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

    Riquelme argues that Roth, "reads the parallel but contrasting stories of Lucy and Mina as two symbolic confrontations with the mother, in the first of which she is destroyed and in the second of which she is saved, as part of the structure that works through 'the desire to destroy the threatening mother ...

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

    An area where Gothic comes into its own. In Melmoth the monk Moncada admits he is what Leopold von Sacher Masoch called "the cringing" / "the bottom". He says, "Give me something to suffer, to undergo, to submit, and I become at once the hero of submission."

  1. Gothic Horror Stories

    he wanted to get on with his studies he was doing, in this house Malcomson gets disturbed by rats, especially one rat that was bigger and looked evil. Then one day he was killed by the judge that haunted the house, who was in fact the bigger and evil rat.

  2. Literary Gothic

    Frankenstein obviously does not like what he has created because of its hideous features. This was the beginning of every monster to ever appear in a horror film, ugly. Even today, advertisers, film makers, even story writers still sometimes have some reference to this book, to this monster, and that paragraph is where it all stems from.

  1. 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

  2. A Comparison of two Gothic Horror Films, Sleepy Hollow and The Lost Boys.

    see what is going on, alike that of "The Night Of The Living Dead" (1968) another Gothic Horror Film, giving impressions of fear and uncertainty. As it flies across the glimmering water, slowly nearing the car, in which a couple are in, we can't see the "creature(s)"

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

    We find this out at the beginning of the book and is deliberately prophetic of tasks yet to come that will require this knowledge, such as banishing the countess back to her tomb, "great gratitude for the years of study I have been able to devote to the special subject."

  2. Compare The Kit-bag and The Judge's Houseas Short Stories in the Gothic Horror Tradition.

    When Malcomson had been there for a couple of days, he spotted a huge rat in the corner of the room as he was looking at some strange paintings. The next day he asked Mrs Witham, the cleaner, to dust the huge paintings on the wall as dust and grime obscured them.

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