Faculty of Arts

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Patrick Spedding


The unit is designed to introduce students to the development of the Dark or Satanic Hero in a range of major English texts selected to illustrate the tremendous impact and popularity of this powerful figure in the Romantic Period. Writers such as Marlow, Milton, Beckford, Lewis and Byron created defiant heroes who embody radical individualism, self-sufficiency and ambition, but who are isolated, gloomy and dissatisfied by their revolt against God, government and society. Special attention will be given to the relationship between the Dark and Byronic Heroes in the nineteenth century and the survival and transformation of this figure in the vampires and villains of contemporary culture.


Students successfully completing this subject will be able to:

  1. identify key characteristics of the Dark or Satanic Hero;
  2. identify the historical development, and with a range of different historical manifestations, of this figure;
  3. identify the psychological, social and cultural roots of this figure and the impact it has had;
  4. identify the key critical debates concerning the Dark Hero;
  5. evaluate the relevance of these debates to the course-texts as well as to modern manifestations of the figure;
  6. argue their interpretations clearly and persuasively in oral and essay form;
  7. communicate ideas and position effectively in discussion;
  8. demonstrate superior skill in identifying and using a range of original texts, scholarly editions and digital archives;
  9. show a more profound understanding of the theoretical issues involved.


Written work: 50%
Test (1 hour): 40%
Participation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Patrick Spedding

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture per week
One 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Comparative literature and cultural studies


Any two of ATS1903, ATS1296, ATS1300, ENH1010