Writing Prompts

  • Compare and contrast the Gothic characteristics of The Castle of Otranto with either Vathek or The Monk. What makes these works Gothic? How does either Vathek or The Monk use or reinterpret the Gothic conventions of Walpole’s seminal text?
  • Even though Coleridge himself wrote the Gothic poem, Christabel, he completely trashes The Monk in his review: What does Coleridge’s review of the Monk reveal about the schism between Romanticism and the Gothic? Do you agree or disagree with Coleridge? Explain your viewpoint and support your opinion with relevant quotes.
  • The female Gothic gets a bad rap for explaining the supernatural. Can a novel still be Gothic without something truly supernatural? Why do you think writers of the female Gothic chose to explain the supernatural elements of their novels? Give examples from texts we have read this week to support your point of view.
  • Frankenstein is a highly structured—some critics would say artificial—text. Why do you think might Shelley have chosen this type of structure? Consider these reference points: a) Epistolary novel; b) Layered narratives; c) multiple points of view. Give examples from the text to support your viewpoint.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

A Guide to the Gothic Copyright © 2019 by Jeanette Laredo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book