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Gothic Literature Summary

Everything you need to understand or teach Gothic Literature.

  • Gothic Literature Summary & Study Guide
  • 3 Student Essay
  • 1 Encyclopedia Article
  • 9 Literature Criticism
  • ...and more

Gothic Literature Summary

Introduction

Gothic literature, a movement that focused on ruin, decay, death, terror, and chaos, and privileged irrationality and passion over rationality and reason, grew in response to the historical, sociological, psychological, and political contexts of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Although Horace Walpole is credited with producing the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, in 1764, his work was built on a foundation of several elements. First, Walpole tapped a growing fascination with all things medieval; and medieval romance provided a generic framework for his novel. In addition, Edmund Burke's 1757 treatise, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful, offered a philosophical foundation. Finally, the Graveyard School of poetry, so called because of the attention poets gave to ruins, graveyards, death, and human mortality, flourished in the mid-eighteenth century and provided a thematic and literary context for the Gothic.

Walpole's novel was wildly popular, and his novel introduced...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The Gothic Literature Study Pack contains about 595 pages of study material in 14 products, including:

Gothic Literature Study Guide

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