The Eagle Soars Alone: A Study of Five Byronic Hero Types

Publication Year



English, literature, Byronic heroes, birds, Byron, Romanticism


Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature | Poetry


Being a Romantic at heart, I was immediately drawn to the literature of the Romantic period. Byron as a person and as a port especially interested me. His Byronic heroes all seemed to symbolize defiance, melancholy despair, and thwarted hopes and aspirations. In an age such as ours when heroes are merely nuts and bolts of a cosmic machine, Byron's heroes were striking symbols to me of an age gone by when a lone man could be great in the real sense of the word, could soar like an eagle. He is the type of man

"...who by the absolute courage of his defiance of moral and social taboos becomes "the unconfessed hero of humanity."...He is the expression of our social insecurity, our distrust of our fellows, our dissatisfaction with authority, our disillusionment with social achievement. He is the symbol of our defiant refusal to accept the insignificant role of the individual ego in society or the universe which modern knowledge forces upon us. In short, he represents the ego in conflict with the forces battering to subdue or destroy it--the ego which triumphs in the moment of defeat."

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

English: Literature and Writing

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