Byronic hero frankenstein essay help
Jun 9, 2018
My parents taught me honesty, truth, compassion, kindness and how to care for people. Also, they encouraged me to take risks, to boldly go. They taught me that the greatest danger in life is not taking the adventure. Brian Blessed
Cain, Satan, Don Juan, these are some of the great characters in literature that captivateus time and time again. What draws us to them are their flaws, morally and emotionally they represent anti-heroes, and yet we relate to, even sympathize with them. In literature these are known as Byronic heroes, or Romantic heroes. They are moody, rebellious, outcasts from society, and yet they are charismatic, winning the sympathies of readers and fellow characters alike. Generally considered the invention of Lord Byron, a famous romantic writer and poet, Byronic heroes are representative of the ideals of the Romantics. In the early 1800's the Romantic movement swept through literature and philosophy. The movement was based largely on the work of Swiss writer Rousseau, who outlined his theories in the book The Social Contract. Rousseau, and the Romantics, believed that society placed restrictions on man, corrupting him from his nobler, simpler ways of savagery. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein the Romantic hero is embodied by the creature. The creature was the product of a bizarre series of experiments by Victor Frankenstein in which the young doctor bestows life upon a creature he has constructed of human corpses. Having been rejected by his creator and forced to fend for itself, the creature swears revenge on his maker and all mankind. Frankenstein's creature represents all of the characteristics of a Byronic hero in that he is brooding, isolated, and charismatic. For these reasons the Byronic hero of Frankenstein is the creature, not Victor Frankenstein.
One of the most obvious traits of the creature is his characteristic moodiness. The creature is prone to great changes in emotion or temperament with little provocation. The creature is full of self-loathing, he says, "Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred.
Eric tries for weeks to make Christine fall in love with him, but to no avail. However, she agrees to marry him when he threatens to kill her lover, Raoul. Upon agreeing to marry him, he lifts his mask and kisses her, and to his surprise, she kisses him back. He confesses to her that he has never received a kiss before. Overwhelmed by emotions, he set both lovers free.
George Gordon, the sixth Lord Byron, created the Byronic Hero in the nineteenth century. His writing and hero have influenced many others to incorporate these characteristics into their characters. The Byronic Hero generally has these characteristics:.
rebels against convention or society .
has a low tolerance for societal norms and social institutions .
is isolated or has chosen isolation from society.
is not impressed with rank and/or privilege .
has larger-than-life abilities and larger-than-life pride .
suspected of committing a crime or has been cursed .
suffers from grandiose passions .
has a tendency to be self-destructive .
Byron created characters that have these characteristics. His two most famous, Manfred and Harold, are classic examples. Both had a low tolerance for social institutions and were isolated wanderers by choice: Manfred wandered the mountaintops - physically isolated - while his Childe Harold exiled himself to Europe and while still in society, wasn't part of it. Both were not easily impressed, considered themselves cursed and tended to be self-destructive.
In Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto I, we find the first descriptions of the hero. Harold is described as a wanderer "Yet there I've wander'd by thy vaunted rill; Yes! sigh'd o'er Delphi's long-deserted shrine - .
and his reasons for wandering can be found in lines 46-55. He was "sore sick at heart- but pride "the sullen tear congeal'd- so he chose to wander ("from his native land resolv'd to go -) He is described as a man who spent his youth carousing and was born of a long lineage - perhaps of noble birth. He evidently either rebelled against societal norms or committed an unknown crime against societal norms and it is this guilt that drives him to leave his native land. He is passionate about one woman whom he cannot allow himself to have but he loves her with a pure love.