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The gothic motifs and conventions 2011 12 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. TTS SENIOR LIBRARY 2011 What are the motifs and conventions of the gothic novel?
  • 2. 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.
  • 3.
    • 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 .
  • 4. 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
  • 5. 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
    • Obsessive
    • Sense of duality (doppleganger) or dichotomies
    • An anti-hero who appeals yet repulses (sensual elements?)
  • 6. 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
  • 7. GOTHIC MOTIFS/CONVENTIONS “ The Weird Sisters ” (1808) Henri Fuseli Female Characters :
    • The female predator ‘fallen woman’ who is often punished for transgressions
  • 8. GOTHIC MOTIFS/CONVENTIONS “ Good and Evil Angels” (1795) William Blake Motifs:
    • Transcending boundaries (e.g barbaric/ civilized, mortality/ immortality order/disorder, pleasure/pain)
    • Sense of fear, foreboding and tension to evoke ‘pleasurable terror’ in reader
    • Multiply narratives
    • The Faust motif – forbidden knowledge or power
  • 9. GOTHIC MOTIFS/ CONVENTIONS “ The Nightmare” (1782) Henry Fuseli
    • tension between scientific and supernatural
    • Supernatural motifs and medieval superstitions e.g. demons, devils, witches, spirits vampires, angels, family curse etc
    • Secrets
    • Dreams, nightmares revealing unconscious mind
    • Omens
    Motifs:
  • 10.
    • The Literature of Terror : a History of Gothic Fictions from 1765 to the Present Day. Volume 1, The Gothic Tradition / David Punter. Longman. (1996)
    • The Gothic Tradition / David Stevens. CUP. (2000)
    • Gothic Horror : a guide for students and readers / edited by Clive Bloom. Palgrave Macmillan. (2007)
    • Gothic Histories : the taste for terror, 1764 to the present / Clive Bloom. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. (2010)
    • The Gothic / David Punter and Glennis Byron. Blackwell. (2004)
    • A Companion to the Gothic edited by David Punter. Blackwell. (2001)
    • http://cai.ucdavis.edu/waters-sites/gothicnovel/155breport.html (Accessed 21.09.11)
    • http://davidcwood.com/adnd/campaign/gothfiction.html
    • (Accessed 21.09.11)
    • Exploring Gothic (English Review Feb 2010)
    BIBLIOGRAPHY
  • 11. Credits : Jacqui Makselon, Director – TLRC Tanglin Trust School, Singapore