Riccio, Catherine Adele
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The Byronic Hero did not die out with the appearance of Byron’s Don Juan. On the contrary, through the use of humor in the narrator’s commentary, a new Byronic Hero emerged, one capable of uncovering the uncomfortable truths behind an artificial society. The inclusion of humor strengthened this character type’s resiliency and made him more accessible to modern audiences. This study explores the modern incarnation of this important Romantic figure by focusing on the title character of the currently successful television show, House, M.D. This study places House into the tradition of the Byronic Hero, focusing in particular on three key elements: House’s characteristics that fit the traditional Byronic Hero, the unique approach to morality that makes both House and the Byronic Hero a useful mechanism for social commentary, and the necessity for a humorous outlook in order to secure the survival of this unique character in modern popular culture.