Essay on The Develoment of the Horror Genre

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The term Gothic is significant for the understanding of the origins and development of the horror genre. Both of these genres differ, whilst Gothic literature is the text that explores the frightening extremes in mankind, horror focuses more on the unknown. The Gothic horror genre has changed over time and retains importance because it is the antecedent of the horror genre. Factors such as the definition of the word Gothic, the archetypes of the genre, and its social and historical contexts, have altered considerably as time progressed. The value and popularity given to the gothic horror genre has also varied during the past few centuries. As a result, in order to understand the horror genre’s foundations, it is important to observe the …show more content…
Therefore, it can be said that the Gothic genre was a form of escapism from the Enlightenment as it portrayed extreme emotions and moods. The Gothic horror genre has been given different responses and values from the time of its birth in 1764, with Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, to the present moment. The Castle of Otranto is considered the first Gothic novel, which contains elements of suspense, violence and supernaturalism. As dominant paradigms and interests change, so has the appreciation which is given to Gothic horror. The Gothic has been frequently criticised for the sensationalism and implausibility created. Some believe that Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles’ Maturin, which was published in 1820, was the last “Classic Gothic” novel. Several literary critics have often been hesitant to accept the Gothic genre as valuable. It was only the critics who were interested in its historical aspects and practices that were the first to appraise the genre. However, the Gothic genre is celebrated today with canons being studied at educational institutions. At present, elements of the Gothic still reverberate through horror books, films and so on; thus it is essential to become aware of the origins of the Gothic horror genre in order to identify the inspiration created and how the horror components were derived. Gothic themes still resonate in modern literature through authors such as Anne Rice, who wrote tales of

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