An enquiry into the appropriation of the Byronic hero in Brontë fiction.

SHIMWELL, Emily Erica. (2015). An enquiry into the appropriation of the Byronic hero in Brontë fiction. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Criticism upon the Byronic hero has previously focussed upon Romantic male authors that aimed to tantalise female audiences with their Byronic creations. However, the most enduring examples of Byronic heroes were arguably created by female authors of the Victorian period, in protofeminist texts. The most famous examples of these Byronic appropriations can undoubtedly be found in the works of the Bronte sisters. This thesis aims to examine why the Brontes adopted and modified the Romantic figure of the Byronic Hero, in the Victorian period, and utilised it for their purpose of reassessing female roles.In order to do this, focus will be placed upon the metamorphosis of the Byronic prototype in the Bronte sisters' fiction. My study will commence by examining how the Brontes imitated the Byronic hero of the masculine Romantic tradition in their juvenilia, attempting to assess to what extent this proves problematic for a collection of female authors. My second chapter will consider the transmutation of the Byronic hero into a female form in their most popular works. In doing so it will outline how the Brontes used the form of the female Bildungsroman, regenerating the Byronic heroine for this genre, in order to sustain the difficult balancing act between individualism and socialisation. The final chapter concludes with a discussion of the possible limitations of the Byronic hero (within in the novel form) in Shirley, but examines how Villette attempts to resolve these constraints.This research attempts to differentiate itself from other research within the field, with regard to the Byronic hero, as it aims to contextualise the character-type within both a Victorian setting and women's fiction. In doing so, this work situates itself within the newly emerging body of research which aims to consider female appropriations of Byronism, in connection with questioning the roles of women in nineteenth-century society. This study will interact with critical works from scholars such as Franklin, Lansdown and Wootton. The objective of this research is to explore two under researched areas of criticism: firstly, female appropriations of the Byronic hero (which have often been dismissed as a cliches), and secondly the possibility that the Byronic hero can exist in a female form.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis advisor - Dredge, Sarah
Thesis advisor - Earnshaw, Steve
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2015.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:19

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