Hey guys, I am thinking of a character for a movie, I was wondering what you guys think of byronic heroes? I am always curious to use tried and true convetions in new ways. I was thinking of breaking a few convetions of the byronic hero. For an example, the idea that they have to be evil and that they had to have started as a good character (Darth Vader, Heathcliff, etc.).
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the
If you’re playing with a convention you should ask yourself “why?” What’s gained by breaking the conventions of the Byronic Hero? What’s lost by doing this?
Anyway, the Byronic Hero isn’t necessarily evil nor “started” as a “good” character. Was there a source describing it as this?
The Byronic Hero is passionate, conflicted, flawed, and proud. He is usually tired of the world and its philosophy and stands alone like a tower in a storm, buffeted by the world but refusing to bow to it, and this causes immense internal turmoil. He may be surrounded by lesser people who are in awe of him, but though he care intensely for individuals he has decided are valuable, he does not generally see humanity as a whole worth saving.
Batman, Dr. Doom, and Iron Man all have a lot of Byronic traits. Darth Vader qualifies not because he’s evil and used to be good but because he’s tormented, proud, conflicted, and lives only by the philosophy of the Dark Side. Kelsier from Mistborn is almost hilariously this to a T.
Here’s the thing: This is a very human and necessarily Antichrist-ian trait. There’s a reason vampires are so often portrayed as the Byronic Hero. The Satanist perspective of the devil as seen in Paradise Lost is the perfect embodiment of this, and we just need to be aware of what we’re saying when we use this character type. I personally love reading it and getting my angst on, but know that redeeming the Byronic Hero is less thematically appropriate than giving them a tragic end or some kind of violent catharsis, and that you’re definitely signaling some kind of very dark story if you use them straight out of the box.
Since you’re already talking about using them differently, I’ll just go back to what I initially said: What is gained by making the Byronic Hero less “evil?” What are the traits you feel embody evil, and if you remove them, what’s left? Could you still call them Byronic?
"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita