Demonism and Innocence

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Demonism And Innocence: Gothic poetry and the Gothic Female.

There is something of deep and unsettling thrill that comes from reading works of gothic literature. The dark and unsettling nature of the gothic provides a strong sense of escapism and an interesting opportunity to explore what is otherwise repressed. These traits of the gothic explain why is proved to be a growing fascination and development in 19th century English writing. The gothic engages in themes of religious, social, supernatural, spiritual and even mental exploration, all utilizing sensationalist description and plot. The gothic can also transcend literary style; this is evident when we compare the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Browning. Coleridge who is a romantic poet has displayed gothic themes in some his work such as, “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” and “Christabel”. Browning who writes at a later Victorian period displays similar themes in poems such as “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover”. By exploring both poets work we may begin to have an understanding of the gothic tale in poetry, as well as the gothic figure. Both “Christabel” and “Porphyria’s Lover” have prominent female figures; these figures provide an interesting outlook on the relationship between the demonic figure and the innocent figure in gothic poetry. By comparing the two poems we can show how the gothic is portrayed through different writing styles, and by comparing the female figures in the poem we can understand how they portray demonism and innocence. While both these poems carry dark and sinister undertones that are associated with gothic literature, the methods in which Coleridge and Browning convey their poetry is significantly different. “Christabel” has long been considered a work of romantic poetry, and on the surface it carries many thematic resemblances to romanticism. The influence of nature is clearly evident, the poem begins with the heroine fleeing to nature in hopes of finding...
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