Gothic Literary

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Many literature styles were formed in ancient times including Gothic literary genre. It is determined by such aspects as literary technique, tone used, content and the length of the story. Genres have subdivisions, and they should not be confused with things like age category when a work of literature can get be classified as youth or adult. Moreover, many people confuse it with format like, for instance, the picture books. Mostly genres in literature include epic, tragedy, comedy, novel, and short story. A good example of genre is Gothic fiction, which includes has features that create interest to anyone, who comes across. It has many elements, which suit it to be classified in the category of genre.


Gothic fiction comprises elements of romance and horror and it is also known as Gothic horror because of the element of horror. Horace Walpole, an English author wrote the story “The Castle of Otranto” and subtitled it as “a Gothic story”. It has elements of romance horror, melodrama, and parody, which were initiated by Walpole. The story was written with a pleasing sort of terror, romantic pleasures, which appeared first in Walpole’s stories in those days. Walpole wrote it back in 1764 and published in the same year. This book “The Castle of Otranto”, written in 1764, is the first Gothic novel with romantic features. After its publication many works of Gothic literature have been made portraying romance. Many Gothic poems have been written by various authors in different times. In 1778 Clara Reeve wrote “The Old English Baron” modifying the work of Walpole by balancing this stylistic element with the demands of 18th century. Ann Radcliffe developed another technique of explaining supernatural (Gavin 57).

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The romantic Gothic poems include Coleridge’s ‘Christabel’ and ‘Isabella, or the Pot of Basil’ by John Keats among others, written in 18th century. As time passed and Gothic literature was criticized, a new category emerged called Victorian Gothic. Horror became popular theme in Gothic works like, for example, “Penny Blood” written by George W. M. Reynolds. He wrote many books of Gothic horror. At the same time many authors like John Ruskin focused on traditional element. Ruskin perceived his characters in a psychological perspective, and the ones, who had troubles, developed madness, which come as a result of psychological disturbance (Marshall 67).

Gothic literary style created a lot of stereotypes, which caused satire, hence parody of Gothic literary style. The famous parody of Gothic novel is “Northanger Abbey” written by Jane Austin in 1818, where she conceives herself to heroine of Radcliffe and always thinks of murder, but eventually the truth becomes prosaic. Another example of Gothic parody is “The Heroin” written by Eaton Stannard Barrett in 1813. In this story a woman called Cherry Wilkinson, reads novels and takes herself with the romance of Gothic. She takes reality as the stereotype and takes life in improper way, but later she realizes the mistakes and learns new lessons after guidance and promises to change from past behavior (Chris 50).

Gothic literature is linked with the architecture which emerged in 12th century. Gothic art made an emotional effect on people, making them fearing things they did not understand and perceiving them as supernatural. The buildings of that time were characterized by arches and height, as well as by large space light area. The buildings, which had this style, included catholic churches, mosques and palaces. Gothic novels have also contributed to the development of new technologies. They made people to have strong believes in the religion and respect to each other (Marshall 45).

Gothic literature makes people to take life in another perspective. People, who lose hope in life, get courage in when they read any Gothic written novel or story. People with psychological disturbance like those having problems with family issues get encouraged after reading romantic Gothic. They learn how to treat their loved ones through the experience of certain characters in the novel. The reading of novel makes people relaxed and relaxation of mind minimizes stress. The Gothic stories make individuals to keep themselves busy and reduce stress in life since when an individual is occupied mind does not get involved in stupid actions. On the other hand, the application of Gothic stories in real life can create problem. When individual reads a Gothic novel or a poem, he/she should think critically and know what to apply and what not to get concerned with (Gavin 23).

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The element of Gothic makes people to like the stories and get addicted in a way that an individual can spent most of the time concentrating with reading Gothic novels.


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