The gothic motifs and conventions 2011 12Presentation Transcript
TTS SENIOR LIBRARY 2011 What are the motifs and conventions of the gothic novel?
GOTHIC MOTIFS/CONVENTIONS Although there is no agreement about what constitutes a gothic novel it is accepted that ‘ The Castle of Otranto ’ by Horace Walpole (published 1767) first introduced and ma de the gothic novel popular.
The Castle of Otranto marked a noticeable change from literature of the time which typically promoted moral virtues. 18 th century contemporaries imitated Walpole’s book and so many of his gothic devices were adopted. Over the next century these were refined and developed to provide the key conventions in terms of setting and characterisation as well as underlying motifs for the Gothic genre .
GOTHIC MOTIFS/CONVENTIONS “ The Bard” (1817) John Martin Place and setting:
Remote building, often with medieval associations e.g. crumbling castle, abbey crumbling mansion
Wild mysterious landscape e.g. bleak moors
Enclosed even claustrophobic space e.g. passageway, crypt, dungeon, hidden room, dark towers, cloisters
“ A place where extreme actions and passions can seem oddly appropriate..” Adrian Beard
Setting may also be allegorical of main male protagonist
GOTHIC MOTIFS/ CONVENTIONS GOTHIC MOTIFS/CONVENTIONS “ Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” (1799) Goya The Male protagonist:
Inherited powers or status e.g Count
Solitary and egocentric
Flawed - deep psychological problems
Sense of duality (doppleganger) or dichotomies
An anti-hero who appeals yet repulses (sensual elements?)
GOTHIC MOTIFS/CONVENTIONS “ The Death of Sardanapalus” (1827) by Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) Female Characters:
Trembling victim physically or psychologically trapped
Frail, respectable passive and naïve
Subject to violent, grotesque, or horrific acts inflicted by a superior power
GOTHIC MOTIFS/CONVENTIONS “ The Weird Sisters ” (1808) Henri Fuseli Female Characters :
The female predator ‘fallen woman’ who is often punished for transgressions
GOTHIC MOTIFS/CONVENTIONS “ Good and Evil Angels” (1795) William Blake Motifs: