The Byronic Hero
The Byronic Hero
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The Byronic Hero approach to guilt expresses perpetual feelings of remorsefulness. According to this approach forgiveness for sins of the past is untenable and must be punished with life long isolation from society. It is characterized by more than a touch of self-condemnation and psychological analysis that is inconsolable. It is filled with inner conflict and a hint of hopelessness - The Byronic Hero introduction. Past sins are depicted as an ever-present cloud casting dark shadows over one’s life and the result is living a life of suffering so that past sins can be absolved [The Norton Anthology of English Literature].
This approach is in contrast with the mainstream thinking about sin and guilt. The main school of thought asserts that a truly repentant sinner ought to be forgiven for the past sins. The Byronic hero approach is sad and pessimistic and does not seem to result in any visible good. Past sins cannot be undone and brooding over them does not right the wrongs. On the contrary it robs the person of the opportunity to utilize lessons learnt in instructing others not to follow the same path. The self-inflicted suffering certainly does not cover over sin. The Byronic hero approach is in clear contrast with the Biblical approach in that it does not give any motivation for repentance.
The Biblical approach recognizes the fact that sins are inevitable (1 John 1:10) and therefore only emphasizes confession and change after which the past is forgotten. The Christian approach to guild gives hope to the sinner. It is based on Jesus Christ’s death where the blood shed on the cross at that time purifies all repentant sinners of any past unrighteousness and sins making them new creatures whose sins have been forgiven and consequently not guilty for any wrong done in the past [Roman 8: 1-15]. Christian approach gives hope and motivates sinners to repent.
Repentance comes from Greek word Meta noia meaning change of direction. If a person changes from the evil ways then all they need is to ask for forgiveness and it’s theirs Christian approach to sin and guilt encompasses a whole range of sins as opposed to the Byronic hero’s approach which seems to have a narrow view on sin which only concerns itself with “big sins”. The Christian approach does not consider bigger and smaller sins; they are all forgivable
The holy Bible: 1John:1-10
The holy Bible: Roman 8: 1-15
The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Available on line at: http://www2.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/romantic/topic_5/welcome.htm Retrieved 2007.03.08
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