Lesson video

In progress...


I'm Miss Howell.

Welcome to today in this lesson, please take a moment to make sure that you have a pen and a piece of paper, and that will be all the equipment you will need for our lesson today and make sure that you clear yourself any distraction so that you are ready to embark on our learning today.

In our first lesson, we are going to be looking at defining the Gothic.

This unit of work is all about Gothic literature, and the Gothic Canon.

So we are going to be exploring different texts that conform to the Shunra.

Today's lesson will be an introduction to what it means to be Gothic.

Please take a moment before this video and write down the title for today, Defining of the Gothic.

It is really important that we build on our vocabulary Tier 2 Vocabulary are everyday words that you may or may not have come across before.

What I would like you to do, in this lesson, is to have a read through the slide of the definition of the blind, which is our key-word for today.

And then I would like you to write down our key-word and the definition.

Pause the video here to complete that now.

Now, I'm going to take you through a definition of what it is to be Gothic.

It might be useful for you to pause the video and to make notes on the slides as I go through them.

It is up to you to pause the video.

As in, when you need to should you want to do this.

I highly recommend that you do, because we are going to be doing something late in the lesson that requires you to have this information about what it means to be Gothic.

So, the definition of Gothic.

Gothic is a literary genre and the characteristically modern one that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times, romance.

The word genre comes from the Latin, 'genus' which means kind.

So to ask what genre a text belongs to is to ask what kind of text it is.

A genre isn't like a box in which a group of texts all neatly fit and can be safely classified; there is no essence or a single element that belongs to all Gothics.

It is more like a family of texts or story or members of a family don't look the same and they don't necessarily have a single trait in common, but they do have overlapping characteristics, motifs and traits.

It is usual for characters in Gothic fiction to find themselves in a strange and sublime place, somewhere other, different, mysterious.

It is often threatening or violent, often a prison, spooky forest, desolate landscape, decaying cathedral or dark mansion.

The Gothic world is fascinated by violent differences in power and its stories are full of constraints, entrapment and forced actions.

Things of extreme threat and isolation, either physical or psychological, are always happening or about to happen.

Gothic is thus a world of doubt, particularly doubt about the supernatural and the spiritual.

It seeks to create in our mind the possibility that there may be things beyond human power, reason and knowledge.

That possibility is constantly accompanied by uncertainty.

Your task is going to be to recreate the key knowledge about the Gothic genre.

One way in which you could record this knowledge, is in a table format, as shown on the slide.

So, you could write the key information, sets of notes to support that, and you may or may not find it useful to support that with an image, if you have any particular artistic talent.

Pause the video to complete that, now.

Now we're going to review your answers.

It would be useful when you take down this feedback if you had a different coloured pen.

This will enable you to see what you were able to get down whilst you did the task independently, and what you are able to learn when we go through the feedback.

Please add, adapt, edit your responses based on the ideas and the next piece side.

So, hopefully the first piece of key information you were able to get down when you did that task independently was that key piece of information we looked at when we were defining the Gothic, is that it contains horror, death and, at times, romance.

And in that note section, what I included that is that little bit detail.

So what this means is that it's often threatening or violent.

This is reflected in the desolate settings, which is prison, spooky forest, decaying cathedral or dark mansion.

And you may have decided to support that with this image of a spooky setting, just to reinforce your understanding.

Remember, if you need to pause the video at any time, take down the seat back, please do so.

Hopefully what you've also been gotten from the independent task is that the Gothic often incorporate spiritual or supernatural elements.

And again, just giving that little bit more detail on our note section, because the Gothic is a world of doubt, and particularly this doubt about the possibility that there may be things beyond our human power.

We then our knowledge and this leads to ancestor questioning the world in which we live.

And of course the supernatural is very much a part of that area of the world that is beyond our understanding and it remains a very mysterious prospect.

Remember, pause the video if you need to, well done if you got down this information in your notes, but please do add, edit, adapt your work on the feedback.


And then the other key piece of information that I really hope you're able to get down is that the Gothic world is fascinated by violent differences in power.

And again, in the note section, just to develop that in a little bit more detail, Gothic story are full of constraint, entrapment and forced actions.

So, scenes of extreme threat and isolation, and that can be either physical or psychological, which are always happening or about to happen.

So again, just pause the video if you need to, write down any of the key information or add any additional details to your notes that perhaps you didn't have in that independent task.

The next task that I would like you to do is to explode each of these quotations with how they linked to Gothic.

So what you're going to do is you're going to consider looking at each quotation that's been taken from a Gothic novel, how these quotations link to that definition of the Gothic that we have just thought through.

It might be an idea to write these quotations down now so that you have them ready to explode when we pause the video in a moment.

If you'd like to pause the video now to write these down, then please do so here.

So an example of what I'm looking for is on the slide.

So I've taken the first quotation from the list, here, with quotation number one, "They're straight from the underworld, by the way.

They are everlasting." I've written that down.

And then I have picked those features of Jeff in that quotation.

So the first feature that I put is, its about the character, they already talked about referring to an immortal demon.

Because this idea of them being from the underworld, and that they are ever-lasting, suggests that they are certainly not humans as humans are mortal.

We don't last forever.

And secondly, I spotted that a common convention of gothic literature is hell and a feature of a gothic plot could be the descent to the underworld.

This is what I would like you to do with those other three quotations.

Pause the video here to complete that now.

We are now going to review your answers.

So again, it would be a good idea if you have a different kind of pen just to take down this feedback, using that, so that you can really see what you were able to do in that independent task and what you have learned in this lesson with the feedback that I am going through.

So, in the quotation, "There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand." Hopefully you were able to spot that this gives an element of mystery and perhaps hint at potential psychological torment.

Really well done if you spotted that.

In the next quotation, "Some ghosts are so quiet, you would hardly know they were there." Hopefully you've been able to spot it.

This is obviously about the supernatural or spiritual elements that are often found within that gothic genre.

And then finally, "I envy people that know love.

That have someone who takes them as they are." So, within this quotation.

It's this idea that Gothic can often have elements of romance or romanticised thought.

So again, well done if you were able to spot that within that quotation, and you were able to link to that definition of profits that we have looked at in our lesson today.

"Return to me, and the streets will run red with blood." Hopefully, here again, you've been able to spot that this linked into the idea of horror, violence and strongly hints at death.

Remember, do pause that video when you need to, in order to write down any of this feedback to add to your notes.

Gothic isn't just about literature.

Gothic is a genre that also be found in, for example, art.

We're going to now look at a really famous painting it's actually considered to be one of the greatest gothic paintings in history, and it's called The Nightmare.

It is an oil painting, which was created by artist Henry in 1781.

And it is wide as you can see.

It's his most famous work.

This painting is actually open to multiple interpretations as he usually never actually offered an explanation of his work.

I would like you to do is to write down how this painting conforms to the Gothic genre.

So, look really carefully at the image and really think carefully about how this painting can be considered gothic.

Think about the definition of Gothic that we've looked at within this lesson.

Perhaps look back at your notes that you've already made in this lesson to support you.

And I'd like to pause the video here.

This slide will remain that you can focus on looking at the image, so pause the video here to complete that task, now.

We are now going to go through how The Nightmare conformed to that gothic definition.

So again, if you have a different coloured pen, it would be great if you use that to write down this feedback, to really, clearly, see the difference between what you were able to do independently, and what I've gone through that you might learn about the gothic and especially this particular painting.

What you pick in this image is a potentially a dreaming woman and the content of her nightmare sat on top of her is an incubus, and this is a male demon.

The latin, incubare, means to lie on.

And so the demon spirit will often sit and torment or even suffocate sleepers.

Nightmare itself, the word, derives from an old English word, Mara, which actually means incubus.

You can see how the title of the painting linked that into the content.

That's just a bit of information for you about the painting.

Now, hopefully what you got is is that this painting clearly is mysterious.

It's eerie, quite unsettling for the viewer.

I mean, its got those kind of creatures and what I circled there on the side is a very mysterious image.

You can't quite make out what that is.

And of course the incubus himself is very unsettling.

And then obviously, hopefully you've been able to spot that even if you didn't know that this was a male demon or an incubus, it still is a creature with kind of an astute but natural elements.

It's horrible, it's ugly, very threatening sat on top of her.

So, well done If you've been able to spot that and remember, you can just not take down in your different colour, that this is actually an incubus, a male demon.


Then of course we have the woman herself.

She seems to be quite mysterious because it's unclear when you first look at the painting, is she dead? Is she awake or asleep it is unclear exactly what is happening here.

Now, if you link to the title, The Nightmare, it obviously supports your idea, that's exactly what she's doing.

She's dreaming having this nightmare.

And of course, nightmares associated with the idea of very potentially being violent and threatening, so that linked in to the gothic genre.

Then we have this element in the painting of white versus dark, purity and innocence versus threat.

And it's a very gloomy painting shroud in darkness which links to that sense of threat.

Gives it a quite foreboding and ominous atmosphere.

And that's definitely something always very gothic, often in art and obviously within this picture as well.

It's an image that raises questions.

So remember when we looked at that Gothic definition in this lesson, we looked at the idea that it raised the question beyond our understanding.

And so this painting, really tapped into that idea because we don't know whether she's having a really horrible dream, is it a real-life nightmare? We have those opposition: human, not human dead, dead, male, female, awake, asleep so it creates this really unsettling, mysterious tone because we're not quite certain what exactly is happening.

And this is exactly the theme in literature inspired in readers, where it makes us feel quite unsettled.

Once you have written down that feedback, that brings us to the end of our learning today.

Thank you for your focus.

And I look forward to building on our learning in our next lesson.