Kathy Prendergast 'Introduction To The Gothic Tradition'

Powerful Essays
In what follows, my research paper will rely on an article by Kathy Prendergast entitled “Introduction to The Gothic Tradition”. The significance of this article resides in helping to recapitulate the various features of the Gothic tradition. In this article the authoress argues that in order to overturn the Enlightenment and realistic literary mores, many of the eighteenth century novelists had recourse to traditional Romantic conventions in their works of fiction, like the Arthurian legendary tales (Prendergast).
Romantic literature, as Kathy Prendergast further claims, highlighted things like splendor, greatness, vividness, expressiveness, intense feelings of passion, and stunning beauty. The Romantic literary genre favored “parts” over “whole” and “content” over “form”. The writer argues that though both the Romantic literary genre and the Gothic art mode were medieval in nature, they came to clash with what was called classical conventions. That’s why, preoccupations with such things as the supernatural, the awful, the dreadful, the repulsive and the grotesque were the exclusive focus of the nineteenth century Gothic novel. While some critics perceived the Gothic as a sub-genre of Romanticism, some others saw it as a genre in its own right (Prendergast).
Kathy Prendergast, further contends, that it is this convergence of the Gothic art style and Romantic genre which was quintessential of the nineteenth century era. Both collided to spotlight terror, valuelessness emotion and vulnerability. Both collided to perpetrate a sense of wonderment in the reader/viewer, a sense of helplessness in the face of some superior force. The Gothic architecture with its peculiarity, mystery and imperilment; the Gothic architecture with its a...

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... standards and moral codes. Both are regarded as epitomes of cruelty that repulse and paradoxically attract. Their similarities coincide especially at the beginning of the novel; especially when Heathcliff supplicates Catherine’s return: “Cathy, do come. Oh do once more! Oh! My heart’s darling, hear me this time—Catherine, at last!” (Emily Bronte: 23).
Cristena Ceron, goes on to assert, that these particular words of Emily’s Byronic hero are definitely corresponding to those uttered by Byron’s vampire in Act 2, Scene 4 of “Manfred”, when he addressed his beloved Astarte with the following words:“Hear me, hear me”(88) (LISA Revue).
The similarities existing between the two characters, Cristina Ceron argues, also align in Manfred’s first act soliloquy, in which the Byronic hero praises his superhuman powers announcing himself the devil and the sovereign of the world:
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