Frankenstein


The term Gothic conjures up images of frightened women, graveyards, and haunted castles in the mist, popular settings for horror films. But is this what Gothic means? The Oxford Companion to English Literature defines Gothic as, “Tales of the macabre, fantastic, and supernatural, usually set amid haunted castles, graveyards, ruins and wild picturesque landscapes” (Drabble 405). Furthermore, according to the Oxford Companion, Gothic tales “reached the height of their considerable fashion in the 1790’s and the early years of the 19th century” (Drabble 406). It becomes obvious that Gothic is a literary term which describes a particular type of story and ...

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is, undeniably, no novel which epitomizes the popular Gothic structure more than Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s early 19th-century masterpiece, (actually entitled, , or the Modern Prometheus). According to Greek mythology, Prometheus is a hero who steals fire from the heavens to serve man, but he is ultimately punished by the mighty Zeus, who chains him to a rock, where a vulture feasts on his liver. Inexplicably, however, the liver grows back each night. This reference abounds with Gothic possibilities, which Mary Shelley was, no doubt aware. She was long a fan of Gothic tales, and it was a night of story-telling in a Geneva castle which inspired her story. As she herself recalled in her introduction to , “The season was cold and rainy, and in the evenings we crowded around a blazing wood fire, and occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts, which happened to fall into our hands. These tales excited in us a playful desire of imitation. ...

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it grew into an obsession with the dead. While listening to his professor speak, increasingly tormented Victor lamented, “I felt as if my soul were grappling with a palpable enemy; one by one the various keys were touched which formed the mechanism of my being: chord after chord was sounded, and soon my mind was filled with one thought, one conception, one purpose... I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation. I closed not my eyes that night. My internal being was in a state of insurrection and turmoil” (Shelley 25). Many Gothic tales from the time involved people who were stranded in a haunted castle who ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/8/2007 02:57:17 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2567
Pages: 10

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