Depositions And John Temple's The Irish Rebellion

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Ian Pierce Professor Christina Morin EH4121 17 October 2014 1. The 1641 Depositions and John Temple’s The Irish Rebellion might be described as ‘proto-Gothic’ (Killeen, Gothic Ireland 31). Describe in detail and with reference to both Depositions and The Irish Rebellion how these texts set the stage for the later emergence of gothic literature in Ireland. The 1641 Depositions are considered some of the earliest pieces of gothic literature in Ireland. They focus on the reports of generally protestant settlers and nobility during the Irish Rebellion of 1641, when the Irish Catholic gentry attempted to wrestle control from the English Protestant administration; the accounts themselves retell events that are indeed recorded to have happened, such…show more content…
Words such as notorious, cruelty and massacre are used throughout the book and the Depositions, playing with the fears of the reader. To the reader and quite possibly the author, each act that is described is an act almost unimaginable in a civilised world. Noble, innocent and British people are treated like animals at the hands of wild barbarians who follow a different religion (“Barbarous People” 151). While it may seem laughable for a modern reader to read this and come away shaking in terror, having been desensitised to such violence from an early age, it is not all that difficult to imagine the effect this may have had on the common people of the seventeenth century. Similarly, with this in mind, it is not too difficult to imagine how books such as The Castle of Otranto, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, may have gripped the nation in a sort of curious fear. People wanting to read about atrocities and massacres that they themselves never even imagined possible would have certainly captivated earlier audiences and it is perhaps even possible that the Depositions and Temple created a niche role for the everyday reader that needed to be filled by…show more content…
They seem simple, basic enough to the modern eye that one can barely take them seriously, it is not until we put ourselves into the shoes of an everyday London labourer that we begin to see the effects that these pieces could have had on people (Canny 55). Similarly, it is a strange experience to read a piece of gothic literature such as The Castle of Otranto and be told that it is in fact a horror story, as some may have read it and mistaken it for an early adventure into black comedy. While the language and imagery during the Depositions and Temple’s work are basic and almost primitive, it is difficult to deny that they have not inspired and been improved upon in future titles that we would eventually come to call gothic

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