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Dracula Analysis - Gothic Horror

Autor:   •  March 28, 2011  •  Case Study  •  2,361 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,427 Views

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Gothic Horror is a type of literature that combines both horror and romance to create it's own genre. It dominated the last third of the 18th century and the first two decades of the 19th. Though women tended to write Gothic Horror better than men it is believed it originated in England when Horace Walpole wrote 'The Castle of Otranto' in 1764. Gothic Horror is an extension of Romantic literary novels that were new at the time. Many famous writers of this genre are; Edward Lee, H.P Lovecraft, Ciara Reece, Ann Radcliff and Karl Wagner. Though most of their novels were incredibly popular when they were first published without a doubt the most famous book to develop in this genre is Dracula by Bram Stoker. All of these are timeless and can still relate to the 21st century audience.

Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847 and lived until 1912. He was an Irish novelist who wrote many short stories but is best known today for his novel Dracula which was published in 1897. He was ill as a child so turned to creative writing to pass the time, though he never showed them to anyone. He attended Trinity College in Dublin and complied to his fathers wishes of joining the civil service. He first became interested in theatre while he was a student. He became a theatre critic for his local newspaper, owned by another famous Gothic novelist Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.

Gothic literature was seen to embody all aspects of extreme emotion; fear, happiness, relief and depression. The setting should create a tense atmosphere, places like a castle or a haunted house are often used as the place where the main events take place. Generally a feeling of antiquity needs to be used in the novel to help create suspense. Gothic Horror must have an evil villian to contrast with the good protagonist, this is often a supernatural being such as a werewolf, a ghost, a vampire or a zombie. This genre always includes terror - both physically and psychological - suspense, mystery, love, death, secrets and supernatural events should all be present through out the novel. The characters include; villians, femme fatales, vampires, werewolves, angles, ghosts, monsters and sometimes the Devil. Gothic novels often include features of Gothic architecture which developed in the same era. English writers often used the Gothic buildings around them as inspiration and sometimes used them in their novels.

As is typical of Gothic Horror novel, Dracula is set with in an old ruined castle in a forgeign country - which subtly creates a sense of unease as the protagonist is unaware of his surroundings and the unusual behaviour of the locals. Chapter 2 opens with the description of the castle in Transylvania while Jonathon Harker approaches. He describes the immense size of both it and the grounds around it. We know that the castle he is at is old as the wood surrounding the huge door was 'much worn by time and weather'. Mystery is a major


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