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Forum Home > The Gothic > Gothic monsters

Rob Marshall
Member
Posts: 56

Perhaps less so in this picture than in certain others which depict the same Leitmotiv. The incubuc here looks more grumpy than truly threatening.

May 9, 2017 at 2:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

Great responses here (and Carly, interestingly this has been interpreted as the demon being Fuseli and the woman being his lost love...). Interesting to connect thsi with patriarchy - in some ways the incubus is a great symbol for patriarchy...

May 9, 2017 at 2:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

carly curry
Member
Posts: 29

Graeme Pedlingham at May 9, 2017 at 2:19 PM

Oppressive, literally and metaphorically - a very useful way to think of it. It clearly oppresses the woman/victim, but I'd suggest that it's also challenging us as spectators - its gaze is directional confrontational.

Challenging us to intervene or directing us away from her ill choices?
May 9, 2017 at 2:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Tom Eastment
Member
Posts: 12

The demon's awareness of a spectator is certainly a chilling feature. It's evil glare suggests it has been disturbed from some business...

May 9, 2017 at 2:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

as a demon that invades the sleep of women to take sexual advantage of them, and steal their strength... But this then leads into the eroticism of this picture, which was one of the scandalous things about it in the 18th c.

May 9, 2017 at 2:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Molly Livings
Member
Posts: 7

This evil demon certainly knows he has viewers and most definitely knows what he's doing, eg planning mischief! 

May 9, 2017 at 2:23 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rob Marshall
Member
Posts: 56

Graeme Pedlingham at May 9, 2017 at 2:22 PM

as a demon that invades the sleep of women to take sexual advantage of them, and steal their strength... But this then leads into the eroticism of this picture, which was one of the scandalous things about it in the 18th c.

This was something then taken to much greater extremes in Lewis' "The Monk".

May 9, 2017 at 2:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

So, just to tie up some of the ideas here; we've got a blurring of the boundaries between life and death, a potential sense of madness or uncontrollable thoughts/ideas...

 

May 9, 2017 at 2:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

carly curry
Member
Posts: 29
Why is the goblin concerned with us watching, but not the horse in the picture? Why are we more important? Maybe it is aware the horse is being blind to his actions and frightened that we are not thus is threatening?
May 9, 2017 at 2:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

...a similar blurring of sexuality with death/horror, and a breaking of the '4th wall' to directly threaten the audience...

May 9, 2017 at 2:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rob Marshall
Member
Posts: 56

If internally created, then also guilt and fear at a past?

May 9, 2017 at 2:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

These ideas would be taken on (and, indeed, taken further) in the outpouring of gothic literature in the 1780s and 1790s (inc. the truly shocking The Monk!)

May 9, 2017 at 2:26 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

Introducing the idea of the past invading the present is also very useful here, as this sense, I would suggest allows us to think about one of the primary characteristics of the Gothic

May 9, 2017 at 2:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Griff
Member
Posts: 45

So the gothic is there to blur and break boundaries then?

May 9, 2017 at 2:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

in that it is a genre which overflows boundaries. It resists being contained by any single definition....

May 9, 2017 at 2:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

I'd suggest that is one of the key ways of defining it (amongst many). And if we're thinking about monstrosity, it's a useful way in.

 

May 9, 2017 at 2:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Molly Livings
Member
Posts: 7

I thought only certain types of gothic writters used trangression in terms of blurring boundaires, such as Angela Carter.

May 9, 2017 at 2:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rob Marshall
Member
Posts: 56

The picture also conjures up the standard tropes of the exotic (the red velvet curtains, the Ottoman style wrap on which she lies) and the distant - it seems to be Italian or Spanish as opposed to Northern European, despite her pale skin and languid helplessness.

May 9, 2017 at 2:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

if we wind forward a bit to the 'second wave' Gothic (really in the late-19th century), that resistance to definition is profoundly unsettling for Victorian culture...

May 9, 2017 at 2:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Graeme Pedlingham
Member
Posts: 61

An interesting point Molly - I'd suggest that all gothic works transgress boundaries in some way, but this can be a very broad range (e.g. the boundary between life/death, between genders, between sexualities...

May 9, 2017 at 2:32 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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