Wednesday, 26 November Victorian Gothic Literature: The Supernatural Although the Gothic era occurred far before that of the Victorians, with Gothic architecture thriving during the latter medieval period, it had a large influence on a lot of Victorian culture.
Specifically, a curse, supernatural elements, a Byronic hero, a hidden chamber, and horrific crimes lend a Gothic feel to the novel.
The curse takes a surprising form in this novel. Rather than being a familial curse that plagues the main character, the Rather than being a familial curse that plagues the main character, the curse comes out of Dorian's own mouth as a fleeting wish.
He states that he wishes the portrait would grow old and ugly but that he would always remain as youthful as the painting looks now. As he utters the wish, he makes a Faustian bargain, declaring that he would give his soul for such an outcome. Ironically, he does just that. Obviously, the novel incorporates the supernatural.
The fact that the painting ages but Dorian doesn't is an impossibility that requires the intervention of supernatural forces—forces that are never explained in the novel. This reliance on the supernatural is representative of Gothic literature. Dorian Gray qualifies as a Byronic hero, a figure that populates many Gothic novels.
Like other Gothic heroes, Gray is capable of great evil. His passions exceed those of normal men. He is attractive to others, whom he treats cruelly. He harbors a secret, deep guilt that torments him from causing Sybil's suicide and from various other acts of selfishness and murder.
What's a Gothic novel without a secret room, forbidden wing, or hidden chamber? In Wilde's novel, the portrait is hidden away in a closet in Dorian's chamber where no one can see it but him.
Finally, Dorian's hedonistic lifestyle and shameless crimes bring out the horror factor that is typical of Gothic literature. His murder of Basil Hallward, who has only tried to befriend and advise him, is particularly shocking.
The final scene of his attempt to "kill" the painting, which results in his own death, is a wonderfully Gothic scene, incorporating gruesome violence with the supernatural. Wilde turns what appears at first to be a novel of manners into a Gothic novel by his use of several techniques that are characteristic of the Gothic genre.Imperialism, Aesthetics, and Gothic Confrontation in The Picture of Dorian Gray Ellen Scheible In The Picture of Dorian Gray () Oscar Wilde offers his readers a glimpse of what the downfall of British imperialism might look like if art were entirely to fall victim to excess and degeneracy.
Gothic literature first appeared in the late 18th century, and became one of the first literary genres to inspire broad popular enthusiasm. Though the first examples were fiction, poets also incorporated gothic elements, and the genre remained prevalent throughout the 19th century and into the 20th.
For those who wish. Abstract In an attempt to find out the purposes of the gothic elements in The Picture of Dorian Gray, this essay takes a close look at the three most prevailing gothic elements in the novel: the portrait, decadence, and the gothic villain by first exploring their presence and development throughout, and then examining their contributions to the characters, the plot development and the themes.
Mention the gothic, and many readers will probably picture gloomy castles and an assortment of sinister Victoriana. However, the truth is that the gothic genre has continued to flourish and evolve since the days of Bram Stoker, producing some of its most interesting and accomplished examples in the 20th century - in literature, film and beyond.
Here is a list of some common elements found in Gothic novels: Gloomy, decaying setting (haunted houses or castles with secret passages, trapdoors, and .
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