The Gothic Novel


which dominated English literature from its conception in 1764 with the publication of The Castle of Ortanto by Horace Walpole has been continually criticized by numerous critics for its sensationalism, melodramatic qualities, and its play on the supernatural. The genre drew many of its intense images from the graveyard poets Gray and Thompson, intermingling a landscape of vast dark forest with vegetation that bordered on excessive, concealed ruins with horrific rooms, monasteries and a forlorn character who excels at the melancholy. A fabled spectre or perhaps a bleeding Nun were images often sought after by those who fell victim to the supernatural influences of these books. Gothic ...

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alluring antagonist, whose evil characteristics appeal to ones sense of awe, or the melodramatic aspects of romance, or more specifically in the Gothic motif of a persecuted maiden forced apart from a true love. The Gothic genre today has remained an elusive minor literary upheaval that has had immense influence on genres today. Literary critics though, have been slow to accept Gothic literature as a valuable genre. The first critics to examine the Gothic, approached it reverently with historical interest. They tried to rescue it, to revive the dead and obscure genre. These critics looked at the presence of the text by examining it within a historical context. The original critical approach of historical interpretation allowed the text to validate the text, as it was a reaction to the age of reason, order, and politics of Eighteenth century England. Today, a common literary approach to the Gothic is to examine the presence of the author through the application of Freudian, Jungian ...

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and Romantic literary modes "suggest an aspiration for something beyond the deadening familiarity of this world, a longing for the past"(Kilgore 219). Summers asserts that the gothic is escapist literature: "To escape thus form mundane reality is a primitive desire, and, in itself, it is excellent and good. The world, if we had not our dreams, would, God knows, be a very dull place. Of course, as precisians will never fail to tell you, there is a danger in dreams. But, if we had not dreams, life, I take it, would be far more dangerous; in fact, it would not be worth living at all. We call our dreams Romance, and it was just this that ists gave to their readers. This, then, is exactly the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/24/2005 07:49:01 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2090
Pages: 8

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