In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, the character Heathcliff is a satanic hero. A Satanic hero is a character that overcomes tremendous odds, using his wits and courage, but is evil and cruel. Heathcliff has all of the traits of a conventional hero. The only difference is his nature is completely evil.
Heathcliff faced multitudinous obstacles. He was born a gypsy, which automatically damned him in the eyes of society. " How could he fashion to bring that gipsy brat into the house- (p. 2) Orphaned at an early age, he lived on the streets until Earnshaw found him. " A tale of his seeing it starving, and houseless in the streets of Liverpool." (p. 2) Hindley took an immediate disliking to Heathcliff, and tormented him incessantly. " But Hindley hated him." (p. 33) Catherine loved him, but she threw him over for Edgar because he was rich and had status in society. "It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him-.
Heathcliff overcame his obstacles through cunning and bravery. As a child, he managed to survive on the streets. He put up with Hindley no matter what he did. " He would stand Hindley's blows without winking or shedding a tear- (p. 33) When Catherine betrayed him, he went away. "Heathcliff had never been heard of since the evening of the thunder-storm- Three .
years later, he came back, with all appearances of wealth and culture. "Heathcliff's come back - .
he is!" This overcoming of obstacles through daring and canniness is a trait of a hero.
What set Heathcliff apart from conventional heroes is his evil. He had always been evil. " It's as dark almost as if it came from the devil." (p.32) He took Hindley's horse when his own went lame. " He said to Hindley - 'You must exchange horses with me: I don't like mine; and if you won't I shall tell your father of the three thrashings you've given me this week, and show him my arm, which is black to the shoulder.