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Mythes and Héros : How have romantic ideas and scientific experiments given birth to Gothic litterature and moovies ?

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Oral Bac Anglais :

Mythes and Héros : How have romantic ideas and scientific experiments given birth to Gothic litterature and moovies ?

        Many famous characters from literature have become myths and they are part of the collective culture of a nation.

Some myths travel in time and space, for example Gothic literature which was born in England and then developed worldwide.

The first Gothic novel is titled The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764).

        The term “gothic” stemmes from the rich architecture established by Germanic tribes that were called the Goths. Later, the term expanded to encompass most of the medieval architectural styles (Von Simson, Otto and Ernst 12). The intricate and ornate style of this form of architecture proved to be the perfect backdrop for both psychological and physical settings in a new form of fiction. The form was based on elegant tales of superstition, suspense, and mystery. The gothic genre peaked between 1764 and 1840, which closely allied this movement to romanticism. However, its influence has extended to the present day.

Gothic novels are often a literary manifestation of science fiction since most gothic works focus on the imagined consequences of scientific innovation. Many critics observe this connection between science fiction and gothic literature. They maintain that gothic authors have used elements of science fiction as far back as two hundred years. In fact, several critics argue that gothic authors are the pioneers of science fiction. This study argues that Mary Shelley, Robert Stevenson, and Bram Stoker are some of these pioneers.

Gothic novel broadly refers to stories that combine elements from horror and romanticism. The Gothic novel often deals with supernatural events, or events occurring in nature that cannot be easily explained or over which man has no control, and it typically follows a plot of suspense and mystery. The most comon elements found in gothic novels are : a gloomy, decaying setting like an haunted house with secret passages, trapdoors, and other mysterious architecture, supernatural beings or monsters such as ghosts, vampires, zombies, the Devil, giants, curses or prohecies, damsels in distress, and an hero, intense emotions due to the athmosphere.

        As an example, I will relate the famous story of the novel entitled Dracula by Bram Stoker. It tells the story of a vampire travelling to London from Transylvania in the late 18th century and living at the top of a mountain in a huge and sharp castle where a bridge is the only access road. The book opens with Jonathan Harker, a young salesman travelling to Transylvania to sell Count Dracula, some houses in London. Harker is at first impressed by Dracula's suave politeness, but is soon creeped out by the Count's uncanny ability to communicate with wolves and by the lack of servants—or anyone else—in the Count's huge castle.  Soon after, Jonathan realizes that he is a prisoner in the castle and he is afraid he will never be able to leave. He knows that he is in great danger so  he decides to escape,. Meanwhile, back in England, Jonathan's friends are worried about him, especially his girlfriend, Mina. Lucy, one of Mina's friends died soon after. Dracula drank her blood. But she was not really dead and some of the caracters knew it so they went into her tomb and  stab her trhough the heart and cut off her head to ensure that she was really dead.


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