Elements of the Gothic Novel
Robert Harris Version Date: June 15, 2015 The gothic novel was invented almost single-handedly by Horace Walpole, whose The Castle of Otranto (1764) contains essentially all the elements that constitute the genre. Walpole's novel was imitated not only in the eighteenth century and not only in the novel form, but it has influenced the novel, the short story, poetry, and even film making up to the present day. Gothic elements include the following: 1. Setting in a castle. The castle may be near or connected to caves, which lend their own haunting flavor with their darkness, uneven floors, branchings, claustrophobia, and mystery. Translated into the modern novel or filmmaking, the setting might be in an old house or mansion--or even a new house--where unusual camera angles, sustained close ups during movement, and darkness or shadows create the same sense of claustrophobia and entrapment. 2. In modern novels and filmmaking, the inexplicable events are often murders. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 1.