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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Gothic drama may have begun with Horace Walpole’s Mysterious Mother, A Tragedy (1768), but it flourished after Ann Radcliffe began publishing her romances in 1789, as dramatists rushed to put her works on stage. These different points of origin suggest the complexity of the form of the Gothic drama, as it now appears to be a tragedy, now a romantic comedy. By examining such representative Gothic dramas as Cobb’s Haunted Castle, Lewis’s Castle Spectre, and Maturin’s Bertram, we can arrive at a better sense of how the Gothic drama explored and exploited the tensions between different plot trajectories. In the end, this mixed plots allow dramatists to stage the tensions of the age of democratic revolutions in a way distinct from its near rival, the melodrama.

Keywords: Gothic drama, melodrama, Romantic drama, comedy, tragedy, romance, French Revolution

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