The Endurance of the Byronic Hero


A very weird thing happened in my British Literature 2 class a few weeks ago. My completely straight married with two kids professor called Byron dreamy and we ended up talking most of the rest of the class about vampires and the Bronte sisters.

You may wonder how Mr. Rochester, Angel, and Edward are connected to this, but they all came from Byron himself. You see, he created this mythical image for himself that be both wrote about and had to live up to. This became a character type called the Byronic hero, which is defined as follows, “”mad, bad, and dangerous to know”… a Byronic hero is an antihero of the highest order. He (or she) is typically rebellious, arrogant, anti-social or in exile, and darkly, enticingly romantic.”(Credit to Shmoop for the definition). Basically, the Byronic hero is the brooding bad boy that so many women have a thing for. I’ve never really understood it myself, but this may be the origin of it.

Concerning Mr. Rochester, apparently the Bronte sisters had a huge thing for Byron. I could have also used Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.

Modern vampires all take their origin from this. I haven’t actually read or watched Twilight but from what I gained from osmosis in middle school and from watching Vampires Suck, even Mr. ShinyFairy Cullen is not immune to this. I did watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix a few years ago, so I can confirm that Angel does very little else besides brood and brood and brood some more.

There are also several comic book heroes I probably could have put here *cough Batman* *cough Oliver Queen*  but since we didn’t expressly talk about them in the aforementioned class I will spare them.

So what do y’all think? Who did I miss?