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Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
Gothic literature introduction
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Gothic literature introduction

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This is a very brief Introduction to Gothic Literature

This is a very brief Introduction to Gothic Literature

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  • 1. Gothic Literature
  • 2. Like one, that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread, And having once turned round, walks on, And turns no more his head; Because he knows a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread. Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ (1798)
  • 3. Goya The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (1797)
  • 4. Fuseli The Nightmare (1781)
  • 5. Gothic Literature • The text which is thought to have started the Gothic tradition is The Castle of Otranto by Horale Walpole, written in 1764. • It became a popular genre in the late 18th Century, and its conventions have been used by authors ever since. • In the 19th Century, parodies of the genre started appearing, because its conventions were so widely used.
  • 6. Conventions of the Gothic • Generally combines elements of the Horror and Romance genres • Sinister settings – castles, dungeons, secret passages, winding stairs, haunted buildings. • Isolated landscapes – rugged mountains, thick forests, run down backstreets and alleyways, • Bad weather – storms, lightning, thunder, mist, fog. • Evil omens, dark symbolism, ancestral curses and secrets…big secrets… • Elements of the supernatural – ghosts, hauntings, poltergeists, doppelgangers, twins…
  • 7. Gothic Characters • Tyrants, villains, madmen…and crazy woman in attics… • Persecuted maidens, femme fatales, innocent victims often children… • Ghosts, monsters, demons, vampires, werewolves… • Byronic heroes – intelligent, sophisticated and educated, but struggling with emotional conflicts, a troubled past or ‘dark’ attributes, secrets, family curses…
  • 8. Gothic Characters Primary Themes •Mystery and intrigue - There is likely to be a mystery that needs to be solved. This can be anything from a secret room to a puzzle that is ongoing with clue after clue being revealed •Fear and dread - Someone, somewhere in the story, will be living in fear. •Justice and revenge - A wrong being righted. A crime was committed and the person who did the wrong action did not “pay for their crime” or repayment for a wrong that has been done, sometimes recently but often in the past. The person who is targeted is often not the person who committed the original crime. •Good and evil - Appreciating that all human beings have a ‘dark side’ that we all have the potential to commit evil. Most people will fight to overcome this side of human nature. However, someone, somewhere in the story will be committing acts that can only be decribed as evil.
  • 9. Examples • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley, 1818 • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte, 1847 • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886 • Dracula – Bram Stoker, 1897 • Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier, 1938 • The Shining – Stephen King, 1977 • The Woman in Black – Susan Hill, 1983
  • 10. Examples • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley, 1818 • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte, 1847 • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886 • Dracula – Bram Stoker, 1897 • Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier, 1938 • The Shining – Stephen King, 1977 • The Woman in Black – Susan Hill, 1983

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