anti-hero

anti-hero, principal character of a modern literary or dramatic work who lacks the attributes of the traditional protagonist or hero. The anti-hero's lack of courage, honesty, or grace, his weaknesses and confusion, often reflect modern man's ambivalence toward traditional moral and social virtues. Literary characters that can be considered anti-heroes are: Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's novel Ulysses (1922), Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman (1949), the bombardier Yossarian in Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 (1961), and the protagonists of many of Philip Roth's and Kurt Vonnegut's novels.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on anti-hero from Fact Monster:

  • Clint Eastwood - Clint Eastwood actor, director Born: 5/31/1930 Birthplace: San Francisco Academy Award-winning ...
  • Jean Gabin - Gabin, Jean Gabin, Jean , 1904–76, French film actor, b. Paris; his original name was Alexis ...
  • Aeon Flux - Biography of Aeon Flux, Sexy animated assassin from MTV's Liquid Television
  • Jon Hamm - Biography of Jon Hamm, The handsome actor who plays Don Draper on TV's Mad Men
  • Encyclopedia: Literature: General - Encyclopeadia articles concerning Literature: General.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Literature: General