In literature, an antihero (or antiheroine as the female) is a protagonist who has no heroic virtues or qualities (such as being morally good, idealistic, courageous, noble, and possessing fortitude), blurring the line between hero and villain. The Byronic hero sets a literary precedent for the modern concept of antiheroism.
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The term antihero is first dated to 1714, although literary criticism identifies the concept in earlier literature, such as that of the ancient Greek dramatists as well as Don Quixote in 1605.
The concept of the antihero has evolved over time, changing as society's concept of the traditional hero has changed from the Elizabethan times of Faust and William Shakespeare's Falstaff, through the eighteenth century example of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (1749), to the darker-themed Victorian literature of the 19th century, such as Philip Meadows Taylor's Confessions of a Thug. Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1959) both include antiheroic protagonists.
See also 
Further reading 
- Simmons, David (2008). The Anti-Hero in the American Novel: From Heller to Vonnegut. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-230-60323-8.