The gothic has a close affinity to the literature of the fantastic which is about the not-yet or what is to be achieved in the future. It is defined as a ‘fantastic escapist genre’ as it enables female writers “escape from powerlessness, from meaninglessness, from lack of identity except through the performance of unstable and unsatisfying roles, and from the covert perception of the hollowness of the promises of social mythology about women’s lives,” to use the words of Kay J. Mussell (qtd. in Vokey 5) . Yet, the gothic’s engagement with the fantastic raises the question about its potential to criticize the ideological practices of the dominant discourse.
Hugh Blair labels the artistic gothic architecture – the setting, as a source of the sublime “A gothic cathedral raises ideas of grandeur in our mind, by its size, its height, its awful obscurity, its strength, its antiquity, and its durability”.14 Another key feature of the gothic genre is transgression. Transgression is simply the violation of social, cultural and moral norms. Gothic tries to get over conventional boundaries and break the rules of law and nature by transgressing to supernaturalism: The figurative texture of the gothic novel is a projection of the romantic minds sense of entrapment in an antiqued culture, its struggle to break from it and its guilty consciousness of both its participation in obsolete attitude and its transgression
In The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart, Poe showcases a unique style of writing, rendering exceptional pieces of literature. Both stories are within the genres of horror and romanticism, however, Poe does not conform to these genres, as they were in the 19th century. Poe branches out of romanticism, and with horror, he developed gothic romanticism and pioneered psychological horror. Poe believed that art and literature were the most realistic and accurate depiction of individual human nature. Deviating from romanticism, which would have focused on external depictions of horror, he concentrated on internal depictions of the human mind which reveal a character’s internal struggle and therefore make his depictions more realistic and stylishly accurate.
As the literary elements are not just some coincidence that is shown between the writings of these stories and poem. This bridges the relationship between the writers and their works of art but, even with all the similarities it always comes with differences. This is shown in each book with the way they show the gothic element. As The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is very upfront about its elements while in Frankenstein has the deeper meaning. Also in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, you had to read between the lines to understand the meanings.
Setting is the key element in Gothic Literature. It displays the different places and architectures that are essentials to visualize Gothic. The setting is highly significant in a Gothic novel because it helps to add horror and fear to its mood and dreadful weakness to its characters. As said by Snodgrass, the settings of Gothic literary works present an extensional symbolic psychological case to its human characters (158).Gothic fictions are usually set in isolated landscapes or highly secured prisons, secret passages or corridors, old castles or ghostly houses, and graveyards. According to Hogle, Gothic areas might be "a castle, a foreign place, an abbey, a vast prison, a subterranean crypt, a graveyard, a primeval frontier, or island, a large old house or theatre. . .
I felt creeping upon me, by slow yet uncertain degrees, the wild influence of his own fantastic yet impressive superstitions." So we are left hanging with the question, does he lives only to tell the tale? Moving on to the characteristic of genre, „The Fall of the House of Usher” can be considered as a gothic or horror fiction. The metonymy of gloom and horror, an atmosphere of mystery and suspense, high, even overwrought emotion are also part of characteristics of the story.
In the early 18th century a new genre of fiction prose, named "Gothic Novel" was introduced. The term ”Gothic” used to refer to the German tribe of the Goths, and later on signiﬁed ”Germanic”, then ”medieval”. The Gothic novel spread over the 19th century and had the popular theme of haunted places such as castles, crypts, gloomy mansions and convents; supernatural elements having the role to intensify the atmosphere.
"The Cask of Amontillado" has a place with the Romantic development in workmanship; it is a piece of the Romantic subgenre of the gothic, a story of repulsiveness with the gothic gear of prisons, tombs, and corpses. Taking care of business, however, Poe rises above the class. As he watched, his frightfulness was not of Germany (which means gothicism) but rather of the spirit. To the degree this is valid, Poe was a pioneer in composing mental fiction, often of amazingly hypochondriac, if not unusual, identities. He likewise was an early promoter of craftsmanship for workmanship 's purpose; not at all like his contemporary, Nathaniel Hawthorne, he didn 't compose moral stories.
I feel that the horror is meaningful in this
Not only does it fit the criteria of Horror Gothic and Female Gothic on and off screen, it also exhibits the typical dark atmosphere and fascination with repressed anxieties and desires as well as extreme emotional states like unstable personality and hallucinations. Most important are the Gothic themes of transformation, the double and multifaceted identity. How these themes are brought about in the film allows for a range of interpretations, be it Nina 's stress and perfectionism and the consequent insanity, Nina 's growing into a sexual being or even her losing grip on her identity through the means of an objectifying society. Not only does Nina physically morph into the black swan, she also transforms sexually and mentally. The double motif is omnipresent in the film and closely entwined with the idea of multifaceted and unstable identity.
Several traits distinguish whether a character is a Romantic and Gothic protagonist in a literature piece. Romanticism is described by the attraction of a human to the natural forces, often uncivilized, of the Universe. Instead of thinking rationally, a Romantic looks to imagination, which allows one to view the world in an idealistic light. Gothicism is a category of Romanticism, which focuses primarily on the obscure and supernatural forces of the Universe. Therefore, Romantic Goth characters have the talent to both see and feel the beauty in the dark and obscure, which often inspires them to react differently to a given situation.