Gothic Novel: Definition, Elements & Examples

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      Gothic Literature, the setting for which was usually a ruined Gothic Castle or Abbey, is a type of romance very popular from the (1760) onwards until the (1820). The Gothic Novel or Gothic Romance emphasize mystery and horror and was filled with ghost hunted room, underground passages and secret stairways. It has had a considerable influence of fiction since and is of much importance in the evolution of the ghost story and the horror story.

The Gothic Novel or Gothic Romance emphasize mystery and horror
Gothic Fiction

      Gothic novel is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. It is European romantic, pseudo-medieval fiction having a prevailing atmosphere of mystery and terror. Its origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his novel The Castle of Otranto (1764), subtitled (in. its second edition) CA Gothic Story’. The gothic culture is an extension of romantic literary pleasures that were relatively new at the time of Walpole’s novel. Similarly, Mathew Gregory Lewis’Monk (1796) countered 18th century rationalism with scenes of mystery, horror, and wonder.

      The genre prevailed in England in the second half of the 18th century and had much success in the 19th, as witnessed by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Another well-known novel in this genre, dating from the late Victorian era is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The name Gothic refers to the (pseudo) - medieval buildings, emulating gothic architecture, in which many of these stories take place. This extreme form of romanticism was very popular in England and Germany. The atmosphere of a gothic novel was expected to be dark, tempestuous, ghostly, full of madness, outrage, superstition, and the spirit of revenge. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein maintains its original popularity and even notoriety. It has plenty of the traditional Gothic ingredients, with its weird God-defying experiments, its eldritch shrieks, and above all, its monster. Poe developed the Gothic style brilliantly in the United States, and he has been a considerable influence. H.G. Wells’ Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) also exhibits the Gothic movement.

      The principal writers of the English Gothic Romance were Horace Walpole author of The Castle of Otranto (1764); Clare Reeve who wrote the Campion of Virtue (1777); Ann Redcliffe author of The Mysterious of Udolpho (1794); Mathew George Louis author of The Monk (1796); Charles Robert Mathew who wrote The Fatal Revenge (1807); and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley who wrote Frankenstein (1818);. One of the earliest examples of Tobias Smollett's Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753) very probably the first novel a form then newly developed to propose terror and cruelty as it main theme.

      Much better known then this is Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto (1764), which he wrote in his house at Strawberry Hill near London. Walpole (1717 to 1797) settled there in 1747. He made his about into a little Gothic Castle and established a private pros. Strawberry Hill Gothic become a common term for any example of romantic Gothicized architecture of the period. This was the era of Gothic revival in architecture brought about by a renewed and romantic interest in the mediaeval.

      Charles Brockden Brown, the first American professional novelist the best known for his Gothic Romances. The genre was one phase of the literary movement of romanticism in English literature and was also the forerunner of modern mystery novel. Latin American writers who used Gothic element in their fiction include Henry James, William Faulkner and Flannery O Connor. The term Gothic is also used to designate narrative poems or poetry of which the principal elements are violence, horror and supernatural. Many of the work of the late 20th century American novelist Stephen King, Anne Rich demonstrate the continued influence and popularity of the Gothic form.

      Most Gothic Novels are tells of mystery of horror intended to chill the spine and curdle the blood. They contain a strong element of the supernatural and have all and most of the new familiar topography, sites props, presences of happening, wild and desolate landscape, dark forest, ruined abbeys, feudal halls and medieval castle with dangers, secret passages, winding stairways, oubliette, sliding panels and curses a stupefying atmosphere of doom and gloom; heroes and heroines in the direct of imaginable straits wicked tyrants, malevolent witches, demonic power of unspeakable hideous aspect and a proper complement of spooky effects and cranking spectres. The whole apparatus in fact that has the the cinema and much third rate fiction going for years is to be found in these tales. The most popular sold in great quantities and they were read avidly.

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