Supernatural Themes Within Gothic Texts Essay

1200 Words Sep 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
Supernatural themes within Gothic texts are designed to push against the common way within society in order to be relevant and convey a message. Throughout history, the human race has taken many different paths and embraced many different beliefs. Three of these beliefs that have been incredibly influential in the past three centuries are: neoclassicism, romanticism and Victorianism. In each of these historical periods, gothic literature and by extension the supernatural, acted as a rejection of the common beliefs. Generally, this was specifically done by the Authors in order to convey a relevant message. The Castle of Otranto was a rejection of the neoclassical school of thought, Dracula was a rejection of romanticist ideals and The Fall of the House of Usher was a rejection of Victorian values.

The supernatural within Castle of Otranto is a rejection of neoclassicism. Castle of Otranto was written during the height of the neoclassicist era. Neoclassicism was the an idea that harkened back to old, Greek schools of thought which prioritized rational thinking over superfluous emotions. Horace Walpole’s book was a complete abandonment of that ideology and embraced a rather emotional, non-rational way of story-telling. The way in which the supernatural is used is indicative of this. At the beginning of the book before the wedding between Isabella and Conrad, the to-be-husband dies under mysterious circumstances: “He [Manfred] beheld his child dashed to pieces, and almost…

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