To what extent do you think gothic literature is characterised by a fascination with death?
The term gothic relates to gothic architecture from the 12th to the 15th century but nowadays modern readers associate the term gothic with darkness, gloom and ultimately death and even the term ‘goth’ has some reference to the gothic which the attire is focused around black. Death is not always present in gothic literature, the idea and other sins are definitely present. In the Pardoner’s Tale Death is symbolic rather than a character. The three rioters are trying to pursue Death ‘I shal him seke by wey and eek by street’ the use of setting is prevalent here because it suggest that the rioters are looking for a specific place where they will find Death. In fact, it’s their fate that they are trapped within and they will eventually reach their nemesis of which Death is a part of. In the same way, the Old Man has a dark and mysterious quality which could be supernatural and he could be symbolised as death himself. He says ‘A man that wolde chaunge his youthe for myn age’ which suggests that he does want to die and could be close to death in that sense but also this phrase suggests an eeriness to the old man and makes the audience think of who he could actually be. The audience at the time would be used to death due to many diseases that were around but for the women death could be seen as a fascinating subject because they are having to stay at home and will not have a hobby or a job. Death itself is seen as supernatural of which the audience will have much belief in things such as witches and even though there is evidence of blasphemy they were still quite religious and God himself would be seen as supernatural or have supernatural qualities including being omniscient. Moreover, the Pardoner himself preaches against sins such as drinking and gluttony of which eventually could lead to death, even though the medieval audience will be aware of this they will still be...
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