Ctrl-$something part, you can use
Ctrl-[ instead of
Escape in readline or the terminal in general without any extra configuration.
You can also bind any of
Ctrl-_ (provided they're not a terminal special character like
quit) with eg:
bind '"\C-@": "\e"'
On some terminals,
Ctrl-@ is also generated by the
Ctrl-` combo, and
Ctrl-_ by the
Alt-key combinations are usually mapped to
Esc-key in most terminals (subject to terminal emulator settings), so you can bind for instance
Alt-C instead of
Ctrl-C is handled as a special key (
intr) by the tty driver before even reaching bash or readline, since readline doesn't turn off the
ISIG tty setting when entering the line editor. You can of course, always do eg.
stty intr ^]; bind '"\C-C":"\e"'
and retrain you to use
Ctrl-] instead of
Ctrl-C when you want to interrupt a job, but that's quite obviously a very bad idea.