Web search on Gothic literature
Website n°1 :
I- 1- Who were the Goths originally ? One of the many Germanic tribes, they originated in what is now southern Sweden, around 5th century A.D
2- What did Gothic literature get its name from? It was named that way because all these novels seem to take place in Gothic-styled architecture — mainly castles, mansions, and, of course, abbeys
II- 3- During which period was Gothic literature at its peak? from 1790 to 1830
4- Name a present-day writer who uses Gothic elements. Stephen King
5- Which atmosphere can you find in Gothic novels? It not only evokes the atmosphere of horror and dread (= frayeur, effroi), but also portrays the deterioration of its world.
6- What is the archetype of the Gothic hero? There is always the protagonist, usually isolated either voluntarily or involuntarily. Then there is the villain, who is the epitome (= the perfect example) of evil, either by his (usually a man) own fall from grace, or by some implicit malevolence (= malveillance). The Wanderer (voyageur), found in many Gothic tales, is the epitome of isolation as he wanders the earth in perpetual exile, usually a form of divine punishment.
7- What was the first Gothic novel entitled? Who wrote it? When? Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764)
8- What is the typical setting of a Gothic novel? The action takes place in and around an old castle
9- What type of women can you find in Gothic novels? Women in distress, Women threatened by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male.
10- What typical motifs ( = thème) can you find in Gothic stories? The Double, Forbidden Knowledge or Power, Monster/Satanic Hero/Fallen Man, Beast Transformations, Demon Lovers/Femme Fatales/Vampires, Demons/Devils/Witches/Spirits/Angels, Ghosts, Dreams/Visions, Magic Talismans/ Cursed (= maudit) or Blessed (= béni) Objects/Holy (= saint) Relics, Graveyards (= cimetières) /Churches/Ruins, Haunted Castle/House, Multiple Narrative/Spiral Narrative Method, Madness/Madmen/Characters Who Question Their Own Sanity, Blood.
Other motifs to watch for: murder, innocence victimized by evil, incest, sexual perversion, reversal of values, the Wanderer, the Outcast, mistaken or secret identities, dichotomies (attraction/repulsion, life/death, innocence/evil, nobility/corruption, etc.); the femme fatale (“fatal woman” who leads men to their doom).
11- Choose one of the paintings under the list of websites and identify the Gothic elements present in this painting.
12- Here are some of the most famous Gothic novels. Find out the name of their author and when they were written:
d- The picture of Dorian Gray:Oscar Wilde, Irish, 1890.
e- Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Robert Louis Stevenson, Scot, 1886.
f- The Fall of the House Usher:Edgar Allen Poe, 1839.
g- The Monk, Matthew Gregory Lewis, English, 1796.
h- The Mysteries of Udolpho: Ann Radcliffe, English, 1794
13- Here is the photo of one of the authors you mentioned in exercise 12. Find out who he is, what his nationality is, when he was born and when he died.