I've been reading Terry Eagleton's Marxist critique of the bronte's and Eagleton writes that Catherine "reifies Heathcliff to a Hegelian essence, sublimely untainted by empirical fact".

I can't seem to find any simplified explanations of the concept of "Hegelian essence", so any help with understanding this concept would be appreciated.

  • See this post for details about Hegel's notion of essence. Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 12:05
  • In the context of Bronte's novel, it means noting. The "pseudo-marxian" jargon: "reifies Heathcliff to a Hegelian essence", can mean that Catherine sees Heathcliff as a sort of mytical character, half hero-half demon. Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 12:11
  • Thanks Mauro Allegranza, the above post was very useful. Your interpretation that Catherine views Heathcliff as a mythical character makes sense to me, as Heathcliff's 'essence' seems to be the idea of Heathcliff rather than his physical manifestation, many thanks :) Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 12:23
  • See some lines above : "the timeless metaphysical idea Heathcliff embodies." And after: "he would rather enact his essence..." Thus IMO, as per post linked, it is only "essence"; the Hegelian concept has no specific differences with the traditional (Aristotelian) notion that can be relevant for this context. Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 12:29


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