Due to these qualities, the Byronic hero is often a figure of cruelty as well as fascination. One of the most discernible of these tragic heroes is Manfred, who is depicted wandering over distant and barren mountaintops, guilt-ridden his relationship with the late Astarte—its details, unspoken. Both characters use each other to transgress societal conventions of their time: Heathcliff contravenes racial and socioeconomic standards, while Catherine contravenes the gender norm.
Four of these common features will be dealt with here. In the first place, we will see how both Childe Harold and Heathcliff are driven by an innate yearning for a transcendent reality which they fail to attain.
In other words, they both strive to reach an ideal that is to be found in the sensible realm. Second, we will observe how this ideal provides them with a higher consciousness, which is absent in most people. In turn, this awareness takes on a rebellious character, and consequently gives them the status of hero.
Third, we will examine how this quasi-spiritual quest, on the other hand, secludes them from society, and forces them to constant loneliness.
Finally, we will discover that this particular disposition of their character can actually be seen as a curse, for the failure to achieve their supernatural aim condemns them to perpetual unhappiness. Throughout his pilgrimage, Childe Harold compulsively searches for an ideal and perfection that cannot be found in the world of reality.
The disillusion from which he suffers directly stems from his incapacity to grasp the essence of reality. For instance, he leaves his parents, friends and country precisely because he realizes he is unable to find happiness among them.
Moreover, this profound discontentment with earthly things seems deeply inscribed in his character, for no external factors seems to be the cause of his unhappiness: But this none knew, nor cared to know 1, 8 Along the narrative, the reader perceives that Childe Harold is constantly struck by the transience of things, and ultimately comes to view reality as a sham.
For instance, in Portugal, he is impressed by the beautiful vision of white houses on the hill: What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold! Similarly, when he visits the ruins of Greece in the second canto, and of Rome in the fourth one, he cannot help being overwhelmed by on the transience of all glory and ambition: For example, he sometimes clearly refers to this unachievable quest: The race of life becomes a hopeless flight To those that walk in darkness: Like Childe Harold, Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights is driven by a desire whose aim transcends the natural realm.
Throughout his life, he is possesses by this passion, that is the union with Catherine through love. When physical union is made impossible by her death, he strives to achieve a mystical union with her, and not unlike Childe Harold, he is perpetually haunted by the ghost of an impossible happiness.
His extraordinary character, noticed by everybody right from the start, is clearly indicative of this fact.
His connection with Catherine is established early in the story, as they run and hide together in the moors. Yet, his sudden departure when he overhears Catherine announce her marriage to Edgar shows that he feels at least as bound to her as she is to him.
From this moment onwards, he literally devotes his life to their union. When she dies, he can hardly bear the separation. Three brief examples will be enough to point out the supra human passion that links him to her.
Then, his attempt to open her grave more than fifteen years after her death, that is when Edgar dies, also proves the exceptional force of his attachment.
Finally, towards the end of his life, he reveals the extent of his obsession to Nelly: In every cloud, in every tree -- filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object, by day -- I am surrounded with her image.
This is not Catherine, but the union itself which becomes the ultimate object he pursues. In other words, Heathcliff desperately seeks love through Catherine.
In that sense, his quest is very close to that of Childe Harold in that it is supernatural and unachievable. From that it also follows that they despise the lot of humankind for its petty pursuit of conventionality.
Yet, this point can be easily confused with the third one. In their arising from common human beings and their rebelling against social conventions, both Childe Harold and H distance themselves from their community, and as a result, they end up isolated.
I stood Among them, but not of them 4, From this example, we see that, although different, Childe Harold still considers himself as part of the crowd. However, sometimes he is depicted as an outcast, and he seems to suffer from such loneliness: What is the worst of woes that wait on age?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
With Heathcliff, this characteristic is outstanding, and this is a clear indication that Bronte, in writing her book, was inspired by the hero forged by Byron in Childe Harold.A hero proves his heroism when faced with opposition.
He is shrewd, tough, clear-sighted, experienced, and able to handle adversity in a well equipped manner. However, unlike most heroes, the Byronic hero does not receive satisfaction simply from possessing these traits.
The Byronic hero sees himself as an individual who practices non conformity. As Heathcliff’s identity as the Byronic hero engenders in Wuthering Heights, the symbiotic relationship he has with Catherine renders her own identity as the Byronic heroine as well.
Even though Nelly’s narration seeks to contain Catherine, her capriciousness causes her to breach the confines of the gender normative realm. 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 % convincing as the hero -- until one applies the qualities of the Byronic hero.
For these reasons, Heathcliff is a perfect example of a Byronic hero. One finds themselves feeling sorry for Heathcliff from the beginning of the book. Heathcliff arrives at Wuthering Heights as a boy after having been orphaned. Heathcliff is the embodiment of what is known by literary types as the Byronic hero: a dark, outsider antihero (kind of like Mr.
Rochester from Jane Eyre or Edward Cullen from Twilight). He is lonerish and little demonic but he's definitely hawt. Heathcliff is both a Romantic and Byronic hero. The Romantic attributes are presented in his wildness, and his Byronic traits are presented in his intelligence, cruelty, and self-awareness.
The Romantic attributes are presented in his wildness, and his Byronic traits are presented in his intelligence, cruelty, and self-awareness.