Gothic Themes in Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Stoker’s Dracula, and Poe’s poetry 12th Grade

The presentation of the Gothic has spanned the centuries, gripping each and every reader with its dastardly plot and unsuspecting victims. The Castle of Otranto, written in 1764 by Horace Walpole, ‘is generally regarded as the first Gothic novel’[1]. However, the Gothic genre itself has a ‘clear Shakespearian imprint’[2]. Macbeth, exploiting both manipulative witches and clandestine murder, embodies many elements of this particular genre. This can also be seen even today in the writings of novelists such as Angela Carter in her novel, The Bloody Chamber, and this can aid us in exploring the importance and profundity of the Gothic genre today. Expressionism in theatre, as an example, attempted to demonstrate the ‘inner workings of the human mind’[3] and sought to embody some elements of the Gothic whilst doing so. German playwright, Georg Büchner’s, most famous and influential drama, Woyzeck, portrays the ‘psychological deterioration of a lower-class soldier’[4] due to the oppression by the upper classes. This play, along with many others of its time, embraced the Expressionist ideas and created a focus on the psyche of the human mind and all its inherent horrors. Many have attempted to seek full understanding of why the human...

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