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In this essay I will be looking at how successful Oscar Wilde was at creating a gothic novel. I will be using Edgar Alan Poe's short story 'The Fall of the House of Usher' and the film 'Bram Stokers, Dracula' and the

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Introduction

The Picture of Dorian Gray. In this essay I will be looking at how successful Oscar Wilde was at creating a gothic novel. I will be using Edgar Alan Poe's short story 'The Fall of the House of Usher' and the film 'Bram Stokers, Dracula' and the earlier version 'Nosferatu' as reference pieces to the gothic form. Other pieces I shall be looking at are Goya's 'The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters', and Henry Fuseli's 'The Nightmare'. What is gothic? The dictionary defines gothic as 'the style of architecture prevalent in Western Europe in the 12th - 16th centuries and revived in the 18th - 19th centuries characterized by pointed arches'. But it is much more than that; gothic represents freedom and human nature at its best. Gothic is action without reaction and feeling without consequence. It allows use to indulge our most secretive fantasies, this is one the main reasons the gothic genre came back in the 18th century because the upper classes were becoming bored with just sitting and going out all the time, with the only worry of what other people thought of them, but when gothic came back in it allowed them to indulge in most secret desires such as bestiality, vampires, homosexuality and other erotic pass times. Gothic architecture is castles and churches, these usually have large tall pillars and high spiked roof tops, the idea was when you prayed the pray floated up to g-d so if the roof was spiked at the top, the prays would build up and finally be projected towards the heavens. ...read more.

Middle

In this passage we find Dorian Gray quoting Lord Henry more and more for instance 'I felt that this grey, monstrous London of ours, ... as you once phrased it, must have something in store for me2.' The passage is also a classic gothic night adventure with nightmarish characters like the Jew. Within this theatre Dorian Gray finds he is falling for the young actress Sibyl Vane and proposes to her. Sibyl Vane refers to Dorian Gray as 'Prince Charming' this makes us think of fairy tales that are never far off from the idea of gothic with castles and evil etc. She falls in love with him. However she feels she cannot pretend her love on the stage now that she has found true love with Dorian Gray. Then after Dorian Gray casts her aside in a terribly cruel way. The next day Dorian Gray tries to correct his error with Sibyl Vane as he begins to see his portrait change, a line in the book that relates to his sudden urge to be good is when he says 'He would be able to follow his mind into its secret places. This portrait would be to him the most magical of mirrors3' this is very familiar to Goya's painting 'The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters', but just after finishing his apology letter to Sibyl Vane, Lord Henry enters to tell him that she had killed herself, this relates to his family history which is very gothic, with the romantic marriage, duels to the death, plotting parents, suicide of young brides and orphans. ...read more.

Conclusion

In other words, one can argue that Dorian Gray's belief that his portrait reflects the state of his soul violates the principles of aesthetics since, within that philosophy, art has no moral component. In other gothic stories we have studied, we have seen that Oscar Wilde was very successful at creating a gothic novel and that I can now understand why it was so ahead of its time. When we look at 'Nosferatu' and Bram Stokers 'Dracula' we not only see the gore and the vampirism that the movie is about, we see the love aspect and the romance associated with other genres that aren't gothic. When you study gothic fully you do realise that it is the dramatic romance and the freedom that make gothic what it is, a perfect genre for the people who wish to indulge their darkest fantasies or just want a bone chilling read for the holidays. In 'Dracula' and 'Nosferatu' we see gothic set pieces like the old castle, the good and evil sides of human nature with damsels in distress begin rescued by their true love. In the end gothic is either something you live by or something that you enjoy every so often. But who ever you are there is a macabre fascination for this insight into the taboo of love and evil combined. By Raphael Yadgaroff Rtpu. 1 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. 2 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. Raphael Yadgaroff Rtpu ...read more.

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