Okay, I meant to put this up before / around Valentine's Day, but it's still a fun post...so I wanted to go ahead with it anyway.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, and I have kind of drawn a lot from the "classical" literary school, but I would love to hear your additions. But for the sake of simplicity, let's just make it a countdown, shall we?
8) Robin Hood.
Sense of social justice? Check. Giving to poor? Check. Looks good in tights? Check.
7) Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights)
Obviously in desperate need of therapy, but who cares? There's something about a brooding man who needs to be helped. Maybe I'm in the one in desperate need of therapy.
6) Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Forget Obama. Forget Romney. Forget Ron Paul. Atticus Finch is the guy we need in the White House.
5) Sydney Carton. (A Tale of Two Cities)
A far better thing that he does than has been done before? Self-sacrifice, unrequited love, it's all there.
4) Cyrnao (Cyrano de Bergerac)
Confession: the first time I read this (in high school) I cried. If you can write that like, I don't care about the nose!
3) Rhett Butler (Gone with the Wind)
I challenge you to find a more lovable rake.
2) Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby)
The tortured hero who has everything and nothing. And it didn't hurt that he was played by Robert Redford in the move version.
1) Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
Okay, you saw that one coming, didn't you?
I have to include this fan fic cartoon from "Hark! A Vagrant" --a delightful collection of cartoons by Kate Beaton. Check out her website here.