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How is Maxim de Winter in "Rebecca" an example of a Byronic hero?

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janepomuceno | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 24, 2008 at 1:35 PM via web

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How is Maxim de Winter in "Rebecca" an example of a Byronic hero?

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted May 24, 2008 at 11:35 PM (Answer #1)

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A Byronic hero, so called because of the writing of Lord Byron, has several characteristics, including a dark, mysterious nature. He is often a loner or isolated from society. He can be moody, and he is usually very intellectual. The writer of "The Gothic Tradition of Daphne du Marier" describes the Byronic hero as having a "charming, handsome appearance [that] causes women to fall in love with him without realizing the hidden trouble of getting involved with such an individual."

Maxim de Winter certainly displays these characteristics. His new wife (whose name is never given!) falls in love with him at first sight. He is mysterious and moody; every time his dead wife, Rebecca, is mentioned he becomes very emotional. He is hiding a secret, whose revelation will change their lives forever.

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