Gothic Literature

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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The word “Gothic”, for some readers at least, conjures images of the Ostrogoths and Visigoths, barbaric hordes marauding across Europe on horseback during the Dark Ages after the fall of Classical Rome, destroying and plundering whatever crosses their path. On a more specific, and darkly Romantic note - perhaps in tune with 19th-century attitudes that somewhat paradoxically mixed the cult of death with a fresher and healthier love of romance - the word inspires us to think of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, damsels in distress, cemetery scenes, and masked villains who, though villainous, have a fine sense for fashion. In a pop-cultural context, emerging in the early 1980s, the word, and particularly its shortened form, “Goth,” may conjure up images of teenagers dressed gaudily,

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Citation: Sucur, Slobodan. "Gothic Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 May 2007 [, accessed 05 March 2024.]

1216 Gothic Literature 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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