Author Information

Marybeth Forina


In her novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë established several elements that are still components of many modern novels, including a working, plain female hero, a depiction of the hero’s childhood, and a new awareness of sexuality. Alongside these new elements, Brontë also engineered a new type of male hero in Edward Rochester. As Jane is written as a plain female hero with average looks, Rochester is her plain male hero counterpart. Although Brontë depicts Rochester as a severe, yet appealing hero, embodying the characteristics associated with Byron’s heroes, she nevertheless slightly alters those characteristics. Brontë characterizes Rochester as a Byronic hero, but alters his characterization through repentance to create a new type of character: the repentant Byronic hero.

Note on the Author

Marybeth Forina is a senior who is double majoring in Elementary Education and English with a minor in Mathematics. This essay began as a research paper in her senior seminar, The Changing Female Hero, with Dr. Evelyn Pezzulich (English), and was later revised under the mentorship of Dr. James Crowley (English).

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