Home Reader's Corner What is Gothic Literature? A Guide to Gothic Genre and Its Elements

What is Gothic Literature? A Guide to Gothic Genre and Its Elements

What is Gothic Genre - A Guide to Gothic Literature and Its Elements

At one point in time or another, you must have heard the word “goth”. When you hear this word, what comes to mind is black outfits, horror, dark makeup, sometimes dark forces and generally melancholic aura. But really, is that all “gothic” entail? If you are curious to find out more about Gothic genre in literature, this article is for you. Here, you will learn a concise summary of what this genre really entails.

What is “Gothic“?

The term “gothic” first originated in France sometime around the 12th century. Gothic did not start being used as a type of literature. Instead, it was used to describe a medieval style of unique, intricate and ornate architecture (and ruins).

Gothic became a genre of literature in the 18th century. The first-ever Gothic literature to grace the world, “The Castle of Otranto,” was published sometime in 1764. Written by an English writer named Horace Walpole, the book had these words in the subtitle “ A Gothic Story.” This book, albeit impending to come off as a sophisticated joke, contained many elements of darkness, death, love, and supernatural elements.

Over the years, more research was done into this dark art, and it was extended into more literary aspects of the world including education.

For faculty of art students that have been given a class homework on a gothic book summary and don’t know how to go about it, you can check out friendly online sites that offer free book summary services that perform plagiarism check. For example, if you have an assignment to work on, “to kill a mockingbird summary,” or similar book category, you can search for sources online that may help you complete the task as soon as possible. Then later, you can take your time to read the book.

What is Gothic Literature?

Gothic literature, simply put, are books that depict a “tale of horror.” From dark, forbidden love to haunted houses to supernatural occurrences, and lots of dark corners, these books are sure to get your heart racing.

Dark literature emphasizes finding the perfect balance between mind-gripping terror and pleasure, intense romance and finally, death.

This genre is getting more popular among college students; at least one student in twenty is a hardcore fan of Gothica. The mixture of blending the new world with the new world, that is why the setting mostly takes place during the core moments of historical transition.

Literature students always find this genre of literature inculcated into their book category, and often, they enjoy it.

Gothic Literature Elements

There are many distinct elements you must find in all gothic books, regardless of when they were written. The major ones are:

The Atmosphere

You don’t need to take a lesson on Gothica to know that the atmosphere of this literature is usually eerie and creepy. There is always a chill in the air, a dark cloud hovering, and nighttime is the preferred time of day.


Most Gothic books have supernatural characters like ghosts. But when you do find a human, the character seems weird and out of sorts, frequently finding themselves in unfamiliar territory. Asides from ghosts, otherworldly characters are usually present to explore themes of bad omen, superstition, curses and entrapment.


Gothic literature themes are perhaps the most telling element of the genre. This type of literature spares no one and always touches the deepest, darkest part of the human mind. The genre touches issues normal society usually shy away from, like mental illness, madness, morality, religious fanaticism, etc. The themes are designed to mess with readers’ grip on reality.

To have a career as a gothic literature writer is a great fit and shows the work of an exceptionally talented mind. It is advisable for college students to know more about this dark literature and its history. It definitely will pay to spend more time visiting a library or surfing about this eccentric genre on the web.

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