Archive for March 3rd, 2012

March 3, 2012

Antihero

Travis Bickle

In fiction, an antihero┬áis generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is contrary to that of the archetypal hero, yet typically retains many heroic qualities. Some consider the word’s meaning to be sufficiently broad as to additionally encompass an antagonist who, in contrast to the archetypal villain, elicits considerable sympathy or admiration.

The antihero has evolved over time, changing as society’s conceptions of the hero changed, from the Elizabethan times of Faust and William Shakespeare’s Falstaff, to the darker-themed Victorian literature of the 19th century, such as John Gay’s ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ or as a timid, passive, indecisive man that contrasts sharply with other Greek heroes to Philip Meadows Taylor’s ‘Confessions of a Thug.’ The Byronic hero also sets a literary precedent for the modern concept of antiheroism.

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