Essay on Heathcliff The Byronic Hero in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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Heathcliff The Byronic Hero in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 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 “...

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...lla that he will be punishing her instead. In the end of the story he keeps seeing signs of Catherine everywhere. This eventually wears away at Heathcliff. He began to eat way less food. Everyday he would eat less and then it talks about how he was done seeking revenge. From then on he completely stopped eating completely. This was the biggest case of self destruction in the book. He eventually died soon after for he couldn’t wait to be reunited with Catherine.
As you can see Heathcliff fits all the different attributes of a Byronic Hero. Heathcliff fits the archetype for romanticism perfectly. He loves Catherine and he based his whole life around her and her actions. His impractical romantic thoughts of him and Catherine eventually led to the demise of himself.

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