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Lecture 1

ENG 510 Lecture 1: Lecture 1, Jan 16: Intro to Gothic Horror

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ENG 510
Maria Ionita

Gothic Horror Monday, January 16, 2017 Introduction - Gothic is a subsection of the Horror category - Gothic has more to do with atmosphere and setting that instills fear, rather than violence Examples: - The Shining: the hotel is haunted - Dracula: vampires and werewolves – the past haunts the present - Sherlock Holmes - Frankenstein - Series of Unfortunate Events: the book, movie, and TV series - Phantom of the Opera - Traps, dungeons, graveyards, caves, etc. 3 Meanings: st rd 1. 1 mention of Goths: 3 century AD from a Germanic Tribe 2. The “barbaric” Medieval age gave it the term “gothic” (12 Century?) 3. Late 18 -early 19 century “everything evil” Who are the Goths? 1. In 3 century AD: o Roman Empire on its decline, tribes coming in an beginning to rock the empire o Seen as Barbarians o By 400 AD, the Barbians overthrew the Empire and sat for 4 days, big news o Medieval historians (Christians) saw the Goths as a missionary force that ended the old classical age of the Roman Empire, all of their values, etc. and paved the way for a Christian Europe 2. Gothic Architecture: o From 12 -16 Century o Reims Cathedral in France o Characterized by imposing structures, tall arches, gargoyles, fanciful decorations, etc. o A love for extravagant decorations o The gargoyles don’t represent any real creature o Renaissance architect Giorgio Vasari (1530) describes Gothic architecture as monstrous and barbaric. He doesn’t like it – a culture that was superstitious and evil? 3. A Culture of Death: th th o 17 Century and 18 Century o Medieval Europe had very religious beliefs that were Catholic  Regardless of status in life and power, you will die and all of that will be gone  A place of great learning and scientific investigation  Awareness that earthly life is transitory, which makes it easier to accept death  Awareness that everyone is mortal Reformation Shapes the Gothic 1. Violent transition from Catholicism to Reformed Anglicanism meant the destruction of Catholic churches and monasteries 2. Religious persecution was also very violent and ended in the death of thousands 3. Destruction of the past – England is marked by a very dramatic, violent medieval past 4. National English identity is built on a foundation of violence 5. A very profound Aesthetic of Ruin 6. By 17 Century, a Gothic identity has taken place and is contrasted with a resilient England with Catholic Rome - King’s wife was barren, and so he needed a divorce so he could marry someone who could give him an heir o Could only be done by the Pope Other Influences - A dark past still resonates in the present 1. Popular Ballads: tend to be quite violent – dramatic murders, passion o also can believe in elves and fairies, fantasies, sci-fi, folk beliefs that ste
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