I'm looking a singular word that implies the archetype of "tall dark and handsome". The origin of the word would also help-- I've seen a lot of responses, here and on Google, referencing "The Story of Hester Malpas," but that's not what I'm thinking of. I was once told there was a word that meant that, and it was derived from the first use of the character type, and now I'm totally blanking on it the night before an essay on a character that totally embodies that.
The 'Byronic Hero', while not a singular word, is definitely the right kind of area. Examples include:
- Heathcliff: "A half-civilized ferocity lurked yet in the depressed brows and eyes full of black fire, but it was subdued; and his manner was even dignified: quite divested of roughness, though stern for grace..." (Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte, Ch. 10)
- Satan: "Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced, Came towering, armed in adamant and gold..." (Paradise Lost, John Milton, Book VI)
If that's not quite right, a one-word phrase that might be helpful for you is "antihero". There's a definition here (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/anti-hero), for starters.