Oscar Wilde's Success at a Gothic Novel

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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

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.

When ...

... middle of paper ...

...ee 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.

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[1] Ibid.

[2] Ibid.
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