Date of Award

Spring 4-25-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky


Gothic horror centers its focus on tragedy, death and romance. Thought of as a genre unto itself, a literary analysis reveals the underpinnings of Shakespeare’s influence in the evolution of the Gothic novel. Beginning with Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s play regarding Goths and horror, and continuing to Cymbeline, a play of Gothic and Romantic tropes, the origins of a genre are explored. Then, in looking to Horace Walpole’s seminal work, The Castle of Otranto and Ann Radcliffe’s The Romance of the Forest, iterations on the theme of Shakespeare’s plots, characters, and rhetorical devices emerge. Indeed, through a thorough examination of Shakespeare’s works and words, both in and of themselves and as characters haunting Gothic texts, a recursive pattern of influence is discovered. Thus, this essay argues that as Shakespeare shaped the Gothic literary era, so, too, did the Gothic novel rewrite Shakespeare’s works and Shakespeare’s place in history.

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