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Gothic Protagonist

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Alice Read

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of Gothic Protagonist

Gothic Protagonist Features of the Gothic Protagonist Definition A Protagonist is classed as the main character within Gothic literature. Originally the protagonist was a male role but as feminism started to become more pronounced within society women started to role as the protagonist within Gothic literature, as writers such as Clara Reeves began writing with her novel 'The Old English Baron' . Female involvement became more pronounced in the second half of the eighteenth century where the book were voicing female experiences and identities. They are often fighting between good and evil whilst rebelling against authority for example Frankenstein. Classic protagonists within Gothic literature
include Cathy and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, Jekyll and Hyde, Dorian Gray, Dracula and Dr Frankenstein. Originally the term Protagonist was used within the Greek Drama and referred to the leader of the chorus, as times changed so did the meaning and it soon meant the leader of an onstage play. Byronic Hero
The Byronic hero is named after the English Romantic poet Lord Byron.The Byronic hero manifested itself from Romantic and Gothic heroes of the 19th century.
Byrons first 'Byronic Hero' featured in his "semi-autobiographical epic narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" Features of Gothic Protagonists
Typically the protagonists show a degree of the following
High Social Rank
They are foreshadowed by doom from the beginning
They are easily influenced by past events and let these event effect future decisions
They have a strong physical presence to everyone around them
A strong sexual element
An easy association with the non-human
Driven by passion
All of these characteristics can be found within Gothic Literature. The traditional protagonist is one that suffers mentally
between depression and mania, they tend to be hiding a big secret about themselves and past guilt.
However they use this mystery around themselves as a way to seduce and manipulate people with the intention to destroy. Features of a Byronic Hero
Similar to the traditional Romantic protagonist the Byronic hero is often idealised but often has many flaws such as:
Being disrespectful
Emotional conflict
However alongside these characteristics they have:
An sexual attractiveness
Sophisticated and Intelligent
And are cunning and easily able to adapt Readers tend to sympathies with the protagonist but readers tend to feel repulsion or distaste towards the beginning.
They tend to have a predatory instinct, and are secluded because for their madness.
Society tends to outcast because of their failure to obey authority
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