Monday, 26 July 2010

Top Ten Picks: Favourite Male Literary Characters

Top Ten Picks is an original meme hosted by Jillian at Random Ramblings. Jillian picks a specific topic and we make a list. This time, the topic is: top ten male literary characters.

Here are my choices:
1. Erik/the Phantom (The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux)
Erik is an anti-hero often called a villain, but I can’t see him as a villain. He commits some criminal actions, but he is far too complex to be simply labelled as a villain. Erik, know to the general public as the Phantom, or the Opera ghost, is a genius: a musician, a singer, an architect, a magician, a ventriloquist. He could have the world at his feet, but there is one thing that shuns him from society: his horribly disfigured face. He is a truly tragic character who, on top of everything, suffers from unrequited love. He does some pretty crazy things in the name of love and also because he thinks that some things that are wrong are actually right. But in general, he is a deeply misunderstood human being, a very tragic and quite Byronic hero.

2. Ivan (If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Aherne)
Ivan is a great character, one of my favourite fictional male characters created in the past few years. He is happy and dedicated, child-like, but not childish. He is very generous, simple and pure at heart. It’s his job to help people and make them happy, and he is devoted to his profession, as well as to the people he befriends. He is a very positive man, bursting with energy and goodwill.

3. Lestat de Lioncourt (The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice)
Lestat is many things. He is the Brat Prince of vampires. He is very curious, always seeking “the truth” and trying out just about anything that comes his way, which often gets him in trouble, but somehow he always get out alive. He is very charismatic, daring and flamboyant, but he is a loner in his core. On one hand, he breaks rules and acts like a fashionista, but on the other hand he persistently tries to find meaning in his existence and ponders on some heavy philosophical questions. He is a great modern Byronic hero.

4. Hamlet (Hamlet by William Shakespeare)
He is charming, intelligent, witty, impulsive, critical, tortured and just a tad crazy: or is he? He is definitely very bitter, melancholic, and cynical of the world. His soul is divided, but ultimately he strives for justice. He is also very intriguing because I still don’t whether he really just pretended to be crazy or actually was mad with grief. In any event, a brilliant character.

5. Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen)
He is my favourite Austen hero. He is sweet,, gentle and caring. If I had to marry an Austen hero, I’d choose him, definitely. He is a bit patronising, especially in regard to Catherine, but nobody is perfect and at the end of the day, he is a genuine, good-hearted young man. He has the ability to be objective and see the world as it is. He is the sort of men that one can rely on.

6. The Joker (DC Comics)
I hope comic books count. I mean, they are books, just with pictures and mostly with dialogue.;) He is the sort of character I would NEVER want to meet in real life, yet he is deeply fascinating and intriguing, mostly because nothing is known about him, only that he is a sociopathic criminal of incredible intelligence, always one step ahead of others. He laughs in the face of rules, creates chaos and anarchy and has immense fun doing it. If you asked him why he kills and creates disorder, he’d reply: because it’s fun. No deeper reason, which chills one to the bones. There is, however, something very cool and almost punk about him. He’s like a punk star gone completely crazy, but he is sane, which is, again, quite scary. He is an Agent of Chaos with mysterious origins, or rather, a hundred background stories he keeps inventing. I just love this character. He is a performer and the world is his stage.

7. Daniel Deronda
(Daniel Deronda by George Elliot)
Daniel is a gentleman, and not just according to his social status, but in his nature. He is noble, well-educated and very altruistic. He is intelligent and also very pure at heart. He is also in search of his true identity, as he never knew his parents. There is something very comforting and friendly about Daniel that draws me in.

8. Pip (Great Expectations by Charles Dickens)
Pip is my favourite character created by Dickens. He did not have an easy childhood, but his luck turned over night – literally. He became a gentleman, which he always wanted to be. He is a romantic, passionate man and also pretty unrealistic. He expects more from his life than he can actually achieve. But he has a strong conscience, which helps Pip in life ultimately. He is just a really romantic character.

9. Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
He is the sort of character that every woman secretly fantasises about. He is haughty and arrogant, and you know you just shouldn’t like, but you do because there is something very charismatic and enigmatic about him. He is handsome, tall and single. He is intelligent, but aloof and his behaviour makes people dislike him. However, he changes his attitude for the better over the course of the novel. There is something very romantic about such a guy letting go for the sake of love.

10. Christopher Seton (A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss)
Christopher Seton is my guilty pleasure. He was my teenage literary crush and pretty much remains one of my literary crushes. He is very handsome, adventurous, confident, arrogant and passionate, which adds to his sensual nature. But he harbours guilt and deep resentment, and he has a very interesting idea about how to deal with those emotions. He is very mysterious, temperamental and a bit dark. He is very smart, mostly serious, but is able to make jokes, too. He is actually pretty sensitive, but he won’t show it, except to one particular lady. He is very loyal.


Blodeuedd said...

Good picks, I do like Tilney, perhaps maybe cos I am a bi like Catherine

Jan von Harz said...

What a great list. Had to laugh over the Joker.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I totally think comic books count (They deserve more respect). Great list! I definitely need to read Daniel Deronda-have you seen the adaptation with Hugh Dancy? Seeing clips of that has gotten me interested in reading the book.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

@Bookworm: Yes, I have seen it and it is a GORGEOUS adaptation. Great cast, great performances, and the usual rich BBC style. I recommend it.

danya said...

I also picked Darcy and Tilney for my list (and briefly considered Hamlet!) I'm a new blogger and now following you, looks like you review a great mix of books :)


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

@danya: Darcy and Tilney are great!;) Yes, I review different genres. It's the story that matters to me, not the genre, really.