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The Character Within Heathcliff Essay

923 words - 4 pages

Heathcliff has been called numerous names as a character; Villain, human, Byronic hero, and even being compared back to Shakespeare, but not one critic seems to be able to agree on the real identity of Heathcliff. Critics have been unable to call him a specific type of character because Emily Bronte created such a complex being that he is not just one type of character, he was made into his own type altogether.
From Bernard J. Paris’s point of view on Heathcliff , like many other critics, is that Heathcliff is a human being, but “is not supposed to be understood as though he were a person” (Paris). As Paris goes on to point out, it is not only the critics who do not understand what kind ...view middle of the document...

(Paris) Paris’s argument is that Heathcliff is a human, but a human people cannot understand or relate to. Readers are able to relate to Heathcliff through his love for Cathy, which counteracts Paris’s argument and makes Heathcliff come off more as a Wicked Witch of the West. The Wicked Which is a Villain who loved her sister, which goes to show that Heathcliff being evil and in love is something that is relatable to some people and possible in other writing, making it hard for Paris to argue that Heathcliff’s being is an unreliable human.
Melvin R. Watson believes that Heathcliff is a character who is a villain, or can also be seen as a Hero who has chosen evil for his companion because he has been so hurt in life. The Hero aspect of Heathcliff comes from the environment he was molded by. Watson explains that he had no space to work out his destiny because after being picked up by Mr. Earnshaw and being hardened by the harsh treatment growing up Heathcliff had no choice of the person he grew into because of the way he was treated. Watson believes he is a hero because he lived through the harsh treatment growing up and made it out alive, but then Watson goes on to explain that his evil comes from the
resolve to even scores by crushing everyone who has stood in his way, everyone who has helped to thwart his happiness, the specter of which haunts him for seventeen long years during which he works out the venom which has accumulated in his soul.(Watson)
It is easy to believe Watson’s argument that Heathcliff grew into a villain...

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