Elements of Gothic Literature

Elements of Gothic Literature
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  • SETTING AND ATMOSPHERE  - Dungeons or secret rooms
  • Proceed, herein is the Amontillado.
  • You jest! But let us proceed to the Amontillado.
  • GOTHIC PROTAGONIST -The protagonist is isolated/alone; emotional (cut off from people around he/she)
  • Enough! The cough's a mere nothing; it will not kill me.
  • Come. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. 
  • Oh how I wish I was like him, powerful and all.
  • EMOTIONS RUN HIGH - Characters are often passionate and strong-willed, defying others or even their own common sense in pursuit of their goals
  • I punish with impunity! I must have my revenge.
  • Montressor meets Fortunato as night is falling, and leads him to the labyrinth/crypt hidden away underground from the carnival  ("Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior crypt or recess...for no especial use...") (Poe 5)
  • FOREBODING -Ominous implications precede dark events
  •         Montressor, the protagonist, is burdened by his jealousy of Fortunato. He appears distant from Fortunato because of his desire to acquire retribution by killing Fortunato. (You are rich, respected, admired, isolated; you are happy, as once I was." (Poe 3)
  • DECAY -A decline in the landscape and in the characters themselves
  • Montressor is determined to seek revenge on Fortunato for insulting him all this time. ("...but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge."_) (Poe 1)
  • SUPERNATURAL -There may be ghosts or unexplained manifestations
  •  Protagonist leads Fortunato into catacombs where deceased human remains lie.  The remains symbolize death, and Fortunato's ultimate fate.  ("Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris.") (Poe 5)
  • As Montressor traps Fortunato in the dungeon and buries him alive, his morale declines considerably. He gives into his contempt for him, ravishing in his retribution. ("The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might hearken to it with the more satisfaction.") (Poe 6)
  • How satisfying! He's finally gone. Listen to his screams!
  • AHHHHHHH!
  • The manifestation and slow development of Montressor's cruel, malevolent demeanor towards Fortunato escalates. As he buries Fortunato he becomes more corrupted on the inside, as if he is someone else.   ("With these materials and with the aid of my trowel, I began vigorously to wall up the entrance of the niche") (Poe 6)
  • Now it is finally time!
  • Montressor? Are you out there?
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