• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What do you think are the crucial elements of gothic horror?

Extracts from this document...


What do you think are the crucial elements of gothic horror? Gothic horror first started to appear in the early C19th. Gothic was applied later on by renaissance and enlightenment negatively to mean medieval critics because it was considered barbaric. As the centuries went past the term gothic was no longer the meaning of a negative connotation so it was used to refer an ancient past in a nostalgic way. At the end of the C18th the gothic movement had changed from enlightenment rationalism to horror, darkness and elements from the dark realm. The gothic movement is still but mostly horror. Common motifs used in gothic horror stories are murder, suicide, torture, madness, lycanthropy, ghosts, vampires, demons, poltergeists, demonic pacts, diabolic possession/ exorcism, witchcraft and voodoo. I'm going to analyse 'Napoleon and the spectre', 'The goblins who stole a sexton' and 'The signalman'. Napoleon and the spectre is written by Charlotte Bronte, the goblins who stole a sexton and the signalman are both written by Charles Dickens. At the starting point of the 'Napoleon and the Spectre' story Bronte already mentions that there's something or someone in Napoleons room; she writes: "....in a few minutes the emperor felt his pillow becoming hard, and he got up to shake it. ...read more.


Bronte is describing ghostly effects. When the candlelight is obscured by a black opaque shadow another gothic element (darkness) is brought in. Darkness is another crucial gothic element because some of the common motifs used in gothic horror are associated with darkness such as vampires: they come out at night, witchcraft: witches wear black clothes etc. Bronte also describes a demon. When Napoleon is told to follow something through a wall, this involves hidden passageways, which is a gothic element. This is a crucial element because usually demons/ ghosts come out of hidden passageways or people disappear when they go through hidden passageways. The passageway from his gloomy lit room leads him to the streets of Paris that are also gloomy lit. This is a crucial gothic element because some of the common motifs used in gothic horror are associated with gloomy lit places such as voodoo: some one doing voodoo is in a gloomy lit place. 'The Goblins and the Sexton' is a similar story to Christmas carol. This story attempts to moralise; it's a warning to the people to avoid unpleasant, grumpy killjoys. ...read more.


It is about a signalman who works at an isolated junction at the bottom of a long and deep railway cutting. A passing stranger calls in one afternoon and a kind of friendship is struck up. We learn that the signalman has been troubled by sightings of a shadowy figure at the tunnel mouth, gesticulating wildly. Whenever it is seen a dreadful accident always follows. The tunnel mouth is dark and big; this is a crucial gothic setting because the dark is associated with some of the common gothic motifs. Also the signalman sees a ghost and afterwards a bad thing always happens. His sightings of a ghost also prove that he maybe mad and madness is one of the common motifs used in gothic horror. The first two sightings of the ghost result in two accidents and many people dying but the third sighting kills him; he sees his own death because when he sees the ghost he goes to investigate what it is and so he turns his back on the tunnel and the train runs him over. The ghost is a crucial gothic element because it is a strange creature. Gurdeep Singh Malhi 11GK ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Bram Stoker section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Bram Stoker essays

  1. Gothic Horror Stories

    This is a typical gothic horror plot because the good is killed by the evil. I think Stoker wrote the story well because he always throughout the story created a scary and macabre atmosphere by using descriptive words baleful eyes to describe a thing such as the rat which would produce a frightening image in the readers mind.

  2. What boudaries does the vampire threaten? Discuss possible answers to this question with ...

    Furthermore, by requiring that the child be discarded that the husband may be embraced, Stoker provides a little emblem of this novel's anxious protestation at the appetite in a woman ("My arms are hungry for you") is a diabolic ("callous as a devil") inversion of natural order" (Craft, pp. 120-121).

  1. Discuss possible answers to this question with reference to at least two critical or ...

    Waller suggests: The vampire seems not at all out of place at night on the streets of London. Just prior to his first encounter with Lucy and Mina, Dracula murders a lower-class young woman who sells flowers on a foggy street, and this brief, seemingly digressive episode pointedly suggests how

  2. The Vampire is one of the most enduring figures in horror cinema.

    For the doctor, the vampire must either by explainable or a silly superstition. It has been remarked that these doctors are the first to praise scientific enlightenment, and also the first to whip out the cross and wolfs bane. In fact, Christian religious beliefs provide a perfectly satisfactory way of

  1. "The Gothic is concerned primarily with representing transgression and taboo, there is nothing more ...

    The monster does not see such distinctions because he is a product of nurture, not nature: a creature made into a fiend, as Elizabeth would have been a peasant had she remained in that hut. Stallybrass and White claim the eighteenth/nineteenth century British bourgeoisie "defined and redefined itself through the

  2. How Effective is the Tomb of Sarah as a piece of Gothic Horror?

    Harry's intelligence is also shown in his precautions taken in acquiring the Rector's help. He predicted that the Rector, obviously being a religious man, would not accept the idea of a Vampire and so took measures to break it to him in a way that would ensure his belief, "I

  1. Discuss the relationship between sexuality and cruelty AND/OR or death in any TWO texts.

    (Rice pp. 148 & 149). Besides which, as Claudia watches the scene with sadistic relish, both she and Lestat indulge in a doubling of cruel sexuality. However, the: 'rage of a monstrous girl vampire against her infantilization' (Doane and Hodges p.169)

  2. The Gothic: A History

    and will continue to remain a fixture for a long time to come. Otranto was a landmark piece of literature, and was actually subtitled "- A Gothic Tale," making it an interesting case of a new genre naming itself. There were many gothic books during the time of the genre's

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work