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Gothic

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camilla signore

on 30 January 2015

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Transcript of Gothic

The
Gothic
Experience

The word
Gothic

It came to popularity at the end of the 18th century

Different connotations:

Medieval
upshot of interest in the Middle Ages

Mysterious
and
supernatural


Gothic Nightmares
the Gothic novel
The Modern Prometheus
Influences
Johann Heinrich Fuseli (1741-1825)

Darkness violently rent by light: "Gloomth"
Interest in dreams and madness
"Incubus" / "mara"
Mare
= female horse
Anticipates 20th-century Surrealism
The Nightmare
(1791)
The painting has intrigued viewers for centuries

Icon of horror in the history of art
Freud had a print
"Shocking"
Primarily about sex

LITERATURE:
The Castle of Otranto
by Horace Walpole (1764)


The Mysteries of Udolpho
by Ann Radcliffe (1794)

The Monk
by Matthew Lewis (1796)

Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus

by Mary Shelley (1818)
The Gothic novel
A Night in a Gothic Castle
Ann Radcliffe,
The Mysteries of Udolpho
(1794)
The night was stormy
; the
battlements
of the castle appeared to rock in the wind, and, at intervals, long
groans
seemed to pass on the air, such as those, which often deceive the
melancholy
mind, in tempests, and amidst scenes of desolation.
Figures of individualists who are not satisfied with the society they live in
Exploration of forbidden knowledge or denied areas reflects the wish to go beyond God, nature and human limits
Doc. Frankenstein: the Overreacher
Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus

Mary Shelley (1797-1851)
Author's life:
Daughter of two believers in the power of reason
She got married with P. B. Shelley, a Romantic poet
Mary wrote
Frankenstein
in 1818
PLOT
The Monster: the Outcast
THEMES
At this time a slight sleep relieved me from the pain of reflection, which was disturbed by the
approach of a beautiful child
, who came running into the recess I had chosen, with all the sportiveness of infancy. Suddenly, as I gazed on him,
an idea seized me that this little creature was unprejudiced and had lived too short a time to have imbibed a horror of deformity
. If, therefore,
I could seize him and educate him as my companion and friend,
I should not be so desolate in this peopled earth.
Urged by this impulse, I seized on the boy as he passed and drew him towards me.
As soon as he beheld my form,he placed his hands before his eyes and uttered a shrill scream
; I drew his hand forcibly from his face and said, `Child, what is the meaning of this?
I do not intend to hurt you
; listen to me
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
PHILOSOPHY:
OUTCAST: is a person who is rejected or excluded from a social group (ex. a vagabond or a wanderer)
Why the Monster in
Frankenstein
could be considered an "outcast of society"?
Desperate need for human friendship
Obsession and frustration
He is rejected from his society
He becomes a monster in more than a physical sense

Overcoming man's limitations
Romantic isolation of the individual from society
Ambition
Frankenstein
, Mary Shelley (Chapter 10)
OVERREACHER:
is defined like a person who wants to go beyond the human limits challenging God’s power.

Victor

Prometheus

- Rebel vs Nature - Rebel vs God

- Be like God - Be like God
Experiments Steal fire
Eliminate death Give immortality

- Hero - Hero

1712-78
Interaction between man and nature
Bon sauvage
: the good natural man
"State of nature" and Society
Modern educational system:
Robinson Crusoe

Mystery and terror

Darkness and gloomy atmosphere
Disquieting nature

Supernatural beings: monsters, vampires, ghosts
Magic events

Isolated castles, mysterious abbeys and churches


Symbol of the mystery of human existence:
what expects us?
ART:
The 18th-century society

Industrial exploitation
Destruction of the single human being

Man as a slave to forces he could not control

The "sublime"
Rousseau and
Frankenstein
Celebration of terror

Rejection of limits

Exploration of forbidden areas
Romantic idea of natural goodness
Fear of the different
Wickedness of human behavior
Social injustice
Isolation
Desire of knowledge: excessive

Rousseau's philosophy as a method of commentary
Main features
Victor Frankenstein is a scientist
Creation of a ugly Monster
The Monster wants a companion
Doc. rejects him
M. accuses the mankind of
lacking
compassion
towards him
The Monster becomes a murderer

He destroys his creator
Dream of the creation of artificial life
Social injustice
The Nightmare
(1781)
BIBLIOGRAPHY
A. Cattaneo,
Millenium
, Mondadori, Milano, 2012
M. Shelley,
Frankenstein
, Giunti, Milano, 2007
R. Luperini,
Il nuovo la scrittura e l'interpretazione
, volume 4, G. B. Palumbo, Palermo, 2011
arts.telegraph.co.uk
www.bl.uk
academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu
www.tate.org.uk
www.bbk.ac.uk
www.treccani.it
graficogadda.wikispaces.com
https://sites.google.com/a/arlington.k12.ma.us/literary-salon-block-e-2011-2012/jean-jacques-rousseau
Elisabetta Bombardieri
Caterina Guffanti
Francesco Ravasio
Camilla Signore

SITOGRAPHY
Full transcript