• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Heathcliff has been described as both an archetypal romantic hero and an intrinsically evil villain - Explore the contradictory character of Heathcliff in “WutheringHeights”, with reference to these generic categories.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Heathcliff has been described as both an archetypal romantic hero and an intrinsically evil villain. Explore the contradictory character of Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights", with reference to these generic categories. "She abandoned them under a delusion" he said, "picturing in me a hero of romance and expecting unlimited indulgences from my chivalrous devotion." Heathcliff is portrayed as a villain but at the same time, a romantic hero. It seems that he is double edged. He schemes to get Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights, but he is not always so vengeful and rancorous. For example, when the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw came to the window, he wept for her and begged for her to come back. "Come in! Come in! Cathy do come. Oh do once more! Oh! My heart's darling! Hear me this time, Catherine at last!" in this he shows his hypersensitive side and emotional side. He begs Catherine to go to him and be with him forever. However, his vengeful side does get the better of him quite often and demonstrates him to be gothic, dark, evil and morose. "Though it's as dark, almost as if it came from the devil." This explains his gothic and dark approach. The evil and morose trait is unveiled with Hindley, where he swears revenge on him for all the grief and pain Hindley inflicted on Heathcliff. ...read more.

Middle

An intrinsically evil villain is one who is pure evil, 100% evil even. He or she will stomp and trample over anyone to get what he or she wants and will not stop until they get it. His actions and evil motives are essential to the plot because he is the most unpredictable person in the novel. What he does is so unpredictable, yet so obvious. This reading of Heathcliff is backed by his mistreatment of Isabella and Hareton, his scheming to get what he wants (namely Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange and Catherine) and his violence towards Hindley. "If you don't let me in, I'll kill you!" this evil quote was spoken by Heathcliff and aimed towards Isabella. This was when she locked him out in the cold, just like when Hindley made him sleep in the stables. We cannot however, deny the fact that we are secretly impressed with his cleverness, shown through his scheming and wickedness. We are impressed because we are all a tiny bit envious of him because of his cleverness and amazed at how he gets away with the scheming. Not only does he act a role of the villain but he also challenges the generic description of a romantic hero. He has no morals, his behaviour is devilish and demonic, his gothic and vampiric connotations and his sheer enjoyment of being with the dead. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is intrinsically evil and contradictory. He is also an archetypal romantic hero. He flouts the typical description of him as a romantic hero and swears he is not a romantic hero. He seems to be double edged and has an absolute determination to be with his one true love forever. He is a great believer in transcendent love and assumes he can push the boundaries and be with Catherine for as long as time. His connotations with the devil and death are clearly stated and he refuses to be classed as a hero. He fascinates yet repulses us. We seem to take his side no matter how awful and immoral his actions are. I think that Bront� challenged the Victorian critics because she wanted to change the way life was. Women were not allowed a say in anything that happened, and she felt that that wasn't fair. Personally, I don't think Heathcliff is a very approachable character. He is moody, self-centred, annoying, vile, hypocritical and malevolently malicious. He only cares about himself, even after 150 years he is problematically difficult to understand. "His black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under his brows" is a perfect description of the demonic, evil mortal he is; he denotes the demonic qualities of a flea. He is annoying, you wish he wasn't there; you purposefully avoid anything like him and certainly do not want to be another victim of his cruel, malicious, blood sucking nature. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Emily Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Emily Bronte essays

  1. Wuthering Heights - Heathcliff - Villain or Romantic Hero?

    Earnshaw seemed to have a soft spot for him. Heathcliff abused from this and used it as an opportunity to blackmail Hindley. Once, when the father gave them two horses, Heathcliffs' appeared to have a defect so he made Hindley change with him or he would have his father of the beatings he had received.

  2. Explore how love survives great obstacles in the novels 'Wuthering Heights ' and 'Captain ...

    Her only way to resolve the unresolved - to have the best of both worlds, would be to die and be reunited in heaven with Heathcliff's soul. It is ironic how although death separates Catherine and Heathcliff and yet death is the only way they can be together and does.

  1. To what extent do we feel sympathy towards the character of Heathcliff?

    According to an article in the 'Scots Magazine' of June 1797 this is a common fault found in gothic love stories. 'women in these novels tend to form an attachment to persons unworthy of their affection, and thus to hurry them into marriages terminating in their unhappiness.'

  2. Examine why the first critics of Wuthering Heights thought the novel was subversive and ...

    "He, poor man, was perfectly aghast at the spectacle of Catherine seated on the same bench with Hareton Earnshaw". The characters in Wuthering Heights were viewed by Victorian readers as passionate, but uncouth. They are atypical of characters expected to be found in a book, as the servants do not act like servants, and their masters act boorishly.

  1. Wuthering Heights has been described as the greatest love story ever written. Discuss.

    However, the love between Frances and Hindley lacks much description or emotion within the novel - it is not central to the plot as it is barely elaborated upon. This may be the reason why is comes across as the only genuine love within the novel - the lack of

  2. Wuthering Heights - To What Extent Can Heathcliff Be Described As a Traditional Villain?

    When Heathcliff returns after a three year absence he believes that taking this time out has made him a better man with money and power over Wuthering Heights and that he will finally capture Catherine's love but unfortunately that isn't so.

  1. Wuthering heights, Jane Eyre & Pride and Prejudice

    I love all his looks, and all his actions, and him entirely and altogether." In short, she loves Edgar in the way an average person would commonplace define "love". That she truly loves Edgar in some way is obvious from her statement in an argument with Heathcliff: "Edgar is restored

  2. Discuss the portrayal of Heathcliff and Hareton Earnshaw in 'WutheringHeights'. Are they products of ...

    He describes Wuthering Heights as being 'completely removed from the stir of society' and 'a perfect misanthropist's heaven': he soon realises that Heathcliff could be described in similar ways, especially after he is refused a guide home in a storm and is attacked twice by Heathcliff's dogs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work