The Primary Function of the Gothic Is to Shock, to What Extent Do You Agree to This View Essay

888 WordsMar 29, 20154 Pages
“The primary function of the gothic is to shock” To what extent do you agree with this view? Abhorrent and despicable actions necessarily dominate Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, first published in 1818, and also in Geoffrey Chaucer’s proto-gothic medieval verse The Pardoners Tale. This is because the gothic genre tends to shock people into conforming to Christianity and also gothic ideology. Shelley effectively conveys this through the character and actions of Victor Frankenstein; Chaucer also displays it through the three rioters and the Pardoner himself. In Chaucer’s medieval verse, The Pardoner’s Tale, he uses the Pardoner’s actions to shock his medieval readership. “Al were it yeven of the povereste widwe in a village, Al sholde hir children sterve for famine.” The Pardoner will stop at nothing in order to get money, he doesn’t think twice about shaming widows into paying for pardons, even if his action would lead to her children starving. This is a totally shocking and grotesque image. As long as he has his money, wool, cheese and wheat, a drink and a wench in every town, falls the care of others and comes a very self centered approach. The Pardoner is the person who not only walks past the individual lying beaten by the road, but then profits by the occasion of their meeting. He, as he implies, is only able to achieve this gluttonous actions by being a pardoner. He uses his religious rank to fulfill his greed instead of using his abilities as a pardoner should (as a way to help people become closer to God). In this way, he causes the quality of holiness and faith to diminish the more he preaches which is totally shocking when compared to the forthcoming gothic ideology of conforming totally to Christianity. For Chaucer’s medieval readersip one sign of a sinning and shocking person was that they did not respect God’s name. Taking God’s name in vain meant

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