Transgression In Gothic Literature

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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
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Gothic is a dynamic type of literature. It reflects the social, cultural developments of its time. To fully understand the gothic dimensions, it is necessary to examine the social, political, cultural and historical elements which lead to gothic appearance and advancements.
1.2.1. The Early Gothic
The word “gothic” existed long before it become as a specified literary genre. The origin of Gothic literature is traced back to the various aspects, the history, culture, and tradition. The gothic elements were popular in the folktales such as bridegroom, cannibal, demon lover…etc. 19
The gothic roots belong to the medieval romance. If gothic genre is featured by its elements, then, gothic could be traced back to the old legends of chivalry, which embody stories set in an atmosphere of fantasy and enchantment, and deal with traditional heroes encounter monsters and beasts for the sake of fame and glory such as “Beowulf”; an epic which involves struggles with monsters as Grendel and his mother, and supernatural creatures as the
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The Castle of Otranto was regarded as a mixture of various literary genres: melodrama, fable, romance, and folklore. In the preface, Walpole claims that he tries to ʻ blend of the two kinds of romance the ancient and the modern’. The ancient – ‘all imagination and improbability’, and the modern governed by the ‘rules of probability’ connected with ‘common life’. Jerrold E. Hogle argues that the early gothic fiction is a “post-medieval and even post- renaissance phenomenon”, due to the medieval setting: “Belonging to, or characteristic of, the Middle Ages; medieval, ‘romantic’, as opposed to classical… Belonging to the ‘dark ages’”.
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