Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2012
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.


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

Literary studies (Literatures in English)


Any first-year ECPS English sequence, or by approval