The Castle of Otranto

The Clash of the Romantics and the Gothic College

From the late-eighteenth to the early-nineteenth century, known as the Romantic period, there existed a shift in some cultural and artistic elements that leaned towards a revival of the Gothic. As well as a revival of the Gothic through architectural adaptations in England, writers in particular began to enjoy incorporating elements of the Gothic aesthetic into their works, thus beginning a mergence of the two styles. The imagery associated with the Gothic was seen to be so distinct and carried a certain essence that its use, whether inspired politically, socially, architecturally, culturally, or spiritually, made for an interesting and unique collection of literary works.

In order to better understand the correlation between the Romantic and the Gothic, it is first necessary to understand the basics and the complexes of defining both of these terms. In the simplest of terms, the Oxford Companion to English Literature defines Romanticism as “the triumph of the values of spontaneity, visionary originality, wonder, and emotional self-expression over the classical standards of balance, order, restraint, proportion, and objectivity...[it] derives from ‘romance’, the literary form in which desires and dreams prevail over everyday...

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