depression

Possible female counterpart: femme fatale


The Byronic hero made his literary debut with the publication of Byron's semi-autobiographical epic narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. The Byronic hero, as portrayed here and in later works of literature, is an idealized but flawed character whose attributes include:

However, even before Byron exemplified the character in his life and works, the literary predeccesors of the Byronic hero in English can be traced back to Milton, especially Milton's interpretation of Lucifer as having justified complaint against God. One of Byron's most popular works in his lifetime, the closet play Manfred, was loosely modeled on Goethe's anti-hero, Faust. Byron's influence was manifested by many authors and artists of the Romantic movement during the 19th century and beyond. An example of such a Romantic hero is Heathcliff from Emily Brontė's Wuthering Heights. A 20th-century military example is Major T.E. Lawrence as portrayed by Peter O'Toole in the film Lawrence of Arabia. Examples from science fiction television are the characters The Doctor from Doctor Who, and Kerr Avon from Blake's 7. The Byronic hero is also featured in many different contemporary novels, and it is clear that Lord Byron's work continues to influence modern literaturehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byronic_hero [Aug 2006]

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