Heathcliff As A Romantic Hero Analysis

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“an unreclaimed creature, without refinement, without cultivation; an arid wilderness of furze and whinstone… He is a rough diamond- a pearl- containing oyster of rustic; he’s a fierce, pitiless wolfish man.”
(Bronte 163)
His tragic element is highlighted by the fact that he is not considered suitable to marry Catherine because of his low class and lack of gentlemanliness.
Can Heathcliff be considered as a Byronic Hero? He seems to be a romantic hero, but he is also a dark, outsider antihero, in other words the embodiment of a literary Byronic hero. He is a savage in the sense that he is untouched by social norms, seeking for revenge and acting violently and madly. A Byronic hero can be considered as a kind of Romantic hero but with dark
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Isabella Linton falls in love with Heathcliff, but she is so cruelly abused by him that she has to leave him. This fact presents a social taboo for the period, in which the novel was written and can be seen in this excerpt from her epistolary confession to Ellen Dean “I assure you, a tiger, or a venomous serpent could not rouse terror in me equal to that which he wakens...I do hate him- I am wretched - I have been a fool” (Bronte 233). Heathcliff does not feel any remorse or shame for Isabella’s fate, not even for their son Linton whom he neglects to seek medical care for when he has fulfilled his purpose in taking over the Heathcliff Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff’s irrational violent acts against vulnerable victims show his total indifference for human suffering.
Moreover, Heathcliff’s sadism manifests itself in his use of torture and imprisonment; classic Gothic features. He imprisons young Cathy at Wuthering Heights so as to torture emotionally Edgar Linton, who took Catherine away from him, but at the same time he equally tortures poor Cathy:
“If papa thought I had left him, on purpose, and if he died before I returned, could I bear to live? I’ve over crying: but I’m going to kneel here, at your knee; and I’ll not get up, and I’ll not take my eyes from your face till you look back at me! No, don’t turn away! DO LOOK! you’ll see nothing to provoke you. I don’t hate you. I’m not
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Ghosts appear throughout Wuthering Heights, as well as in most other works of Gothic fiction. What is really interesting is that Bronte presents these apparitions in such a way that makes their existence ambiguous. Catherine’s spirit appears to Lockwood in chapter three:
“I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in – let me in!’…I’m come home: I’d lost my way on the moor!’”
(Bronte 39) This incident is explained as a nightmare, while Heathcliff’s apparition that is alleged by the villagers, can be dismissed as superstition:
“But the country folks, if you ask them, would swear on their Bible that he walks. There are those who speak to having met him near the church, and on the moor, and even within this house - …”
(Bronte
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