Examples Of Antiheros

831 Words4 Pages
Antiheroes: neither villains nor supermen but the tragic heroes of daily life. Discussing the depiction of the ‘male American antihero’ within the framework of this thesis in the cases of Lester Burnham, Frank Wheeler, and Brandon Sullivan refers to white men from (upper) middle class leading a drab, emotionally unfulfilling life in the US – in New York City and suburbs in Connecticut, to be exact. First of all, one needs to clarify what exactly makes and antihero and what distinguishes him from other (stock) characters. To begin with, the Compact Oxford English Dictionary for Students defines ‘antihero’ as “a central character in a story, film, or play who lacks typical heroic qualities” (Soanes 36). Therefore, it becomes relevant also to list the dictionary definition of the words ‘hero’ and ‘heroic’: hero: 1. a person who is admired for their courage or outstanding achievements. 2. the chief…show more content…
The tragic hero of daily life can be found in the ancient Greek comedy, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Hamlet (1603), in Cervantes’ Don Quijote in El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (1605) criticising the traditional hero in epics and romances of chivalry, as well as in today’s films about social criticism of Western consumer culture such as Fight Club (1999), or modern TV series such as Breaking Bad. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms further lists Flaubert’s Emma Bovary in Madame Bovary (1857), Joyce’s Leopold Bloom in Ulysses (1922), and Arthur Miller’s Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman as “outstanding examples of this antiheroic ordinariness and inadequacy” and describes the antihero as “ineffectual failure who succumbs to the pressure of circumstances” (Baldick, 13). Frank Eugene Beaver goes a step further, adding characteristics that are particularly interesting for this thesis. His antihero notion of antihero refers to as
Open Document