by Phyllis Grosskurth

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Define the concept of the Byronic hero.

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The Byronic Hero is the idea that set apart Byron's writing from other Romantic thinkers.  The Romantic notion of the self and subjectivity was enhanced in the Byronic Hero, a protagonist who was set apart from the outside world.  The Byronic Hero is "different" from the social norm, a rebel with a cause.  The cause of the Byronic Hero is the pursuit of how life should be, as opposed to what it is.  The Byronic Hero possesses the belief of being the only sensitive soul in a world of crushing insensitivity.  Among the characteristics of the Byronic Hero would be that the character is similar to Byron himself:  "Mad, bad, and dangerous to know."  This helps move the Byronic Hero as an utterly Romantic individual, or one who embodies the Romantic tendencies.  In the Byronic Hero, the full force of what it means to be an individual, to be one who is sensitive to elements that others are not, is brought out in force as it is a construction of how Byron might have seen himself.

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