Daniel Cosway is Antoinette’s illegitimate half-brother, and he harbors a significant degree of animosity toward her and her family. The two have the same father, ex-plantation owner Alexander Cosway, but have different heritages as a result of their mothers’ racial and ethic backgrounds. Ironically, both Daniel and Antoinette suffer from a lack of belonging, but the racial tension that exists between them makes it impossible for them to recognize their similarities. Daniel faces social isolation due to his mixed racial identity, the color of his skin serving as a reminder of the exploitation that Black Jamaicans faced under the rule of white plantation owners. Rather than allowing this struggle to help him identify with Antoinette’s own plight as a practically orphaned girl, however, he refuses to see past the fact that she is white and therefore a symbol of colonization. Daniel only views her in the context of her family’s past, and he uses this perspective to justify the way in which he goes about sabotaging her relationship with Rochester. 

Arguably even more important than Daniel’s relationship with Antoinette, however, is his relationship with Mr. Rochester. Daniel reaches out to Antoinette’s new husband numerous times before they eventually meet face to face, and he uses his both his local knowledge and his male authority to convince him of her inherent madness. Through the letters he writes, Daniel hides his devious purpose behind modest descriptions of himself and a concerned tone. This approach allows him to capitalize on Rochester’s ignorance regarding the history of Coulibri and the disgraced Cosway legacy. One of the most important ways in which Daniel manipulates the narrative of Antoinette’s past is by depicting her as a temptress, a stereotypical image which inevitably threatens Rochester’s sense of male dominance. He appeals to this patriarchal perspective under the assumption that it will drive Rochester to protect his power, and the level of consideration he gives to Daniel’s arguments hints at the success of this approach. Daniel’s ability to exploit both Antoinette’s weaknesses and Rochester’s insecurities makes him a key player in the collapse of their marriage.