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ThesisUniversity of Iceland>Hugvísindasvið>B.A. verkefni>

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11391


The Byronic hero: origins and legacy

May 2012

In this dissertation the Byronic hero and its origins and legacy are the main focal point. Lord George Gordon Byron was a British poet and a dominant figure in the Romantic movement and until this day he still remains widely read and renowned. As an heir to a title and an estate, the aristocratic Lord Byron went on a Grand Tour, a customary journey for young noblemen to see and explore the world. On that journey the Byronic hero is concieved, a figment of his imagination and an anticipated breath of fresh air for readers looking for something more complex and intriguing than the good hero. The character Byron bases on his autobiographical journey throughout Europe and his many scandalous affairs, he finds his inspiration for his troubled but heroic character in Milton’s Satan, the Greek legend of Prometheus and Cain from Exodus. Byron’s hero is a complex one, made up of many traits but also of many faults making it easily relatable and charming. The dissertation will use the feminist writings of Gilbert and Gubar to examine the two main sides of the Byronic hero; the guilt ridden, wandering Byronic hero and the Satanic side of the Byronic hero. Also using Byron’s own work and other references the dissertation examines the use of the Byronic hero in contemporary culture, in literature, film and television respectively finding it still as popular as it was when it first saw the light of day.

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