Byronic Hero

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The Byronic hero is a variant of the Romantic Hero as a type of character, named after the English Romantic poet Lord Byron (though they did exist before him). Both Byron's - author and character - own persona as well as characters from his writings are considered to provide defining features to the character type.

The Byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, his condition exhausts him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and destructive action.

Albert Camus, The Stranger

The Byronic Hero is a character notable for being sullen, withdrawn, hard to like and hard to know, but usually possessing a rich inner life and a softer side accessible only to a special few.

a man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection.

Lord Macaulay, Historian and critic[1]


  1. ^ Christiansen, Rupert, Romantic Affinities: Portraits From an Age, 1780–1830, 1989, Cardinal: pp. 201 ISBN 0-7474-0404-6