Romantic hero

The Romantic hero is a literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has their-selves as the center of their own existence.[1] The Romantic hero is often the protagonist in a literary work, and the primary focus is on the character's thoughts rather than their actions.


Literary critic Northrop Frye noted that the Romantic hero is often "placed outside the structure of civilization and therefore represents the force of physical nature, amoral or ruthless, yet with a sense of power, and often leadership, that society has impoverished itself by rejecting".[1] Other characteristics of the Romantic hero include introspection, the triumph of the individual over the "restraints of theological and social conventions",[1] wanderlust, melancholy, misanthropy, alienation, and isolation.[2] However, another common trait of the Romantic hero is regret for their actions, and self-criticism, often leading to philanthropy, which stops the character from ending romantically. An example of this trait is Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo.

Usually estranged from his more grounded, realist biological family and leading a rural, solitary life, the Romantic hero may nevertheless have a long-suffering love interest, him or herself victimised by the hero's rebellious tendencies, with their fates intertwined for decades, sometimes from their youths to their deaths. (See Tatyana Larina, Elizabeth Bennet, Eugenie Grandet, et al.)


The Romantic hero first began appearing in literature during the Romantic period, in works by such authors as Byron, Keats, Goethe, and Pushkin, and is seen in part as a response to the French Revolution. As Napoleon, the "living model of a hero",[3] became a disappointment to many, the typical notion of the hero as upholding social order began to be challenged.


Classic literary examples of the Romantic hero include:

See also


  1. ^ a b c Wilson, James D. (Winter 1972). "Tirso, hat, and Byron: The emergence of Don Juan as romantic hero". The South Central Bulletin. The Johns Hopkins University Press on behalf of The South Central Modern Language Association. 32 (4): 246–248. ISSN 0038-321X. JSTOR i359767.
  2. ^ Knapp, Bettina L. (April 1986). "Review: The Romantic hero and his heirs in French literature". The French Review. American Association of Teachers of French. 59 (5): 787–788. ISSN 0016-111X. JSTOR i216560.
  3. ^ Furst, Lilian R. (Spring 1976). "The romantic hero, or is he an anti-hero?". Studies in the Literary Imagination. 9 (1): 53–67.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "What are examples of a romantic hero?".
  5. ^ Lukić, Darko. "DRAMATIZATION OF THE NOVEL - TRANSLATION THROUGH TIME AND SPIRITUAL SPACES". Pandur Theaters. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  6. ^ Innes, Christopher; Shevtsova, Maria (2013). The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Directing. Cambridge University Press. p. 28. ISBN 9780521844499. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  7. ^ Kinkaid, Victoria (November 25, 2014). "Why Mr. Darcy is Such an Appealing Romantic Hero". Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "Lord Byron". Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature. Gale. 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  9. ^ Blanch Serrat, Francesca. "Romantic readings: Childe Harold, by Lord Byron". Dove Cottage & the Wordsworth Museum. Retrieved 6 January 2019. It was the year 1809 and Byron had already defined the myth that was to survive him to become one of the most reproduced tropes in our culture: the Romantic hero. Through the Romantic hero that Childe Harold embodies, Byron will attempt to recover from the sufferings of exile.
  10. ^ Eco, Umberto (2011). Inventing the Enemy: Essays. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 105–106. ISBN 9780547640976. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  11. ^ Salstad, Louise. "Juan Anguera, alias Flanagan: Ironic Hard-boiled Hero". The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature. Retrieved 6 January 2019. Both Marlowe and Flanagan are knightly heroes in their way. The emblematic image of the knight--romantic hero if there ever was one--appears on page one of Chandler's first novel about Marlowe, The Big Sleep. The author refers to him in "The Simple Art of Murder" in a famous passage that evokes the image of a modern knight errant: "[D]own these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. . . . The story is his adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure" (Chandler, Later 992).
  12. ^ Guinness, Gerald (1993). Here and Elsewhere: Essay on Caribbean Literature. Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. p. 43. ISBN 0847701913. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  13. ^ Gerwin, Elisabeth. "François-René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand: René". The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved 1 January 2019. Indeed, René has been identified as the text that created and popularised the superior but melancholic romantic hero suffering from profound disillusionment.
  14. ^ "Johann Wolfgang von Goethe". Poetry in Translation. Retrieved 1 January 2019. In 1774 he published his first major work, the self-revelatory novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, in which he created the prototype of the Romantic hero, and instigated a European fashion.
  15. ^ Fiero, Gloria K. (1998). The Humanistic Tradition, Volume 5. WCB Brown & Benchmark. p. 48. ISBN 9780697340726. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
Ajith Kumar

Ajith Kumar is an Indian film actor who works predominantly in Tamil cinema. In addition to his acting, he is also a motor car racer and participated in the MRF Racing series (2010). His other skills include cooking, photography, air pistol shooting and UAV/drone modelling.He began his career with a small role in the 1990 Tamil film En Veedu En Kanavar. Singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam introduced Ajith to Tamil film industry by referring him to play lead role in Amaravathi (1993). Then, Ajith starred in film Prema Pusthakam (1993), and his first critical acclaimed appearance was in the thriller Aasai (1995). To date Ajith has starred over fifty films, he subsequently established himself as a romantic hero with Kadhal Kottai (1996), Aval Varuvala (1998) and Kadhal Mannan (1998). Successful films such as Vaali (1999), Mugavaree (2000), Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000) and Citizen (2001) followed. He established himself as an action hero starting with film Amarkalam (1999).

On 29 April 2011, Ajith dismantled all his fan clubs in Tamil Nadu as his fan club members were not adhering to his requests due to lack of unity and political aspirations among them and also poor performance of his films at the box office at that time.

Byronic hero

The Byronic hero is a variant of the Romantic hero as a type of character, named after the English Romantic poet Lord Byron. Both Byron's own persona as well as characters from his writings are considered to provide defining features to the character type.

The Byronic hero first reached a very wide public in Byron's semi-autobiographical epic narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812–1818). Historian and critic Lord Macaulay described the character as "a man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection".Byron's poems with Oriental settings show more "swashbuckling" and decisive versions of the type. Later works show Byron progressively distancing himself from the figure by providing alternative hero types, like Sardanapalus (Sardanapalus), Juan (Don Juan) or Torquil ("The Island"), or, when the figure is present, by presenting him as less sympathetic (Alp in "The Siege of Corinth") or criticizing him through the narrator or other characters. Byron would later attempt such a turn in his own life when he joined the Greek War of Independence, with fatal results, though recent studies show him acting with greater political acumen and less idealism than previously thought. The actual circumstances of his death from disease in Greece were unglamourous in the extreme, but back in Europe these details were ignored in the many works promoting his myth.The Byronic hero had a significant influence on later literature, in English and other languages.

Captain Harlock

Captain Harlock (キャプテン・ハーロック, Kyaputen Hārokku, also known as "Captain Herlock" for the English release of Endless Odyssey and as "Albator" in French-speaking countries) is a fictional character created by manga artist Leiji Matsumoto and the protagonist of the Space Pirate Captain Harlock manga series.

Harlock is the archetypical Romantic hero, a space pirate with an individualist philosophy of life. He is as noble as he is taciturn, rebellious, stoically fighting against totalitarian regimes, whether they be Earth-born or alien. In his own words, he "fight[s] for no one's sake... only for something deep in [his] heart." He does not fear death, and is sometimes seen wearing clothing with the number 42 on it. In Japanese culture, the number 42 is associated with death (the numbers, pronounced separately as "four two," sound like the word "shini"—meaning "dying/death").

The character was created by Leiji Matsumoto in 1977 and popularized in the 1978 television series Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Since then, the character has appeared in numerous animated television series and films, the latest of which is 2013's Space Pirate Captain Harlock.

Christian Gion

Christian Gion (born 10 March 1940) is a French film director.

Christian Gion directors of popular french comedies of the 1970s and 1980s. Movies with evocative titles that have no other pretensions than entertainment. Without reaching the peaks of Claude Zidi, he achieved some great successes. The first will be Le Pion (The Pawn), a gentle comedy that reveals Henri Guybet as a romantic hero, who will finally find happiness with the divine Claude Jade. The Pawn remains a fable full of optimistic and the best film of Gion. In 1981, it brings together a nice distribution (Marielle, Blier, Guybet ...) for Pétrole, Pétrole (Oil! Oil !).

1975: C'est dur pour tout le monde starring Bernard Blier, Francis Perrin

1976: One, Two, Two : 122, rue de Provence starring Francis Huster, Nicole Calfan

1978: Le Pion starring Henri Guybet, Claude Jade, Maureen Kerwin

1981: Pétrole ! Pétrole starring Jean-Pierre Marielle, Bernard Blier

1982: Les Diplômés du dernier rang starring Patrick Bruel, Marie Laforêt

1983: Le bourreau des cœurs starring Aldo Maccione, Anna-Maria Rizzoli

1984: J'ai Rencontré Le Père Noël starring Karen Cheryl, Armand Meffre

1992: Sup de fric starring Jean Poiret, Anthony Delon

Dev Anand

Dharamdev Pishorimal Anand (26 September 1923 – 3 December 2011), known as Dev Anand, was a noted Indian film actor, writer, director and producer known for his work in Hindi cinema. He is considered as one of the greatest and most successful actors in the Indian film industry.

Do Badan

Do Badan (English: Two Bodies) is a 1966 Hindi film directed by Raj Khosla, and starring Manoj Kumar, Asha Parekh, Simi Garewal and Pran. The music is by Ravi. The film became a big hit at the box office. This is one of the few films within the romance genre in which Manoj Kumar played a role as a romantic hero. Otherwise, he mostly acted in patriotic movies.

The film idea was suggested by Manoj Kumar, who asked Khosla to accompany him for a show of Deedar (1951), directed by Nitin Bose, which was having a rerun in local theatres. Thereafter, the story of Do Badan was written after reworking its story line and the screenplay was written by G.R. Kamat.


Harlequin (; Italian: Arlecchino [arlekˈkiːno], French: Arlequin [aʁləkɛ̃]) is the best-known of the zanni or comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia dell'arte. The role is traditionally believed to have been introduced by Zan Ganassa in the late 16th century, was definitively popularized by the Italian actor Tristano Martinelli in Paris in 1584–1585, and became a stock character after Martinelli's death in 1630.

The Harlequin is characterized by his chequered costume. His role is that of a light-hearted, nimble, and astute servant, often acting to thwart the plans of his master, and pursuing his own love interest, Columbina, with wit and resourcefulness, often competing with the sterner and melancholic Pierrot. He later develops into a prototype of the romantic hero. Harlequin inherits his physical agility and his trickster qualities, as well as his name, from a mischievous "devil" character in medieval passion plays.

The Harlequin character first appeared in England early in the 17th century and took centre stage in the derived genre of the Harlequinade, developed in the early 18th century by John Rich. As the Harlequinade portion of English dramatic genre pantomime developed, Harlequin was routinely paired with the character Clown. As developed by Joseph Grimaldi around 1800, Clown became the mischievous and brutish foil for the more sophisticated Harlequin, who became more of a romantic character. The most influential such in Victorian England were William Payne and his sons the Payne Brothers, the latter active during the 1860s and 1870s.

Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights)

Heathcliff is a fictional character in Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights. Owing to the novel's enduring fame and popularity, he is often regarded as an archetype of the tortured anti hero whose all-consuming rage, jealousy and anger destroy both him and those around him.

He is better known for being a romantic hero due to his youthful love for Catherine Earnshaw, than for his final years of vengeance in the second half of the novel, during which he grows into a bitter, haunted man, and for a number of incidents in his early life that suggest that he was an upset and sometimes malicious individual from the beginning. His complicated, mesmerizing, consumable, and altogether bizarre nature makes him a rare character, with components of both the hero and villain.

Henry Wallis

Henry Wallis (21 February 1830 – 20 December 1916) was a British Pre-Raphaelite painter, writer and collector.

Wallis was born in London on 21 February 1830, but his father's name and occupation are unknown. When in 1845 his mother, Mary Anne Thomas, married Andrew Wallis, a prosperous London architect, Henry took his stepfather's surname. His artistic training was thorough and influential. He was admitted as a probationer to the RA and enrolled in the Painting School in March 1848. He also studied in Paris at Charles Gleyre's atelier and at the Academie des Beaux Arts, sometime between 1849 and 1853.

Wallis is best remembered for his first great success, The Death of Chatterton, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856. The painting depicted the impoverished late 18th-century poet Thomas Chatterton, who poisoned himself in despair at the age of seventeen, and was considered a Romantic hero for many young and struggling artists in Wallis's day. His method and style in Chatterton reveal the importance of his connection to the Pre-Raphaelite movement, seen in the vibrant colours and careful build-up of symbolic detail. He used a bold colour scheme with a contrasting palette and he exploited the fall of the natural light through the window of the garret to implement his much loved style at the time, chiaroscuro. The size of Chatterton's garret was only fractionally larger than the scope of the painting, with room for Wallis and his easel and little else during the preliminary sketches, which were done on-site. The painting is 25x37" and is in the Tate Britain, with other versions in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. There may have been more examples of Chatterton as it was popular and when Wallis had to pay the rent he would paint another version. He once said that dead poets are more saleable than dead labourers (referring to The Stonebreaker) His next major work, The Stonebreaker (1857, exhibited in 1858), consolidated his reputation as a true Pre-Raphaelite. In total, he showed 35 exhibits at the RA, but later in life developed a greater interest in watercolour painting. He was elected a full member of the RWS (Royal Watercolour Society) in 1878 and exhibited over 80 watercolours at the society.

The model for his acclaimed The Death of Chatterton was the young George Meredith, whose first wife Mary Ellen would later run off with Wallis.

Wallis' method of painting, especially in the early years of his career, and in particular on "Death of Chatterton", was to do the initial sketch, saturate it in water, use a grey tint to block in the shade, put on the colour and allow it to dry. When firm, he would use a hair pencil to add in the details, for which he is so renowned. For the light, he would touch the area in question with water and then rub it with a piece of bread. His studio during these years was in Chelsea, a very bohemian and out of the way part of London at the time.

He died, almost blind, at 1 Walpole Road, Croydon, on 20 December 1916.

Jose (actor)

Jose is an Indian actor in Malayalam movies. He was a romantic hero in early eighties. He has acted in about 80 Malayalam films.

Karan Nath

Karan Nath is an Indian film actor. He is best known for his role as the romantic hero in Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa in 2002.

Mr. Darcy

Fitzwilliam Darcy, generally referred to as Mr. Darcy, is one of the two central characters in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. He is an archetype of the aloof romantic hero, and a romantic interest of Elizabeth Bennet, the novel's protagonist. The story's narration is almost exclusively from Elizabeth's perspective; the reader is given a one-sided view of Darcy for much of the novel, but hints are given throughout that there is much more to his character than meets the eye. The reader gets a healthy dose of dramatic irony as Elizabeth continually censures (with some prejudice) Mr. Darcy's character despite the aforementioned hints (via the narrative voice and other characters' observations) that Mr. Darcy is really a noble character at heart, albeit somewhat prideful. Usually referred to only as "Mr. Darcy" or "Darcy" by characters and the narrator, his first name is mentioned twice in the novel.

Prem Nazir

Prem Nazir (born Abdul Khader; 7 April 1926 – 16 January 1989) was an Indian film actor known as one of Malayalam cinema's definitive leading men of his generation. He is considered one of the greatest and most successful actors of Indian cinema. Nazir is often referred to as Nithyaharitha Nayakan ("Evergreen Hero"). Nazir began his career as a stage actor and made his film debut with the 1952 film Marumakal. He took on the stage name Prem Nazir on the sets of his second film, Visappinte Vili (1952). Nazir rose to stardom during the 1950s to become one of the biggest superstars from the 1950s to his death in 1989. He is most famous for being a romantic actor. After 1985, he intentionally moved from main hero roles to character roles as he wanted to do all kinds of characters, as other artists do.

Nazir is noted for his critically acclaimed performances in films such as Murappennu (1965), Iruttinte Athmavu (1967), Kallichellamma (1969), Nadhi (1969), Anubhavangal Paalichakal (1971), Azhakulla Saleena (1973), Vida Parayum Munpe (1981), Padayottam (1982), and Dhwani (1988). Nazir won the Kerala State Film Award (Special Jury Award) for his role as Madhavan Kutty in Vida Parayum Munpe. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the third and fourth highest civilian honours respectively, for his contribution towards the arts. He died due to measles on 16 January 1989 at the age of 62.

Nazir holds two Guinness World Records: for playing the lead role in a record 720 films, and for playing opposite the same heroine in 130 films (with Sheela). He also holds two other acting records; for acting opposite eighty heroines and for acting in lead roles in 41 films which were released in a single year (1979).

Punnaram Cholli Cholli

Punnaram Cholli Cholli is a 1985 Malayalam-language Indian feature film, directed by Priyadarshan, starring reigning star and romantic hero of the 80s, Shankar and Rahman respectively. This is one of the few films of Priyadarshan without Mohanlal. The film was well received at the box office.

Ravichandran (Tamil actor)

Ravichandran (Tamil: ரவிசந்திரன்; c. 1937 – 25 July 2011) was a Malaysian Indian actor who played lead hero roles in Tamil films from 1964 to 1979. He has also acted in supporting roles from 1986, and directed a few films.He was given the title of "Kalaingnar Thilagham" in many of the on-screen credits of films starring him in the lead role. He was also called "Puratchi Kalaignar" (Refer: Anandha Bairavi Tamil Movie Title Scene). Before entering cinema, during his studies in Trichy, he has acted in two dramas, namely, AanaiyidungalAnna and Udhaya Suriyan. After entering cinema, he has acted in two dramas, namely, Mapplley Yen Magalaik Kadhali and That Man from Poonthamallee. In the drama That man from Poonthamallee, he performed in a double role and Thirumuruga Kirupanandha Variyar, who presided over the drama in Vellore, has appreciated and awarded him the title "Nadaga Sigamani". He has also acted in a TV serial, namely, GEE Boom Ba in 1986. During his tenure of acting, his fans, journalists and movie-directors/producers have given many titles, viz., Kalai Ulaga Ilavarasar, Kalai Nilavu, Romantic Hero, Velli Vizha Kathanayagan, Vannap Pada Nayagan, Evergreen Hero, Chennai MGR, Kalaignar Thilagam, Style King, Stunt Man an, Bhagdath Perazhagan, Kalai Chelvan, Pudhumai Thilagam etc. He was very affectionate with his fans.

Shafeeq (actor)

Shafeeq Talwanga is an Indian actor, who has primarily worked in Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil films.

His debut Malayalam film Love Story was a sensational hit and he was considered as a rival to Rahman, the romantic hero of Malayalam films. It was Shafeeq, who brought Break Dance movements in Malayalam films, but his subsequent movies like Naalae Njngalude Vivaham failed and he could not sustain his success.

His Tamil entry as Sanjay in Odangal also met lukewarm response. He later did low-budget films like Kalpana House.

In 90's, he rechristened himself as Varun Raj, grew a moustache and tried working again in Tamil films like Thoothu Po Chellakiliye, Padhukappu, Athipathi and Manivannan' s Gangai Karai Paattu, with little success. He has also done a Bollywood movie titled Khuli Khidki.

Shankar (actor)

Shankar Panicker, is an Indian film actor and director, popularly known as Shankar (Malayalam: ശങ്കര്‍) in Malayalam films. In the early eighties, he was the most prominent romantic lead actor of Malayalam cinema after Prem Nazir for nearly 10 years. Galatta Cinema magazine described him as the "True romantic hero of Mollywood" in their special edition on 100 years of Indian cinema. Shankar's debut Tamil film Oru Thalai Ragam ran for over 365 days in theatres. His Malayalam debut Manjil Virinja Pookkal ran over 200 days in theatres and is one of the all time romantic films of the Malayalam film industry.


Thirumalai is a 2003 Indian Tamil-language romantic action film written and directed by Ramana. This film has Vijay and Jyothika in the lead roles, while Vivek, Raghuvaran, Kausalya and Karunas play supporting roles.Produced by Kavithalayaa Productions banner, Thirumalai shows Vijay playing a bike mechanic of the Pudupet area in Chennai. This film was a turning point in actor Vijay's career as he transitioned himself into a leading action hero from a romantic hero in his acting career. The filming began in June 2002 and the film was finally released on 24 October 2003, on account of 2003 Diwali. The movie completed a 150-day run and was a "Super Hit° at the box office.The film was remade in Telugu as Gowri in late 2004.

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