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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
Anti-Heroes in English Literature
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0325  Thursday, 5 February 2004

[1]     From:   Bob Marks <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 04:29:17 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0311 Anti-Heroes in English Literature

[2]     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 09:11:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0311 Anti-Heroes in English Literature


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Marks <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 04:29:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0311 Anti-Heroes in English Literature
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0311 Anti-Heroes in English Literature

Those who have alleged Cordelia's Insolence would no doubt be inclined
to put her in the category of an anti-hero. Not where I would put her
though!

Bob Marks
Sydney

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 09:11:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.0311 Anti-Heroes in English Literature
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0311 Anti-Heroes in English Literature

"Are not Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Shylock , Othello, Troilus /
Ulysses, etc all ANTI- Heroes in that they do not represent simple moral
correctness (for want of a better expression) and are mostly tragic -
which virtually by definition qualifies them as anti-heroes (here read
Dryden on 'fear and pity')."

It would help this discussion a great deal if we had an idea of what
"anti-hero" meant. I was assuming a protagonist who deliberately acts in
a- or immoral ways, or has purely selfish motives. By that definition,
only Macbeth (and maybe Shylock, although he is the protagonist) count
as anti-heroes.

"Incidentally, only a crude anti-Miltonic mis-reading of Paradise Lost
could ever consider Satan a hero of any kind."

Anti-Miltonic certainly, but I don't believe that reading Satan as the
immoral protagonist is crude or really a mis-reading. Almost all of my
students and the Romantics recognized that he is the central character
for most of the poem, that he undergoes the most dramatic changes, risks
the most in pursuit of his goals and captures most of the reader's
attention. Whether anti or straight, surely that is what a "hero" is.

Annalisa

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