The Romantic hero is a literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has himself (or herself) as the center of his or her own existence. The Romantic hero is often the protagonist in a literary work, and the primary focus is on the character’s thoughts rather than his or her actions.
A romantic hero is an exceptional and often mysterious person, usually in exceptional circumstances. The collision of external events is transferred to the inner world of the hero, in whose soul there is a struggle of contradictions. As a result of this kind of reproduction, romanticism has extremely highlighted the value of the personality, inexhaustible in their inner depths, revealing its unique inner world. Man in romantic works is also embodied with the help of contrast, antithesis: on the one hand, she understood the crown of creation, and on the other – a frivolous toy in the hands of fate, unknown and unaffected forces that play with her feelings. Therefore, she often becomes a victim of her own passions.
A romantic hero is not only a member of the opposition: God is man. He is independent, although, of course, he may be in a complex relationship with the environment and with higher powers, but the main thing in it is that the “I” – now not only the value of the first order, but also, in fact, the only possible value.
The main feature of the romantic hero – the ability to creativity, to the original perception of the world, that is, to the creation of other worlds.
The romantic hero is always an independent person who suffers from life circumstances under the pressure of society. He wants to get out of this pressure, resisting him.
The romantic hero manifested itself as a split person. His spirit led an eternal battle with himself. He was capable of reflection. It covered madness.
Madness is a form of rejection of the distant world, devoid of ideas, feelings, is the maximal manifestation of individual origin.
Literary critic Northrop Frye noted that the Romantic hero is often “placed outside the structure of civilization and therefore represents the force of physical nature, amoral or ruthless, yet with a sense of power, and often leadership, that society has impoverished itself by rejecting”. Other characteristics of the Romantic hero include introspection, the triumph of the individual over the “restraints of theological and social conventions”, wanderlust, melancholy, misanthropy, alienation, and isolation. However, another common trait of the Romantic hero is regret for his or her actions, and self-criticism, often leading to philanthropy, which stops the character from ending romantically. An example of this trait is Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo.
Usually estranged from his more grounded, realist biological family and leading a rural, solitary life, the Romantic hero may nevertheless have a long-suffering love interest, him or herself victimised by the hero’s rebellious tendencies, with their fates intertwined for decades, sometimes from their youths to their deaths. (See Tatyana Larina, Elizabeth Bennet, Eugenie Grandet, et al.)
The Romantic hero first began appearing in literature during the Romantic period, in works by such authors as Byron, Keats, Goethe, and Pushkin, and is seen in part as a response to the French Revolution. As Napoleon, the “living model of a hero”, became a disappointment to many, the typical notion of the hero as upholding social order began to be challenged.
Classic literary examples of the Romantic hero include:
Captain Ahab from Herman Melville’s novel, Moby-Dick
The titular character in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Andrei Bolkonsky in Leo Tolstoy’s novel, War and Peace
Ponyboy Curtis in S.E. Hinton’s novel, The Outsiders
Edmond Dantès in Alexandre Dumas (père)’s adventure novel, The Count of Monte Cristo
Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice
Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein
The titular characters in Lord Byron’s narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
Gwynplaine in Victor Hugo’s novel, The Man Who Laughs
“Hawkeye” (Natty Bumppo) in James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales pentalogy of historical novels
Phillip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s seven novels about the Los Angeles detective
The titular character in Pushkin’s novel in verse, Eugene Onegin
Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter
The titular character in François-René Chateaubriand’s novella, René
Werther in Goethe’s epistolary, loosely autobiographical novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther
Faust in Goethe’s Faust
Romantic hero in the works of Mickiewicz
A. Mickiewicz – a very bright representative of the Polish school of romanticism. The real idol for the poet was J. Byron. And the mental torments experienced by the romantic hero Mitskevich make him associate with those created by Byron. In the fate of both writers there is much in common, which is not my reflection in their verses.
In many A. Mickiewicz’s poems, deep love and no less anxiety for the Motherland, for which he became exiled for many years, is felt. Most of the years the poet was forbidden to enter the native land, his grudges for her, he generously poured into verse lines.
The lyrical hero of A. Mickiewicz’s works is painfully suffering from separation from the Fatherland, he sees it in every leaf, in a tree, feels her breath in the wind that has faded.
About Lithuania! The noise of the forests generated by you
Worse than Baydar, all nightingales are loud,
And I was more pleased with your quagmire
Like these little mullets with their gentle beauty!
Being in the lands that adore the poet’s eye, he can not forget his native land. The hero of Mickiewicz is constantly on the journey, so he fled from himself, from his pain, hopes to find peace and solace in the wanderings. By this, he approaches the eternal rebel, to the “Byronic hero”.
Wife forward to the horse, so that she flies like a bird;
Forests, ravines, spiers run towards the eye
Like a fast wavy flow, –
I want to find interspersed with these miracles…
The lyrical character calls his eyes a broken mirror, thoughts – a boat without a berth.
A. Mickiewicz’s poetry can often be found on the description of ruins, broken castles, tombs. Apparently, the soul of the lyrical hero is also a great ruin, which in an ace is displaced by an orphan in the homeland; his soul is a rock that stands on the seafront, and every two months strike powerful waves, threatening to destroy it to the ground.
And this is exactly what Mickiewicz sees in his and the fate of the poet in general – life on the edge of the edge of the knife.
Source from Wikipedia