Presentation on theme: "The Gothic Novel Background Notes Gothic Elements."— Presentation transcript:
The Gothic Novel Background Notes Gothic Elements
The Goths a Germanic tribe that originated in Sweden and spread through Europe Reached the height of their power around 5th century A.D., when they sacked Rome and captured Spain, but their history finally subsumed under that of the countries they conquered.
Connection to the Gothic Novel? Centuries passed before the word "gothic" meant anything else again. During the Renaissance, Europeans rediscovered Greco-Roman culture and began to regard a particular type of architecture, mainly those built during the Middle Ages, as "gothic" – – No connection to the Goths, but they were considered barbaric and not in Classical (Roman) style In the 1800s, "gothic" came to describe a certain type of novels, because all these novels seem to take place in Gothic-styled architecture -- mainly castles, mansions, and, of course, abbeys ("Gothic...").
The Gothic Novel Gothic novel took shape mostly in England from 1790 to 1830. It falls within the category of Romantic literature. But it is a reaction against the rigidity and formality of other forms of Romantic literature. The Gothic is not limited to this time period - it takes its roots from former terrorizing writing that dates back to the Middle Ages, and can still be found written today by writers such as Stephen King.
Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism The Dark Romantics shared some of the ideas of the Transcendentalists: They took an interest in the spiritual world. They valued intuition and imagination over rationalism. They wanted to explore the mysteries of human existence.
Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism However, the Dark Romantics disagreed with the Transcendentalist notions that the divine is implicit in nature and that people are essentially good. They felt that literature should take into account the darker side of human nature the presence of suffering in the world the ongoing conflict between good and evil
European Beginnings The Gothic novel, a form of Dark Romanticism, emerged in England in the late eighteenth century. Two classic examples are Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism These tales of terror often used the setting of the medieval gothic castle to evoke fear.
European Beginnings The term Gothic was later used to describe any fiction that Gothic Fiction The Dark Side of Romanticism created a haunting atmosphere included strange and chilling events
Conventions of Gothic Literature 1.A hero whose birth is enshrouded in mystery. 2.Restless ghosts groaning for revenge. 3.Forbidding cliffs, stormy seas (eerie settings) 4.Ancient manuscripts rediscovered; produces a narration which gives an air of strangeness to the exotic setting. 5.Incest 6.Characters can often communicate psychically. 7.Often concerned with the possibility of returning to life after death.
Conventions, Continued 8.Problem of evil presented as a psychological problem 9.Castle or house identified with its owner 10.Characters exhibit overwhelming guilt or pride. 11.Good characters are usually physically lovely; evil characters have twisted bodies and ugly faces. 12.The idyllic life in nature invaded and destroyed by a dark ambiguous force. 13.Animals respond to a supernatural presence.
More gothic elements 14. Feeling of gloom throughout the story 15. Terrifying things occur at night, usually after midnight. 16. Story often concerned with injustice. 17. Magic mirrors in which one can see anyone he wishes. 18. Moving statues and pictures. 19. Madness (insanity) often occurs.
Gothic Elements, the last ones 20.Dreaded secrets. 21.Inexplicable music. 22.Heroine is usually beautiful and virtuous, often an orphan and given to swooning and weeping. 23.Hero usually has a vague past, is basically good but has a flaw. 24.Characters usually not drawn realistically, may not even be believable. 25.Fatal/tortured love