- Created by: sapplegate32
- Created on: 28-11-18 13:01
FOR BOTH PART A AND B IN THE OCR A2 GOTHIC COMPARATIVE AND CONTEXTUAL STUDY EXAM, CONTEXT IS WEIGHTEDAT A MASSIVE 50%. YOU NEED TO KNOW THE ENTIRE GOTHIC CANON, FROM THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO TO 21st CENTURY GOTHIC. HERE, YOU CAN FIND MY NOTES ON THE WHOLE OF THE GENRE, AS WELL AS A SPECIFIC STUDY ON THE MODERN GOTHIC WHICH COULD COME UP (just to catch everyone unaware as they have never included any part A extracts in this exam post-1900).
You need to know the genre inside-out to master this exam.
PART A - The Gothic genre through time
1764 - The Castle of Otranto: The first Gothic novel
Horace Walpole’s construction of the external Gothic incorporated the supernatural and horrific, using many traditional Gothic tropes including a dark and ominous castle and a naïve young woman fleeing from an evil, lustful man. Very early Gothic fictions directly imitated Shakespearean tragedies, introducing comedy to relieve the novel’s most melodramatic moments.
1794 – The Mysteries of Udolpho: The dawn of the female Gothic
Ann Radcliffe developed the Gothic genre in amplifying the fear of the unknown and isolated, often foreign locations – this was later used by modern Gothic writers i.e. Carter. Radcliffe also introduces ‘the explained supernatural’, a technique by which terrifying, apparently supernatural incidents have a logical explanation. Over the course of her previous novels, Radcliffe developed the formula of ‘the female Gothic’, first introduced in The Recess by Sophia Lee. The formula is perfected in Udolpho, and has since become a Gothic norm.
1796 – The Monk: Shocking Society
Matthew Lewis scandalised both the Gothic and literary world. Transgressing through moral and social norms, Lewis’s novel about the misdeeds of a spoiled priest features incestuous necrophilia, matricide, cannibalism, voyeurism, and a satanic pact – not to mention an incredibly gory finale. It was one of the characters censoring the Bible, however, which most upset its contemporaries. The novel, which has been retrospectively classed as ‘Male Gothic', features the genre’s typical themes of a lone male, exiled and an outsider.
1816 – The ‘Vampyre’: Birth of the tale in English
Ancient European folklore had been around for centuries, yet it was John Polidori who created the first Vampire novel in English. The novel introduces the Byronic hero to Gothic. He is the attractive, dangerous outsider, whose struggles with melancholy will feature in numerous classics of the genre. On publication The Vampyre is incorrectly attributed to Byron instead of Polidori, to the annoyance of both writers, but the novel is a success and sparks a craze for similar vampire tales.
1816 – Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus: Raising the dead
Shelley’s story features many Gothic spine-tingling elements, including the macabre horror of raising the dead. However, the novel in which a creature created from disparate body parts is brought to life is often considered to be the first in the science fiction genre. Many believe it to be a warning about the dangers of contemporary…