Personal Outlook

Byronic Men

Have you ever felt tortured by your romantic expectations? Since I’m learning new things in my college classes, I’m really excited about them like any student should be. I especially love learning about the origins of different subjects. I’m taking a Brit Lit class right now and learned about Lord Byron this week.

George Gordon Byron was a poet from the Romantic Period (late 18th century and early 19th century), and he was the beginning of the “moody romantic guy” with a good heart but a harsh personality. He traveled around to different countries while doing a lot of drinking and drugs. He had a habit of sleeping around and hurting a lot of women. He was a wonderful poet, but was tortured by his romantic thoughts of how life should be. He wasn’t a happy romantic, but he was very dark and had a hard time enjoying his life.

We see this type of man in so many movies and books. Women flock to this type of tortured soul, and we’re actually surrounded by these types of men. There’s even a term for it Byronic Heroes (< click link for a list of 20 top, including Wolverine, Edward Cullen, etc.).

These “heroes” can be both cruel and kind. They’re rational and emotional. They’re usually hopeless romantics who fall deeply in love but are never able to find a woman who is “perfect” enough because they’re human and not perfection. They idolize their poetic souls more than rational thought and desires. Many of these men turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with how hauntingly disappointing life can be.

This topic got me thinking about how men in my own life have acted. Not only in romantic relationships, but also with family members or friends. There’s always those tortured souls who can’t seem to find anyone who truly understands them because they’re so intelligent and romantic and special and no one else can live up to that same level. So they live each day complaining about how much of a higher level they are than everyone else and how lonely it is to be so thoughtful.

These media idols have been created after the idea of Lord Byron’s romantic and beautiful anti-hero persona. Now here’s my question, do some men act this way because of how the media portrays being a thoughtful and desirable man? Is the media to blame for this idea of a perfect romantic love that no one can live up to because we are human and we are imperfect?

Another Commoner


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