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What are the characteristics of the Gothic Romance?
[quote='MaMiller' pid='1962' dateline='1270245739']

Hi everyone, I'm new here! Smile

The key to a good gothic book (in my opinion) is the right balance of romance, and horror, but another ingreidant commonly overlooked is tragedy. This theme seems to crop up CONSTANTLY. For example, in Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" Quasimodo falls madly in love with Esmerelda (spelling.....oops) only to watch the captain of the guard whisk her away and then get killed. He commits suicide in some ghastly way or another (dont trust the Disney cartoon!)
Obviously, Wuthering Heights is built around Heathcliff's and Catherine's intense affair, only to leave Heathciff heartbroken and alone in a massive manor house.

One classic that i'm afraid has vanished into the abyss (it was made into an incredible movie and Broadway musical, but im afriad no one has bothered to read the book anymore!) is Gaston Leroux's "The Phantom of the Opera". I must admit however, this was the only story that i felt made a better movie than the original book. Lloyd Webber's music adds a richness to the story that is somewhat lacking in the book.
I still love the story thoough because the Phantom (Eric) is groomed to be the villain right from the start, but the reader soon realizes that the line between love for Christine and his obsession with music becomes blurred. If the characters were cut and dry, or stock, it would be a tale of the triumph of good over evil. But since we sympathize with the Phantom, it becomes a tragic romance.
Despite the fact that the climaxes seem to be in all the wrong places, Leroux managed to weave elements of Dracula, Heathcliff, and Frankenstein into one character. If the tapestry of characters wasn't as rich, the book could have fallen flat, but because of the different elements, it stayed afloat for nearly a century.
By the way it will be exacly 100 years old next year! (2011!)

But i have a question - how many people think the story would have ended happily if Christine had chosen the Phantom over Raul, or would it have ended worse? I can't decide.

Messages In This Thread
RE: What are the characteristics of the Gothic Romance? - by Bellatrix Lestrange - 04-03-2010, 10:04 AM

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