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The Ambiguous Mr. Rochester

             In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester appears to exemplify the idea of a Byronic hero, but Bronte eventually throws out any such classification of Rochester as such a character. Rochester does, however, possess qualities of the classical Byronic hero. In his manner, speech, and through comments made concerning him, Rochester is presented as both a Byronic hero and as being no different from most conventional heroes.
             In Chapter 14 of Jane Eyre, Rochester is described by a fire, sitting in eerie silence, but his emotion and feelings are never defined as one clear picture (136). Through this example, he is portrayed as a Byronic hero in his forlorn manner. The writings of Lord Byron, from which the concept of the Byronic hero comes, often contained a mysterious protagonist who seemed disconnected from the other characters in the story. Later, in chapter 27, Rochester is further described as a man of passion, a key trait of the Byronic hero. When Jane denies him a kiss, he exclaims, "What! "How is this?- in disbelief of her rejection (317). Earlier in their conversation, Rochester expresses the great remorse he has for any discomfort or pain that he might have caused her. He does so through a powerful allegory of a man and his slain lamb (316-317). Remorse, along with guilt, is another aspect of Rochester's character that aids in defining him as a Byronic hero. Rochester is a man of emotion and he seldom acknowledges the parameters of other men. His altered view on monogamy and marriage serve as yet another prime example of the embodiment of a Byronic hero. But even with all the support of his character as that of a Don Juan, Rochester is not what he appears to be.
             Bronte, perhaps, brings about the most profound contradiction of Mr. Rochester's stance as a Byronic hero through her description of him. When Jane and Rochester first meet, it is outside on the ice and Mr.

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