Gothic Horror 1

  1. Short intro on Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde

It is an epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entriesnewspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic ”documents” such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use.

Key concept: suspension of disbelief, byronic hero

2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

3. Slow paced and fast-paced epistolary narrative


by Bram Stoker

Chapter 1

Jonathan Harker’s Journal

3 May. Bistritz. __Left Munich at 8:35 P. M, on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible.

The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.

We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called ”paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.

I found my smattering of German very useful here, indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it.

Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country.

I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe.

I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.

In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it.

I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)

I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then.

I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour which they said was ”mamaliga”, and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call ”impletata”. (Mem.,get recipe for this also.)

I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight, or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we began to move.

It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China?


You are going to write a page from an epistolatory novel. You can be inspired by how Stoker and Tolkien does it.

In an epistolary novel there is often details such as dates, places, or equivalent, and the style is similar to that of which a tv reporter would use.


Post as a comment.

Suggestions for setting and mystery:

  • The tomb of Nyarlathotep in Egypt has been found
  • Numerous bodies are found in Calcutta, the thugee cult of Kali has returned?
  • Your own

Another example: Song of Kali

Literary Tabloid!

You have now read A Modest Proposal and seen Henry V.

In this task we pretend that these two texts have enfolded in real life.

You work at a tabloid and decide to write the tabloid sensation news piece about the events depicted in the play, or essay. More examples here.


  1. Create a dramatic and interesting headline
  2. Explain the most important (dramatic) thing that happened. Go for the shock!

More theory


Tabloid Headlines
The best-known tabloid headline in journalism history used alliteration to play with words in reporting a murder: ”Headless Body in Topless Bar.” If you can think of a clever, in-your-face way to use alliteration or rhyme in your headline, all the better; generally, keep it short, punchy, witty and breezy. Tabloid headlines can take liberties that traditional journalism wouldn’t touch. Consider the Daily News headline after a speech by president Gerald R. Ford: ”FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” The president did not use those exact words, but [even the staid New York Times allows] ( that the headline captured ”arguably the essence of his remarks.”

Tabloid Style
In traditional journalism, the police arrested a criminal. In a tabloid story of the same event, the cops busted a thug. Tabloid stories are written in a conversational, informal style, using simple, vivid everyday language. ”Straight” news writers strive for an objective tone; in a tabloid story, the writer’s use of adjectives, wordplay and personalized detail often leave the reader with little doubt about his feelings. The goal of tabloid style is to make the reader feel, whether disgusted, elated, outraged or amused.

Tabloid Story Structure
A good tabloid lead sentence summarizes the story right up front in a way that’s designed to maximize shock value. Pull the reader in and don’t let go; sentences and paragraphs are typically short and to the point. Rather than the common inverted pyramid structure of a standard news story, in which the less important information is often in the concluding paragraphs, a tabloid story should circle around and restate the essence of the lead, often adding one more telling or ironic detail for a dramatic grand finale.

A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal (AMP) by Jonathan Swift


Work with a partner. Discuss each question, finding evidence from the text that supports your response.

  1. How does Swift portray himself throughout the essay?
  2. How does Swift dehumanize the people in this essay? What is his purpose in doing so?
  3. Why does Swift focus on the benefits of his plan before giving us the details of it?
  4. Reread the final paragraph. What is ironic about Swift’s comment about his own family?


Sonnet 55 and reading

Questions to consider

(a) Why do you think the rich and powerful people get monuments and statues erected in their memory?
(b) Why does the poet refer to Time as being ”sluttish”?
(c) What is the message of the poem? What do you think of it?

Sonnet 55

Wikipedia on sonnet 55


Please read at least 250 pages for next Wednesday. Bring at least one quote and a comment.


A look at Romeo and Juliet


Queen Mab Monologue

MERCUTIO: O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Over men’s noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon spokes made of long spinners’ legs,
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
Her traces, of the smallest spider web;
Her collars, of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams;
Her whip, of cricket’s bone; the lash, of film;
Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on curtsies straight;
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
Tickling a parson’s nose as ‘a lies asleep,
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled much misfortune bodes.
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage.
This is she!



Read the balcony scene.


What did Shakespeare think of romantic love, do you think? Why do you think?

William Shakespeare


Today you will watch a film about William Shakespeare’s life and time. It will deal with what is known about his life, but also concern the Elizabethan theatre during the 1600s.


Task 1
You are going to listen carefully and take notes during and after the film, as long as it is still vivid in your memory.

Focus on the following
1. How important is Shakespeare to Englishmen and English culture? Why is he so important?
2. Who was he? Take as many notes as possible about him and his life.
3. Who were the people around him. Make note of names and who they were.
4. Which of Shakespeare’s plays does the film mention? Make notes about details as you remember them. Which kinds of plays did he write?
6. Was there anything else in particular in the film that you remembered?

Task 2: Compare Shakespeare with Homer

There is so little known about the real William Shakespeare. It is hardly surprising therefore that plenty of theories about our most famous bard and his work have arisen. It was, after all, Mark Twain who said: “So far as anybody actually knows and can prove, Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon never wrote a play in his life.” This is very similar to the Homeric question that you might have read about in Swedish course 2.

So, how would you compare the two writers?

Eyewitness 2

Task 1:  Write a description of everything you can see in picture A and picture B. Use as much detail as possible.

Task 2: Write 10-15 lines comparing the two pictures and what they tell us about Swedish and British political traditions.

Task 3 (if you finish early): Compare the scenes in pictures C and D. When and where do you think that they were taken? What is going on?

Picture A (click to enlarge)


Picture B


Picture C


Picture D



Compare and contrast



  1. Describe the setting of the short story ”The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty.
  2. How does the the sniper feel about the war at the beginning of the story?
  3. Why does the sniper kill the old woman? What happens after he fires his weapon?
  4. In Liam O’Flaherty’s ”The Sniper,” what does the woman symbolize?
  5. How does the street between the sniper and his target function as a symbol in the short story, ”The Sniper?”
  6. What causes the sniper to risk being shot by a machine gun near the end of ”The Sniper”?
  7. Who is the antagonist of ”The Sniper”?
  8. What is the tone of the story? What is it trying to say?

Post answers as a comment.

Part II

Read Cranes.

Part III

Read an example of a comparing/contrasting 5 paragraph essay.

Part IV

Write an essay where you compare the two short stories.

Need more help? Read this: Comparison of Cranes and the Sniper

Connectors That Show Comparison (Similarities)

In additon




Just as

Same as

Compared to

As well as
At the same time

On the other hand


Connectors That Show Contrast (Differences)

Even though


On the contrary

In contrast