10 Elements of Gothic Literature

Topic: EntertainmentGames
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Last updated: April 25, 2019
Setting
set in old, rundown structures, especially castles. The building usually features hidden passages, trap doors, dungeons or secret rooms, and has suffered a decline from its former greatness.

Example from Emily: Secret room, scent and shape of house.Example from Red Death:Castle, hidden from society in an effort to stay away from the “Red Death”

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Environment
Reflects a bleak or foreboding atmosphere. Dark forests, imposing mountains, stormy weather, or areas far away from civilization.Example from Emily: foreboding atmosphereExample from Red Death: away from civilization

Atmosphere
Stresses an atmosphere of mystery, horror, and dread. The plot involves hidden secrets that threaten the protagonist.Example from Emily: mystery and horror Example from Red Death: horror

Protagonists
Isolated or alone. That isolation could be physical or emotional and may be self imposed.Example from Emily: cut off from people around herExample from Red Death: trapped in a house from civilization

Emotions
Characters are often passionate or strong willed, defying others or even their own common sense in pursuit of their goals.

Women are often curious and have a tendency to swoon, while men storm and rage in reflection of unseen inner torments. Example from Emily: Shows weird side but wants her lover to stay and kills himExample from Red Death: King Prospero’s break down.

Damsels in Distress
Women threatened by tyrannical men or just the circumstances in which they find themselves. Appear frightened and may suffer from ailment.

Examples: None in two stories, best described in disney characters.

Foreboding
Ominous implications precede dark events. Unlucky omen’s appear, ancient curses linger in the air, and dark forces beyond the hero’s control thwart his ambitions. Example from Emily: shutting down in her house, finding the body.Example from Red Death: King’s madness, getting killed by sickness

Supernatural
appear particularly ghosts and unexplained manifestations. In some, elements ultimately have a rational explanation, but the implication always suggests something not of this world.

Example from Emily: keeping the dead bodyExample from Red Death: The sickness, even though the plague from the 1800s was real.

Decay
A formerly great family, community, country, or individual who has peaked and now begins a slow process of decline. Shown in landscape (buildings crumbling) and people. Example from Emily: Her lifeExample from Red Death: The king and his death

Drama
mostly the events in Gothic Lit which express high emotion. Like murders, kidnapping, people going mad or illness.Example from Emily: going mad, murderExample from Red Death: illness

Satire
The use of humor, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Irony
A state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

Theme
The central, dominating, and unifying idea in a literary work. The theme weaves through the entire piece holding it together.

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