Romeo and Mr.. Diary are often both thought of as the typical Romantic hero, however in very different ways. They may seem to have some similarities that link them together however, their personalities and characteristics differ. Although these two characters were created in two completely different Eras; Shakespearean Romeo in the 16th century and Student’s Diary in the 18th century, the two characters can both be seen to support the concept developed by Lord Byron in his poetry. Some of these characteristics developed are: Egotistical and Introspective, rejecting social norms, moral and ruthless and recklessness.
Despite the fact that Austin would’ve been influenced by the romantic period and the Byronic hero, she willfully subverts these traditions so the initial proud, aloof Mr… Diary is shown to be entirely misjudged by Elizabeth and the reader. Critics like Burst and Frye have noted that the crux of the Romantic hero’s tragedy is that his egotism is such to pervert all his feeling inward on himself, the focus of his entire energy they also additionally noted that the romantic hero is often ‘amoral or ruthless, yet with a sense of power, and often leadership. ‘
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This essay will consider how far Romeo and Mr.. Diary fulfill these notions. A romantic hero is thought of by many as tall, dark and handsome. ‘ Due to this and the way Mr.. Diary is described; “… Fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and of his having ten-thousand a-year. ” we recognize him not only as a romantic hero but also as the hero of the novel. However, At the Emerson ball we also witness Mr.. Diary rejecting social norms, which is one the main characteristics of a Byronic hero. He was discovered to be “proud” and “the most disagreeable man” as he stood in the corner and refused to dance with anyone.
Your sisters are engaged and there isn’t another woman in this room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with” this quote from Mr.. Diary leaves the reader horrified because, from this quote we can see that Diary feels as if no girl in the room possesses enough beauty to be seen dancing with him. His harsh, unfriendly language suggests that he’s quite arrogant yet, socially awkward. Elizabeth was sitting down for two dances and in the times of the 18th Century, women were not supposed to be seated at balls; the men are obliged to make sure that the woman are all accompanied.
This shows that he ejects the social norms and this is identified as one of the main Characteristics of a Romantic Hero, Romeo has been seen to do this too by gatecrashers the Caplet ball. “Self important manner and inclination to evaluate all decisions and actions in terms of repercussion upon oneself” this was quoted by a critic – Burst- regarding Romantic heroes. This is clearly shown in Dairy’s first proposal to Elizabeth at the Collins’ house. ” his sense of her inferiority- of it’s being a degradation … During the whole proposal he spoke about how this marriage would affect his reputation since Elizabeth is off lower class. And this is your opinion of me! ” As he said all these hurtful things he didn’t stop to think about how Elizabeth would be feeling; instead he was outraged and insulted when she rejected his proposal. Romeo too is seen being introspective, especially at the time of his banishment and when he’s pinning Through out the proposal scene Dairy’s movements were described. “he sat for a few moments and then getting up, walked around the room” , “he was struggling for the appearance of composure… “Leaning against the mantelpiece… ” His movements described in this scene show that he keeps moving. This indicates to us that he was nervous and this gives us the impression that he has a heart and is sensitive in some manners. When Diary gives Elizabeth the letter he admits to Elizabeth that he was the reason Mr.. Bentley moved away from Interfiled and due to this we see him as amoral and ruthless. “I remained convinced from the evenings scrutiny, that though she received his attentions with pleasure, she did not invite them by any participation of sentiment. He explains that he felt as if Bentley was more in love with Jane, than Jane was in love with Bentley. As the reader we feel as if he’s being unjust and deserves to e considered amoral and ruthless. This is yet another characteristic of a romantic hero and like in Diary, these characteristics can be spotted occasionally in Romeo too. Romeo can be seen to be amoral and ruthless at times like when he kills both Table and Paris. Despite the fact that he explained himself, the readers and Elizabeth still don’t appreciate his meddling in this situation as he used his power – over Bentley – to his advantage.
The sense of power and leadership is another characteristic that is possessed by a romantic hero such as Diary, this characteristic however is not possessed by Romeo. Mr.. Diary does have power over certain characters in the novel such as Bentley; however he also possesses a certain power over all that are below him and this is due to the fact that in the 18th century the wealthy were more distinguished and had power over the inferior. At some points during the novel, we witness that he uses his power to his advantage, an example of this would be when he tells Bentley to leave Interfiled. L had detached Mr.. Bentley from your sister… ” He explains that he does this to help his dear friend however, we can’t help but think whether he does it in order to get away from Hickman. The turning point of our opinion of Diary is debatable; some people may say that the turning point is obviously after he gives Elizabeth the letter, but it can be argued that Elizabethan feelings didn’t change after a while. Nevertheless, the letter to Elizabeth certainly did soften our view on Diary. We see the more compassionate side of him.
Elizabethan visit to Pimpernel makes us question our initial view on Diary due to the housekeeper who speaks of him Very fondly. ” If I were to go through the world I could not meet with a better -(master)” this quote from the housekeeper makes us question our view on Diary because it’s the complete opposite of what we had witnessed earlier on. The housekeeper goes on to say that he’s very caring and generous and this is news to us. Mr… Diary. “Large handsome stone building” and “the eye was instantly caught”. These two quotes describing Pimpernel also describe Diary.
We witnessed earlier in the novel that Diary is extremely handsome and all the women agreed and noticed without a doubt. Most women at the Emerson ball were awestruck at his sight due to his exceedingly good looks. “Standing well on rising ground” “a stream of some tartar importance”. These two quotes describing Pimpernel can easily be connected to Diary. Diary is very wealthy and owns a huge estate. His income is 10- thousand a year, and he is young therefore has the ability to earn more thus the description of ‘rising ground’.
With his wealth and prosperity comes importance in the society, and this doesn’t seem unnatural or fake therefore the description of ‘natural importance. ‘ According to Fryer’s definition of the Romantic hero, one should be amoral and ruthless. Romeo ends up killing two people: Table and Paris, however he watches his rind (mercuric) die because of him. He also regrets his actions, which would normally save the romantic hero but did he deserve the death that waited for him? As the audience we feel bad for him and feel as if his death was undeserved and that his death was too severe a punishment.
Killing two people is definitely not something that can be forgiven so easily, but he tried to treat Table as family and tried to bring peace between the two feuding families, this therefore proves him not to be amoral and ruthless. As the audience we feel a sense of sympathy towards Romeo because f his desperate efforts to be nice to Table, and also because of his horrible fate resulting in his death and his wife’s death. “O I am fortunes fool” this quote makes the reader empathic, as we feel as if he’s constantly being mocked by fate.
This in turn reminds us of the prologue were it’s mentioned that they are ‘star crossed lovers’ this makes Romeo more of tragic hero rather than a romantic one because his fate seems to be written in the stars and his death certainly is a tragic one. Shakespeare at that time would’ve been highly influenced by the Greek and roman tragedies e. G. : Ovid Paramus and Thesis, this would’ve been the reason for Shakespearean decision for Romeos tragic death. At the beginning of the play we are shown that Romeo is isolated and lonely over his love for Rosalie.
He rejects the social norms and conventions of the time by isolating himself from society due to his love-sickness. In the 16th century men were supposed to be mentally and physically superior to women and were meant to be ‘macho’ and emotionally stable. We find out through his conversation with Benevolent that Rosalie doesn’t love him back; we also find out that she would rather be a nun. Shakespeare at the time would’ve been influenced by the ideals of courtly love and in this play he gently mocks the stereotypes especially in Romeos behavior with Rosalie.
A typical lady would cultivate an attitude of total disdain. Shakespeare takes this to the next level and makes Rosalie unavailable because she’d rather be a nun than be with Romeo. Move on and that there are plenty of other women to choose from:’by giving liberty unto thing eyes, examine other beauties. ‘ however Romeo can’t believe that Benevolent could even suggest such a thing. He remains love-struck over Rosalie and continues o speak in sentimental poetry. Romeo uses a range of techniques in his poetry that add to his characteristics of a Romantic hero. O heavy lightness,serious vanity’ “bright smoke, cold fire, sick health. ‘ These are all examples of his use of oxymoron’s and exaggerated language. It was fashionable in the love poetry of Shakespearean time to put together such contradictory words. Yet putting together these contradictory words in his poetry links his contradictory feelings towards Rosalie. Nevertheless, these strange contradictoriness help to prove that Romeo is indeed a mantic hero as the use of this exaggerated language shows his obsession with feelings and also shows how he is introverted.
This is also because, setting contradictory words together blends the Joys of love with the emotional desolation of unrequited love and the fact that he can express such extreme emotions for a woman he barely knows and at such a young age, shows his immaturity, vulnerability and naivety which aren’t characteristics of a Romantic hero yet adds to his quality of introspectiveness, which is a characteristic of a Romantic hero. Another way that Romeo could be considered to reject social norms is when he desecrates the Caplet ball, when he does so he’s considered reckless and impulsive in our eyes.
Diary rejects social norms also however, by him doing so he looks proud and disagreeable. After persisting requests from Benevolent, Romeo agrees to gate crash the Caplet ball held at his enemy’s house, Benevolent thinks that he’ll be going to look for another woman, however Romeo had something else in mind. He agreed, in hopes of being able to see Rosalie. However, fate had something else planned for him. He fell in love – yet again. Without thinking about the consequences f getting caught, he goes to Gullet’s house acting on impulse.
Barely knowing her on the first night that he meets her, Romeo goes back to the house of his enemy to ask her for her vow of love. The very next day he impetuously goes to Friar Lawrence and asks if he will marry them. “This I pray that thou consent to marry us today. ” It had only been one day since he met Juliet and already he wanted to marry her. All of these acts show that Romeo really possesses the characteristic of recklessness. Egotism is definitely one of the most obvious characteristics of a romantic hero that Romeo possesses.
Shakespeare makes this clear to the reader through the way Romeo reacts to several events that take place. Some include his reaction to the news that he is to be banished. “… Is death ministered. Calling death ‘banished’, thou cut’s my head off with a golden axe. ” From what he says we can see that he focuses more on his pain and how awful it’s going to be for him and doesn’t think about how Juliet might be feeling. Romeo possesses most of the characteristics of a Romantic hero. He is a Romantic hero in many ways, however power and leadership are two things that he lack.
Unlike a childish, immature and naive image of him in our minds. He often speaks in exaggerated and emotive language creating the image of a love sick teenage boy unlike Diary who is quite the opposite as we witness he keeps to himself and doesn’t speak often, especially about his emotions. Diary also has many characteristics of a romantic hero but certainly in a different manner to Romeo. Diary is thought of as a dark , handsome and an aloof character. He possess an element of mystery and this excites the reader and gives us the opportunity to look forward to the revelation of his mysteries.