Rogue (vagrant)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Lazarillo de Tormes (1808-12) by Francisco de Goya "Before the blind man could withdraw his long nose that was choking Lazarillo, his "stomach revolted and discharged the stolen goods in his face, so that his nose and that hastily chewed sausage left (Lazarillo's) mouth at the same time".
Enlarge
Lazarillo de Tormes (1808-12) by Francisco de Goya
"Before the blind man could withdraw his long nose that was choking Lazarillo, his "stomach revolted and discharged the stolen goods in his face, so that his nose and that hastily chewed sausage left (Lazarillo's) mouth at the same time".

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A rogue is a vagrant person who wanders from place to place. Like a drifter, a rogue is an independent person who rejects conventional rules of society in favor of following their own personal goals and values.

In modern English language, the term rogue is used pejoratively to describe a dishonest or unprincipled person whose behavior one disapproves of, but who is nonetheless likeable or attractive.

Contents

History

The word rogue was first recorded in print in John Awdely's Fraternity of Vagabonds (1561), and then in Thomas Harman's Caveat for Common Cursitors (1566).

In England, the 1572 Vagabonds Act defined a rogue as a person who has no land, no master, and no legitimate trade or source of income; it included rogues in the class of idle vagrants or vagabonds. If a person were apprehended as a rogue, he would be stripped to the waist, whipped until bleeding, and a hole, about the compass of an inch about, would be burned through the cartilage of his right ear with a hot iron. A rogue who was charged with a second offense, unless taken in by someone who would give him work for one year, could face execution as a felony. A rogue charged with a third-offense would only escape death if someone hired him for two years.

The 1598 Vagabonds Act banished and transplanted "incorrigible and dangerous rogues" overseas, and the 1604 Act commanded that rogues be branded with the letter "R" on their bodies.

Rogue literature

Rogue literature is literature in which rogues are featured as protagonists. They are a stock character in fiction everywhere. These novels are called picaresque in Spain and schelmenroman in Germanic languages. A German example is Simplicius Simplicissimus by von Grimmelshausen.

The field of rogue literature has been studied in the 1907 book The Literature of Roguery:

This book presents a detailed study of a large, complex, and important tract of literature. In the main it deals with what has hitherto escaped classification, or considers famliar matter from a new angle. Such tropes as the anatomy of roguery and the criminal biography are here for the first time defined and displayed in their development and connection with imaginative letters. Other types, like the jest-book, the drama, and the detective story, are now first correlated with the genre. Authors never before ranged in this camp are accorded honors there, and the credentials of those long enrolled are subjected to revision. If the English novel in a few specimens has already received attention as exemplifying the picaresque strain, no endeavor has before been made to discuss it from this standpoint as a whole. Nor has any rigorous criticism of individual works sought, as here, to determine their exact dependence upon foreign sources or the degree of their resemblance to and divergence from models of the type in other lands.

In the broadest sense, this history follows the fortunes of the anti-hero in literature. More narrowly, it is a study of realism, for it investigates the role enacted in literary art by the observation of low-life. Specifically, it traces in English letters a notable series of gradations from the first crude records of actuality to the complete reshaping of experience by the imagination, and in this process it points a constant tendency toward romanticism, counteracted at times by fresh returns to fact. It aims therefore to do a threefold service: first, to exhibit in its origins and organic growth a body of literature of considerable extent and intrinsic interest; secondly, to trace the development of anti-heroism in letters as reflecting the disintegrating play of the forces of evil in society; and thirdly, to exemplify a significant process and tendency in art.


Influence in contemporary entertainment

Film

In the 2010 Jonah Hex film, Josh Brolin plays the protagonist Jonah Hex, who turns rogue and effectively becomes an outlaw after his general officer, Quentin Turnbull (played by John Malkovich), orders him to burn down a hospital. When Hex refuses to follow Turnbull's orders, Turnbull burns down Hex's house with his family inside.

Similarly to the enactment of the 1604 Vagabonds Act, Quentin Turnbull brands his initials "QT" on Jonah Hex's face with a hot iron.

Gaming

In many role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy franchises, rogues may be player characters. The characters vary widely but are commonplace in the genre, and are considered a vital part of a balanced party. Rogues are typically dexterous and possess many skills, allowing them to excel in many areas of expertise. The rogue character's focus is often on finesse over raw strength, making them use wit and traps before direct confrontation in a fight, adept at picking locks, disarming and laying traps, use stealth and other unconventional approaches to accomplishing their goals.

Though many rogue characters are made to be thieves and con artists, they can also be scouts, archers, and many other professions.

See also

In fiction

References




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rogue (vagrant)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools