TEXTS AND GENRES

Religion

Religion

Christian imagery was effective in the gothic genre because it focussed on good and evil. The demonic was used as the subject of terror, sin could drive people mad and damned souls walked the earth. The good in gothic literature could be portrayed as righteous and again the imagery of light, beauty and virginity was used to describe characters and settings. Christianity was a source of for the supernatural but it is also a religion of passion and faith thus it went against sense and logic. Moreover the Sublime often led writers and thinkers to imagine God, admire creation and realise the enormity of the universe in comparison to themselves.

The gothic genre takes much inspiration from the early modern and Renaissance periods. The Renaissance, like the Enlightenment, was a time of new knowledge and exploration which led to some similar fears. Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, for example, dramatises the life of a man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. The supernatural is also used in Shakespeare, for example in Macbeth where the three witches predict his fate, or in Hamlet where the ghost of his father appears to him. Texts from this period include the characteristics of the gothic genre, however the genre came out of the Enlightenment almost 200 years later.