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Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Antihero

Definition:

The antihero is not your grandmother's kind of hero. There's no shining armor or white horses for the antihero. Oh no. He or she won't quite fit in with the grandeur and glory you might be expecting. The antihero might be ugly, might be a criminal, or might be from a lower walk of life. Despite all this, you root for him or her nonetheless.

Famous antiheroes include Mack the Knife, Richard III in Shakespeare's play of the same name, and Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

Can you think of any antiheroines? Daniel Defoe's lady rogue Moll Flanders is one of them, but there have to be some others, right?