Michael Fassbender in Jane Eyre (2011).
“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you - especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred or so miles of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you - you’d forget me.”
Rest assured, speaking eloquently is not the only thing Mr. Rochester excels at with his tongue. Which is technically a spoiler, and so is the rest of this post. However, reading this as a teaser will not detract from the Jane Eyre experience. Mr. Rochester is not all Charlotte Brontë’s first masterpiece has to offer…though he is incredibly sexy and bangable.
Mr. Rochester never offers Jane Eyre a library, nor does he leave her books like a little book elf. (Which are the only reasons why the Disney Beast and Monsieur Paul are not considered total psychopaths. Also, book elves exist.) He does, however, offer to adorn her in diamonds. Diamonds that have been in the family for generations. Not shabby.
Edward Fairfax Rochester is forever accusing Jane of being a fairy of some sort, referring to her “fairy-like fingers” and inquiring as to whether she has been waiting for her people, the “men in green.” It sounds odd, but his delivery has caused many a reader to swoon. Who wouldn’t love to be compared to something magical?
Sure, he lies to Jane about being married. He keeps his wife in the attic, but one must admit that she is violent and unstable. It is notable that he tries to save Bertha from herself, and makes a significant sacrifice doing so.
Jane Eyre would not be the Gothic Romance it is if the character of Mr. Rochester weren’t so perfectly flawed. Read it if you haven’t done so and if you have, did you notice how the plot mirrors the old-school Rapunzel fairy tale towards the end? Genius.