Heathcliff the Byronic Hero

Topics: Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff, Catherine Earnshaw Pages: 3 (1335 words) Published: July 22, 2008
When one starts reading Wuthering heights I’m sure they think to themselves that the book will be just another romantic novel. They wait for Heathcliff to come around the whole story, and for him and Catherine to end up together, but it doesn’t happen. This causes Heathcliff to get progressively, more and more alienated by the people around him. He only wants what he can’t have and this is why he is referred to as a Byronic Hero. It is my intention to prove Heathcliff as a Byronic Hero by classifying him under the six attributes of the archetype. The first major sign of a Byronic Hero is he is often alienated from humanity. In the beginning of the story Heathcliff is adopted by Earnshaw. Earnshaw eventually ends up loving Heathcliff more then his own blood, Hindley. Hindley feels alienated by his father and eventually begins to take it out on Heathcliff. Earnshaw sends Hindley off to college to get Hindley off Heathcliff’s back; soon after Earnshaw dies. This is when Hindley inherits Wuthering Heights and turns the tables on Heathcliff. Heathcliff begins to feel the alienation that Hindley felt and gets assigned all the terrible jobs around Wuthering Heights. This fills him with anger and hatred at everyone except his obsessive love towards Catherine. Heathcliff feels very alienated by Catherine when she says “Why, how very black and cross you look! And how- how funny and grim! But that’s just because I’m used to Edgar, and Isabella Linton. Well, Heathcliff have you forgotten me?” He gets very offended by this and runs out the door saying “I shall be as dirty as I please, and I like to be dirty, and I will be dirty.” Although Heathcliff is Catherine’s true love she marries Edgar anyways. Heathcliff’s last tie is seemingly broken so he runs away for 3 years. Catherine is the one person in the story that Heathcliff desires most, when he can’t have this forbidden love it drives him to hatred and revenge. In this story there are many reasons that he should...
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