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Essay On Heathcliff

722 words - 3 pages

Charlotte Brontë described Heathcliff as a ‘man’s shape animated by demon life – a ghoul” To what extent do you think this is an accurate assessment of the ways in which Heathcliff is presented in the novel?

Heathcliff is presented in this novel in various different ways. He is a character that arguably shifts from having human qualities, to presenting traits of the Byronic hero and finally becoming a typical gothic villain. The doomed central character of Heathcliff in this gothic novel could be paralleled to that of Satan in John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ where Satan is cast out by God from Heaven into the terrible darkness of Hell.

One could argue that Brontë does in fact present ...view middle of the document...

His passionate nature leads to an intolerable frustration that makes him lose his humanity.

Heathcliff is presented as an evil man and the typical Gothic villain displaying no human feelings with his cruel treatment of Catherine and Isabella. Even Cathy whom he calls “my love, my life, and my soul” accuses him of being her murderer (“you have killed me – and thriven on it”) showing the gothic hero’s mystical power to triumph over women’s will and conscience by resorting to his dark demonic appeal as well as showing his ‘otherness’ by the fact that he can love to a great degree but can also inflict pain and suffering, typical features of a gothic hero. Furthermore Isabella asks “Is Mr.Heathcliff a man? ... And if not, is he a devil?” Isabella’s questions reflect Heathcliff’s abnormity caused by his drive for revenge. He is depicted in a monstrous way even though he manages to make enormous fortune and he is synonymous of “demon” throughout the course of the novel as he is capable of...

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