In the book Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte models the male protagonist, Edward Rochester, as a Byronic hero. A Byronic hero is an idealised, but flawed character exemplified in the life and writings of Lord Byron. Edward rochester is portrayed as a Byronic hero bases on appearance, background, and personality.
Mr. Rochester can be seen as a Byronic hero from his appearance. Although Mr. Rochester is masculine, he is not handsome. When Jane Eyre first sees Mr. Rochester she thinks, “He had a dark face, with stern features.” Jane also believes he is past youth and about thirty-five. His ireful eyes show anger which might indicate his cold personality. Although Mr. Rochester does not have the appearance of a typical hero, his imperfect facial features model the perfect Byronic hero.
Mr. Rochester’s troubling background is also a key factor of a Byronic hero. He is tricked into marrying Bertha Mason for money and later find out she is insane. He considers suicide when Bertha’s “yells and curses” awake him one night, but instead he looks to Europe for hope. He wanders Europe for ten years without finding the perfect girl. He eventually falls in love with Celine Varens, but discovers she is only using him. Mr. Rochester’s heartbreak and disappointment leads to a gloomy life in search of finding himself again. His upsetting background depicts the background of a Byronic hero. Mr. Rochester’s personality also makes him a byronic hero. Mr. Rochester is a stern, cold person. When Jane mentions to Mrs. Fairfax that she finds Rochester “changeful and abrupt,” Mrs. Fairfax suggests that his ways are the result of a difficult personal history.
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