La fenetre gothique : the influence of tragic form on the structure of the Gothic novel

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dc.contributor.advisor Thornburg, Thomas R. en_US Jennings, Richard Jerome en_US
dc.coverage.spatial e-uk-en en_US 2011-06-03T19:27:16Z 2011-06-03T19:27:16Z 1983 en_US 1983
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1983 .J4 en_US
dc.description.abstract This study demonstrates that much of the Gothic novel's effect results from the form of the classical tragedy. Experimentation with that form as the basic structure of the novel begins with Horace Walpole, extending through Ann Radcliffe and Charles Maturin. Walpole, the innovator, uses the form--architectonic movements and particularized devices-to bring dramatic action back to a genre which was withering due to Richardson's epistolary structure. The plotting of The Castle of Otranto relies on tragic movement: exposition, complication, minor crisis, incitement of tragic force, climax, catastrophe. Also, to move action, Walpole uses peripeteia and anagnorisis more broadly than a dramatist. Because of his expanded use of the two devices, Walpole adds spectacle or the supernatural to crisis, climax, and catastrophe. Desiring to offset pathos, he creates fear--specifically terror, the fear of death.Ann Radcliffe uses Walpole's strategy in The Italian but modifies the tragic structure somewhat. Hers is a more expansive work than Otranto, and she emphasizes the ironies of her protagonist's decline. Equally important, she uses the true supernatural, she continues experimenting with minor character, and generalizing the use of peripeteia to increase ironic possibilities occurring between characters, characters and narrator, or book and audience. Because these ironies are so much like undercutting, The Italian seems more like a modern novel.Because Charles Robert Maturin was himself a dramatist, the architectonic technique of Melmoth the Wanderer is also tragic. Maturin uses the tragic form recursively, adding bewildering, ambiguous depth to the novel. The many tragedies are interlocked. Individually, each teaches about the human condition. As a whole, the tragedies are Melmoth's hell on earth, though his victims' fleshly tragedies never match his own hopeless spiritual tragedy. Structurally, Maturin uses periketeia and anagnorisis frequently, oftentimes mixing in spectacle and the supernatural. Other major contributions are Maturin's use of a temporally and spatially free protagonist and his emphasis of the fear of eternal damnation. Since that is Melmoth's final lot, the author withholds climax and catastrophe for the novel's end.Thus, the Gothic suggests itself as a source for the "dramatic novels" of later mainstream authors like George Eliot. en_US
dc.format.extent 2, ii, 224 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh English fiction -- History and criticism. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Gothic revival (Literature) -- England -- History. en_US
dc.title La fenetre gothique : the influence of tragic form on the structure of the Gothic novel en_US Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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