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  1. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    Byronic Heroes

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Backbiter, Apr 6, 2011.

    Hey all, Backbiter here. Just recently joined, so check out the new member section for my little introduction.

    I'd like to dedicate this thread here to the discussion of something that has just recently caught my attention: Byronic Heroes.

    I was actually introduced to this type of hero through the anime Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. The main character, Lelouch Lamperouge is portrayed as a Byronic Hero.

    I won't write you an entire history of this type of hero, as you can easily google it. However, I will list the Byronic Hero's main characteristics:

    - Arrogant
    - Cunning and able to adapt
    - Cynical
    - Disrespectful of rank and privilege
    - Emotionally conflicted, bipolar or moody
    - Having a distaste for social institutions and norms
    - Having a troubled past or suffering from an unnamed crime
    - Intelligent and perceptive
    - Jaded, world-weary
    - Mysterious, magnetic and charismatic
    - Seductive and sexually attractive
    - Self-critical and introspective
    - Self-destructive
    - Socially and sexually dominant
    - Sophisticated and educated
    - Struggling with integrity
    - Treated as an exile, outcast, or outlaw

    These are the Byronic Hero's basic characteristics.

    Now, most of these are fairly easy to understand; I'm just having trouble with a few of them.

    Let's start with "Having a distaste for social institutions and norms". Now, is this just meaning that the character has a dislike for anything cliché or overdone? Like normal, boring, everyday things? That's what I think it's saying, but if I'm wrong then please let me know.

    Next, I was a bit confused on how the character could be "socially and sexually dominant" while at the same time being "treated as an exile, outcast, or outlaw". Does the first characteristic simply mean that, socially or sexually, he or she is more "skilled", for lack of a better term, than others, yet still treated as an outcast? Or more "learned", rather, in the ways of society and sexual communication?

    If anyone can answer these questions, then thank you profusely. Otherwise, feel free to ask questions of your own. I find this topic very intriguing and hope that some of you do as well.

    - Backbiter
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Robin Hood is an example of a character that comes across as being sexually and socially dominant whilst literally being an outlaw - although he isn't an outlaw.

    Lord Byron the poet is the basis for a Byronic hero - I thought they were also supposed to have a physical deformity so surprised it is not on the list (he had a clubbed foot) - disrespect for the state just means not acknowledging it in the daily life flouting the the law when you can it doesn't have to be major I guess.
     
  3. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    It's funny, actually, Robin Hood was one of the characters that I thought of while researching this topic. And I understand what you mean about the social and sexual dominance. Although he is socially and sexually dominant, Hood is literally an outlaw, despite the fact that he is not treated as such by the people. Only his enemies treat him as an outlaw.

    As for the physical deformity, I haven't heard that anywhere, although I don't doubt that it's true. I'm just gonna do some more research and confirm it.

    Thanks for the help, Elgaisma.
     
  4. Rhysirl
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    Rhysirl Member

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    I think it's partly that, but I think the distaste for social institutions includes more like, for example, those cop shows/movies, where they pull some kind of stunt and get called into their chief's office and they'll saunter in there and then get yelled at while remaining cool and almost detached, almost overtly disrespectful. My husband refers to these characters as "loose cannons" or "mavericks." They do their own thing and to hell with anyone who tries to tell them otherwise.
     
  5. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    1. Social Institutions: Say he's a very smart guy but he thinks going to college is absurd! He'll make his own way or just give the hell up.

    He wouldn't get married, have a house, etc.

    2. Dominant: People tend to like conformists. Such a person is the type who who steal someone's girlfriend through swooping in and using charisma. Such a guy would also be the center of attention due to his charisma, but that would make others feel inferior and they would dislike him, but have trouble criticizing him. That's because he is smart, dynamic, etc.

    That's what you call an "alpha male" which is the head of a pack. All the other males want to take his place but can't.
     
  6. Tom Gold
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    Tom Gold Member

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    Was Jim Morrison (of the doors) Byronic? He seems to tick most of these boxes for me.

    There would certainly be something compelling about about a character who had most of these 'qualities' - are you planning to write one?
     
  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exile, outcast, outlaw are terms that relate more to political ostracism than social...There will be friction with authorities, with institutions and with those who are bound by conventions. His social power and personal magnetism will (often) tend to augment that friction.
     
  8. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    Rhysirl - Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking. I like that term, "loose cannon". Seems to describe them pretty well. Thanks for the input.

    Allegro - Thanks, that makes a little more sense. Good explanation for the dominance one.

    Tom Gold - Indeed there would, my friend. As of right now I'm just doing research on the type of hero, but I do plan on creating one eventually.

    art - That's a good point, thank you for the help.

    All in all, thank you guys a ton for all this input. It's really helping me to better understand this type of hero. Keep 'em coming, or feel free to ask me questions as well. Maybe once I start working on a character I'll bring him in here for some opinions.
     
  9. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I think he's a good real life example.

    However wanting to be in a band, be famous, etc is very conventional. I don't know what was marketing in his behavior versus genuine impulses.
     
  10. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    I don't know about Jim Morrison, but does anyone have any examples of other Byronic heroes? I've been looking for some to study, and I haven't been able to find any specifics with Google.
     
  11. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look up Byron - he wrote Byronic heroes.

    Mr Darcy can be seen as one from Pride and Prejudice perhaps not as dark as you want. Mayor of Casterbridge might be one. Valjean from Les Miserables.
     
  12. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    No one ever knew quite for sure, but a very close friend of his said that he had a very hard time with fame and being treated as a sex object, because he really wanted to be understood, not adored. In character he was very much a loner, and the other band members were the ones keeping him attached to them, not vice versa. When they made commercial moves, such as selling one of their songs for use in advertisement, he reacted like they had sold their souls. I think he makes a perfect example of the Byronic Hero.
     
  13. Backbiter
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    Allegro, Horus, that's a very good observation. I never actually considered looking at real-life people as Byronic heroes. That's a very good idea, guys, nice work.
     

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