The Gothic villain is almost all the time is a male character. Burgess, Adam. Burgess, Adam. The vogue was initiated in England by Horace Walpole’s immensely successful Castle of Otranto (1765). Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style that was particularly popular in Europe from the late 12th century to the 16th century, during the High and Late Middle Ages, surviving into the 17th and 18th centuries in some areas. Most Gothic literature contains certain key elements that include: Modern readers and critics have begun to think of Gothic literature as referring to any story that uses an elaborate setting, combined with supernatural or super-evil forces against an innocent protagonist. Gothic literature focuses heavily on the subject of death. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Gothic literature took that further, involving horror, terror, death, omens, the supernatural, and heroines in distress. Gothic definition: Gothic architecture and religious art was produced in the Middle Ages. Gallows, apparatus for carrying out executions by hanging. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. Gothic writers need only look back to the examples of Shakespeare's ghosts, fairies, and sorcerers to see evidence of the supernatural in English literature and lore. In the nineteenth century, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu became a leading author of horror and ghost stories. ThoughtCo. Frankenstein is no exception in this matter. (2020, August 28). Short stories are an ideal and widely used form for horror literature, and Edgar Alan Poe is one of literature’s greatest Gothic horror story writers. Here's an overview of Gothic literature with an explanation of the stylistic elements and some examples of different works. A more sensational type of Gothic romance exploiting horror and violence flourished in Germany and was introduced to England by … The first Gothic fiction appeared with works like Horace Walpole’s, The Gothic romances, of which Horace Walpole’s, …to have stemmed largely from Gothic European literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, about the time vampire hysteria was peaking in Europe. The neoclassical period of literature is also known as the Enlightenment Period. Definition and Characteristics, The 10 Most Romantic, Picturesque Castles From Around the World, 'Jane Eyre' Questions for Study and Discussion, 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' Essay and Discussion Questions, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Ph.D., English Language and Literature, Northern Illinois University, M.A., English, California State University–Long Beach, B.A., English, Northern Illinois University, "The History of the Caliph Vathek" (1786) by William Thomas Beckford, "Melmoth the Wanderer" (1820) by Charles Maturin, "Salathiel the Immortal" (1828) by George Croly, "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839) by, "Varney the Vampire; or, the Feast of Blood" (1847) by James Malcolm Rymer. Examples of Archetype in Literature. Gothic literature first appeared in the late 18th century, and became one of the first literary genres to inspire broad popular enthusiasm. Types of Nonfiction: Narrative Nonfiction is information based on fact that is presented in a format which tells a story. Other famous examples of Gothic literature include The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dracula. Ornate, intricate, and heavy-handed, this style of architecture proved to be the ideal backdrop for both the physical and the psychological settings in a new literary genre, one that concerned itself with elaborate tales of mystery, suspense, and superstition. Characteristics of Southern Gothic include the presence of irrational, horrific, and transgressive thoughts, desires, and impulses; grotesque characters; dark humor, and an overall angst-ridden sense of alienation. While there are several notable precursors, the height of the Gothic period, which was closely aligned with Romanticism, is usually considered to have been the years 1764 to about 1840, however, its influence extends to 20th-century authors such as V.C. A more sensational type of Gothic romance exploiting horror and violence flourished in Germany and was introduced to England by Matthew Gregory Lewis with The Monk (1796). Characteristics of the Gothic Villain or Antagonist The Villain Is Dark and Alluring. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Hey, bookworm! In addition to "The Mysteries of Udolpho" and "The Castle of Otranto," there are a number of classic novels that those interested in Gothic literature will want to pick up. ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/what-is-gothic-literature-739030. Burgess, Adam. A Brief Introduction to Gothic Literature. Vampire poems began…. Gothic architecture is a European style of masonry that values height, intricacy, sizable windows, and exaggerated arches. Earlier versions of the process were far less merciful. / Neoclassical Literature: Its Characteristics and Famous Examples. The first recognized Gothic novel was Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764). In between reads, try this novel idea: a quiz on all things literature. Create your account Although not a long tale in the telling, the dark, its oppressive setting combined with elements of terror and medievalism set the bar for an entirely new, thrilling form of literature. V. Examples of Horror in Literature Example 1. Corrections? Called Gothic because its imaginative impulse was drawn from medieval buildings and ruins, such novels commonly used such settings as castles or monasteries equipped with subterranean passages, dark battlements, hidden panels, and trapdoors. Victor’s mother dies of scarlet fever, William is murdered by the monster, Justine gets executed, Henry is murdered by the monster, and Elizabeth is murdered by the monster. Though the first examples were fiction, poets also incorporated gothic elements, and the genre remained prevalent throughout the 19th century and into the 20th. Examples from both the fiction and nonfiction genres of literature are explained in detail below. There are plenty of deaths in the novel, specifically people who are close to Victor. An example of this trope is young Emily St. Aubert in Anne Radcliffe’s classic Gothic 1794 novel, "The Mysteries of Udolpho," which would later inspire a parody in form of Jane Austen’s 1817 "Northanger Abbey.". Walpole's novel was imitated in the eighteenth century, but enjoyed widespread influence in the nineteenth century in part because of that era's indulgence in dark-romantic themes. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The contemporary understanding is similar but has widened to include a variety of genres, such as paranormal and horror. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. "A Brief Introduction to Gothic Literature." Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. You will find it strange, but he is also extremely handsome, intelligent, successful, and talented. The benchmark for pure Gothic fiction is perhaps the first example of the genre, Horace Walpole’s "The Castle of Otranto" (1764). Gothic literature is a genre that emerged as one of the eeriest forms of Dark Romanticism in the late 1700s, a literary genre that emerged as a part of the larger Romanticism movement. Easy targets for satire, the early Gothic romances died of their own extravagances of plot, but Gothic atmospheric machinery continued to haunt the fiction of such major writers as the Brontë sisters, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and even Charles Dickens in Bleak House and Great Expectations. A list of tropes found within the Gothic Horror genre. Though this period lasted only for around 150 years, its influence can be seen in the literature of today. Gothic literature developed during the Romantic period in Britain. In the second half of the 20th century, the term was applied to paperback romances having the same kind of themes and trappings similar to the originals. Other landmarks of Gothic fiction are William Beckford’s Oriental romance Vathek (1786) and Charles Robert Maturin’s story of an Irish Faust, Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). The neoclassical era is nestled between the renaissance and romantic periods of literature. His short stories are quintessential pieces of the genre and have been inspiring horror authors for decades. The term Gothic originates with the architecture created by the Germanic Goth tribes that was later expanded to include most medieval architecture. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Its heyday was the 1790s, but it underwent frequent revivals in subsequent centuries. If you are reading a certain type of literary work, you can expect it to conform to certain conventions. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-gothic-literature-739030 (accessed January 27, 2021). Gothic plotlines typically involve an unsuspecting person (or persons)—usually an innocent, naive, somewhat helpless heroine—who becomes embroiled in complex and oftentimes evil paranormal scheme. "A Brief Introduction to Gothic Literature." Southern Gothic is a mode or genre prevalent in literature from the early 19th century to this day. The classic horror stories Frankenstein (1818), by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Dracula (1897), by Bram Stoker, are in the Gothic tradition but introduce the existential nature of humankind as its definitive mystery and terror. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. A literary convention is a commonly used device or aspect of a certain kind of work. Resources about Gothic literature to support learning in English for Year 9 and S3. This fictional genre encompasses many different elements, and has … This detailed genres of literature list is a great resource to share with any scholars. Updates? Recall examples of colors, objects and seasons that are used as symbolism in literature To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. Omissions? Gothic literature is a deliciously terrifying blend of fiction and horror with a little romance thrown in. Andrews, Iain Banks, and Anne Rice. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-gothic-literature-739030. Classic Literature for the Supernatural Lover, "Dracula" - Based on the Novel by Bram Stoker, High School Literature: The Trump Syllabus, What Is a Novel? Even during the height of their popularity, Gothic writers did not hold a monopoly on the supernatural; it can also be found in Romantic poetry of Samuel Coleridge and Sir Walter Scott. Here's a list of 10 titles that are not to be missed: Adam Burgess, Ph.D. is a university professor, literary reviewer, and expert in American and classical literature and criticism. Essays are a short literary composition that reflects the author’s outlook or point. Archetype is an effective literary device as a means of creating characters with which the reader can identify. His most respectable follower was Ann Radcliffe, whose Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and Italian (1797) are among the best examples of the genre. Gothic novel, European Romantic pseudomedieval fiction having a prevailing atmosphere of mystery and terror. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. His most respectable follower was Ann Radcliffe, whose Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and Italian (1797) are among the best examples of the genre. What Is Gothic Literature? Dark Romanticism is characterized by expressions of terror, gruesome narratives, supernatural elements, and dark, picturesque scenery. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/art/Gothic-novel, Victoria and Albert Museum - Gothic Revival, Gothic fiction - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Horror has some things that are universal to all genres of horror but not everything on that page is used in gothic horror.. Other genres that … Its features... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples While you don't need all of them to write a gothic horror novel, the more you have the better. The Gothic novel was invented almost single-handedly by Horace Walpole, whose The Castle of Otranto (1764) contains essentially all the elements that constitute the genre. Now below I have mentioned a few examples of southern gothic literature. In the 12th century, advancements in engineering allowed for increasingly colossal buildings, and the style’s signature vaulting, buttresses, and pointed building tops paved way for taller structures that still retained natural light. Vampiric figures appeared in 18th-century poetry, such as Heinrich August Ossenfelder’s “Der Vampyr” (1748), about a seemingly vampiric narrator who seduces an innocent maiden. Sometimes the condemned man stood in a cart, which was drawn away from under him; sometimes he had to mount a ladder, from which he was thrust by the hangman. 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