Jane Eyre

Mr. Rochester: The Byronic Hero in 'Jane Eyre' 10th Grade

In the novel, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Mr. Rochester is introduced in the story just as Jane reaches the age of 18 and has become a teacher at Lowood Institution; she advertises for the governess position, which Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper of Mr. Rochester’s estate of Thornfield, answers gladly. When he arrives at Thornfield after some time away, Mr. Rochester is portrayed as a crabby and sour individual who isn’t really partial to Jane, at first sight. But, when the story progresses, Mr. Rochester evolves from a wary, truculent character to an amiable and more fun-loving trickster. At one point, he even tries to have Jane confess her love for him when he dresses up as a fortune-telling gipsy, but to no avail. Mr. Rochester’s fickle nature plays a huge role in his social interactions with the residents of Thornfield and outsiders, which is why his depiction as a Byronic hero is significant to the story.

A trait that’s intrinsically important to the character of a Byronic hero, and present within Mr. Rochester is intelligence, which is demonstrated when he and Jane are having their discussion: “He lifted up the sable waves of hair which lay horizontally over his brow, and showed a solid enough mass of intellectual...

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