Tragic events such as Charlotte and Emily Bronte's mother dying before either child had reached the age of five, followed barely three years later by the passing of their two eldest siblings, Maria and Elizabeth, shaped both Bronte sisters' lives drastically. Because of these tragic events, both canonical authors became known for their depictions of a chronically lonely, tragic and devilish character known as a Byronic hero. In Charlotte's "Jane Eyre" the part of Byronic hero is played by Rochester and in "Wuthering Heights," Emily's literary work, Heathcliff is nearly the definition of the Byronic hero. At one point in "Jane Eyre," Blanche Ingram even references a song from one of Lord Byron's famous poems Corsair. This particular poem is about a corsair, or pirate, named Conrad who is one Lord Byron's own Byronic heroes. Many critics have tried to figure out who in the Bronte sisters' lives, could be the motivation behind their Byronic heroes. This essay will attempt to prove that the influence for the Bronte's depictions of the Byronic hero is their brother Branwell by showing common Byronic characteristics shared by both fictional characters and Branwell using psychoanalytic and postcolonial lenses. The three Byronic characteristics that Branwell, Rochester and Heathcliff share are their want for a woman they can't have, their proneness to being moody and their dark secrets that have occurred because of their isolated travels. .
In order to prove the legitimacy of the Bronte sisters life experiences shining through into their writing's it is important to show not just characteristics of the characters and Branwell but also other instances from their books and life. The most obvious example of a childhood experience coming out in a Bronte writing is Charlotte's representation of the Lowood School in Jane Eyre compared to her experiences at Cowan Bridge.