Dark Romantic Literature 1840-1860 The grotesque, gloomy, morbid and fantastic
The Writers • Herman Melville • Nathaniel Hawthorne • Edgar Allan Poe • Interested in human psychology and the deep, dark workings of the subconscious mind. • Dark Romantics acknowledged the evil in men and the horror of evil. • Rooted in French, German, and English Gothic lit.
Literature elements • Settings: wild, haunted landscapes. • Supernatural events and mysterious Gothic/medieval castles. • Relied heavily upon symbolism; terror is often given a concrete form in a symbol
The Characters • Haunted, alienated, isolated, and obsessed characters • Protagonists pitted against unknowable dark fates that in some mysterious way grow out of their deepest unconscious selves • Alienation from society as a result of: • Pride • Selfishness • Coldness of heart • Emergence of secret sin